Dean Marlowe

Lions Re-Sign TE Darren Fells, Place QB Tim Boyle On IR

As expected, the Lions will begin their season without backup quarterback Tim Boyle. A thumb injury will sideline him into October, with the team placing the former Packers reserve on IR Thursday.

The team also stashed defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand on IR. Players placed on IR after roster cutdown day are eligible to return after three games. This is Hand’s fourth IR stay in four seasons.

Detroit also brought back one of its offseason additions, re-signing tight end Darren Fells a day after releasing him. Fells made it through to the Lions’ 53-man roster after cut day but was dropped on Wednesday. The former college hoops standout-turned-red zone target signed with the Lions in May.

Fells joins T.J. Hockenson as the only tight ends on Detroit’s active roster. This will be Fells’ age-35 season and second with Detroit. He was on the 2017 Lions before relocating to Cleveland and then Houston. With the Texans, Fells caught 11 touchdown passes over the past two years.

Boyle’s injury leaves David Blough as the only QB behind Jared Goff on the Lions’ active roster. This marks Blough’s third year with the team.

Additionally, the Lions also re-signed safety Dean Marlowe on Thursday. A Bills contributor from 2018-20, Marlowe joined Fells in being dropped from the roster for procedural purposes Wednesday.

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Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Chicago Bears

Claimed:

Signed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Released/Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Signed:

Claimed:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Lions Sign S Dean Marlowe

Dean Marlowe‘s Wednesday Lions visit will produce an agreement. The Lions signed the veteran safety Thursday, bringing him over from the Bills.

One of the numerous Panthers to trek to Buffalo during the current Bills regime’s time, Marlowe spent the past three seasons in western New York. He will now join a rebuilding Lions team.

Marlowe, 28, spent his first two NFL seasons in Carolina. But the James Madison product only played five games with the Panthers. He did not crack a game-day roster more than five times until the 2019 season. Last year, however, Marlowe suited up for 15 Bills regular-season games and made four starts. Despite limited experience on defense, Marlowe intercepted two passes — both in the Bills’ Week 17 rout of the Dolphins — and broke up three more last season.

The Lions hosted veteran backup safety Will Parks on a visit earlier this week but for now will go with Marlowe at the position. He will join a team in need at safety, with the Lions having traded Quandre Diggs in 2019 and having seen Duron Harmon‘s contract expire after last season. Detroit still rosters young safeties Will Harris and Tracy Walker; Pro Football Focus graded each near the bottom at the position in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/19/20

Here are the most recent NFL minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Placed on IR: CB C.J. Henderson

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: FB C.J. Ham

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Josh Norman Tests Positive For COVID-19

Nov. 15: Luckily for Norman, he is asymptomatic, as Ed Werder of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter). Norman understands that he cannot play today due to league protocols, but he says he feels well enough to do so. The team hopes to have him back shortly.

Nov. 14: The Bills have run into a COVID-19 issue ahead of their trip to Arizona. Josh Norman tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the team, and this will result in at least four Bills not traveling for their Week 10 game.

Norman, cornerback Levi Wallace, safety Dean Marlowe and tight end Tyler Kroft landed on Buffalo’s reserve/COVID-19 list. The latter three players — deemed as high-risk close contacts — must isolate for five days.

As of now, Sunday’s Bills-Cardinals game remains on as scheduled. The team is set to travel to Arizona later this afternoon. Defensive assistant Leonard Johnson will join the aforementioned quartet of players in not making the trip to the desert.

This is not the first time Saturday news of a Bills positive test emerged to weaken one of their position groups. Dawson Knox tested positive for COVID-19 late last month, and the Bills placed two other tight ends on their COVID list that day. The NFL did not adjust the game time of the Bills’ rematch with the Jets. The league has not changed a game time because of COVID-19 since Week 7. With virus numbers skyrocketing around the country, similar challenges to the one that prompted the NFL to move a Bills-Titans game to a Tuesday night appear on the horizon.

Norman signed a one-year, $6MM deal with the Bills — one of several ex-Panthers to rejoin Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane in Buffalo this offseason — but began the season on IR. He returned for three games but has missed the past three due to a hamstring injury. He had practiced all week and was expected to return against Arizona, however. The Bills also recalled Wallace from IR earlier this season.

They will face the Cardinals’ No. 1-ranked offense with a depleted secondary. The team will promote some reinforcements, however. The Bills elevated Daryl Worley, Darron Lee, cornerback Dane Jackson, wide receiver Jake Kumerow and safety Josh Thomas from their practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Re-Sign WR Andre Roberts

Andre Roberts wasn’t out of work for long. On Monday morning, the Bills re-signed the veteran wide receiver, along with safety Dean Marlowe. In related moves, the Bills have placed guard Jon Feliciano and wide receiver Isaiah Hodgins on injured reserve.

[RELATED: Bills, Tre’Davious White Agree To $70MM Deal]

Roberts averaged 8.0 yards per punt return and 26.6 yards per kickoff return for the Bills last year. His release came as a surprise, especially since he was coming off of his second career Pro Bowl nod. As it turns out, the Bills weren’t actually discarding the capable and experienced return man/receiver.

Instead, the Bills appear to have made a wink-and-nod arrangement with Roberts to take advantage of the league’s modified IR rules. By waiting until today to place Feliciano and Hodgins on IR, the Bills will leave the door open to bringing them back after just three weeks. Had they made the move over the weekend, both players would have been subject to the usual eight weeks of non-activity before being eligible to return.

Roberts, 30, hasn’t been a significant offensive contributor to any team since 2014, but his return skills are unquestioned. In 2018, his last season with the Jets, Roberts led the NFL in yards per return on punts and total yardage on kickoffs, scoring a touchdown in each capacity.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Release Andre Roberts, Trim Roster To 53

Here are the roster decisions the Bills made to move to the mandated 53-man regular-season limit.

Waived:

Released:

Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform:

The Bills signed Roberts to a two-year deal in 2019, doing so after he earned All-Pro recognition for his kick-return work on the 2018 Jets. Roberts has 10 years’ experience and two Pro Bowls on his resume. The second of those two Pro Bowl nods came last season with the Bills. Buffalo enters the season with its best chance to win the AFC East in maybe 20 years, so cutting an accomplished player is certainly surprising.

Foster made a splash as a rookie in 2018, but the Bills have overhauled their receiver group since. John Brown and Cole Beasley led the way last year, and the team traded for Stefon Diggs and drafted two wideouts — fourth-rounder Gabriel Davis and sixth-rounder Isaiah Hodgins — this year. Foster will nonetheless be an interest name on waivers.

Buffalo traded for Andre Smith earlier this week. The third-year linebacker could well be brought back on the team’s 16-player practice squad. Teams can begin assembling their P-squads Sunday.

Bills QB Josh Allen Expected To Play Sunday

Josh Allen will be under center when the Bills take on the Titans tomorrow. The team announced this morning that the quarterback has cleared the concussion protocol and is expected to play on Sunday.

Allen suffered the concussion last weekend following a helmet-to-helmet hit from Patriots cornerback Jonathan Jones. It was initially thought that the Bills might sit the former first-rounder as a precaution, especially since the team has a bye in Week 6. This would have made Matt Barkley the starter against Tennessee.

Allen apparently progressed throughout the week, and we heard yesterday that he managed to log a full practice. Coach Sean McDermott told reporters that Allen would start tomorrow as long as he was cleared by the medical staff and an independent neurologist (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com).

Allen has led the Bills to a 3-1 record, completing 60.3-percent of his passes for 903 yards and three scores. He’s also thrown six interceptions, including three last weekend against the Pats. He’s continued to show talent running the football, as he’s compiled 131 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries.

The Bills also announced that safety Dean Marlowe and fullback Pat DiMarco have passed the concussion protocol and are expected to play tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/12/18

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Buffalo Bills 

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: OL Jamil Demby (from Lions practice squad)

Miami Dolphins

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/11/18

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Buffalo Bills

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.