Devin Funchess

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/4/19

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Indianapolis Colts

  • Reverted to season-ending IR after 21-day activation window closed: WR Devin Funchess

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

AFC South Notes: Jags, Tannehill, Funchess

As they limp towards the end of their second consecutive disappointing campaign, the Jaguars could be looking at a major organizational overhaul this offseason, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes. Several members of head coach Doug Marrone‘s staff believe Marrone will be fired at season’s end, and questions remain as to how long team president Tom Coughlin will remain with the club.

Indeed, La Canfora says members of Jacksonville’s front office are just as concerned about their job security as the team’s coaches and are beginning to explore opportunities elsewhere. Owner Shad Khan did consider a significant shakeup last year before opting to retain Marrone, Coughlin, and GM Dave Caldwell, but he may not be as patient this time. If Khan does elect to make a GM change, La Canfora names Scott Pioli as a potential replacement, and Patriots OC Josh McDaniels could be on the short list of replacements for Marrone.

Now for more from the AFC South:

  • The Titans are interested in extending their relationship with quarterback Ryan Tannehill beyond 2019, and as La Canfora writes, the franchise tag could be in play for Tannehill. The tag would come with a roughly $27MM cap hit, but with Tannehill suddenly a hot commodity, the club could hit him with the tag as a precursor to a multi-year pact. Of course, much depends on how Tannehill finishes the season, and while the two sides are unlikely to engage in contract talks in the short term, Tannehill looks set to cash in once the season is over.
  • Despite some hope that veteran wideout Devin Funchess would be returning to the field soon, the Colts have decided to shut him down for the year, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Funchess, who suffered a fractured collarbone during Indianapolis’ Week 1 loss to the Chargers, simply has not healed enough, per Rapoport, who says the plate inserted into the fracture did not work out as hoped. This is a difficult blow for the Colts, who have seen many of their top skill players miss time due to injury this year.
  • The Texans have been in the news a great deal over the last two days. The team placed first-round rookie Tytus Howard on IR on Saturday, and today we learned that the club will operate without a GM in 2020. Houston also got some potentially exciting news, as J.J. Watt could return to the field in time for the playoffs.

Extra Points: Colts, Dolphins, JPP, Broncos

The Colts are expecting Devin Funchess to return soon, but head coach Frank Reich didn’t want to say anything definitive when talking with reporters on Monday.

“Yeah, we’re gonna monitor him as we go,” Reich said (via Andrew Walker of the team’s website). “You know, we’ve already talked about his injury a bunch; I mean we’ve gotta make sure that thing’s 100 percent healed, so we’ll monitor it this week and see how it goes.”

Reich did note that wideout T.Y. Hilton didn’t suffer a setback with his calf injury during Thursday’s night loss to the Texans, and he also revealed that receiver Parris Campbell could return this week from a fractured hand. Running back Marlon Mack won’t play this weekend against the Titans, according to the head coach.

Let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL…

  • The Dolphins will likely be on the hunt for wide receiver help, according to ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe (via Twitter). Jakeem Grant (ankle) and Albert Wilson (rib) both suffered injuries during Sunday’s loss to the Browns, leaving the team with only two healthy receivers in DeVante Parker and Allen Hurns. Head coach Brian Flores noted that he’s uncertain if Grant or Wilson would end up missing the rest of the season due to their injuries (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald).
  • Buccaneers linebacker Jason Pierre-Paul played 76-percent of his team’s defensive snaps this weekend, earning him another $600K. As Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets, the veteran has already earned $3MM in bonuses in five games, and he could earn another $3MM through his team’s final five games. Pierre-Paul has a $3MM base salary this season.
  • Take this for what it’s worth, but Vic Fangio told reporters that Broncos quarterback Drew Lock could “possibly” be on the roster this Sunday and could “possibly” start vs. the Chargers (via Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post on Twitter). The second-round rookie has been on the IR since September, but he was designated to return earlier this month.
  • Former NFL running back Karlos Williams has signed with the Toronto Argonauts of the CFL, the team announced on Twitter. Williams ran for 517 yards and seven touchdowns as a rookie, but he was later slapped with three separate suspensions. The 26-year-old was reinstated from his indefinite suspension last February, and he’s finally found his next gig.

Colts Designate Devin Funchess For Return

The Colts have designated wide receiver Devin Funchess to return from injured reserve, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Funchess suffered a broken collarbone during his Indianapolis debut in Week 1, but the Colts had been holding out hope that he’d be able to return to the field late in the regular season. While Funchess is back at practice as of Wednesday, head coach Frank Reich said this week that Funchess needs to prove his health before he returns to game action.

“Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said. “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.”

The Colts signed Funchess to a one-year, $10MM deal in March after he spent the first four years of his career with the Panthers. The only free agent receiver who collected more on an annual basis this offseason was Tyrell Williams, who inked a four-year, $44.4MM pact with the Raiders. In his stint with Carolina, Funchess averaged 40 receptions, 558 yards, and five touchdowns per season.

When he does officially return, Funchess will join a Colts wide receiver depth chart by T.Y. Hilton, who is currently battling injury himself. Indianapolis has made heavy use of its tight ends in the passing game this season, leaving Zach Pascal as the only Colts wideout besides Hilton with more than 20 receptions on the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Barkley, 49ers, Lockett

The Giants may be a long shot to make the postseason, but that doesn’t mean they’re going to shut down their star players. When asked if the team would rest running back Saquon Barkley, head coach Pat Shurmur responded with an emphatic “absolutely not” (via Ralph Vacchiano of SNY).

Shurmur had previously acknowledged that Barkley was a bit banged up, and that was evident after the running back compiled a single rushing yard on 13 carries during the Giants’ loss to the Jets on Sunday. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan reports that Barkley had an X-ray on his shoulder after the game. There was some thought that the 22-year-old was suffering from an ankle or leg injury, but Barkley acknowledged that his legs are still feeling good.

The Giants and Barkley will look to get back on track when they return from their bye week. The team will visit the Bears on November 24th.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We’ve got some updates on key 49ers skill players. ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes (on Twitter) that wideout Emmanuel Sanders‘s s-rays for a rib injury were inconclusive. The veteran was set to undergo an MRI today to determine the extent of the “damage.” Meanwhile, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero tweets that running back Matt Breida will get a second opinion on his sprained ankle. While the injury isn’t thought to be serious, Breida may still be sidelined for several games.
  • Seahawks wideout Tyler Lockett was at the hospital last night getting treatment for a leg contusion, but Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com passes along that the receiver is alright. Coach Pete Carroll told 710 ESPN that the bruise caused a “pretty severe situation” thanks to the subsequent swelling, and Lockett didn’t return with the team to Seattle. The 27-year-old is having another productive season, hauling in 62 receptions for 793 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Some good news out of Indy: Colts coach Frank Reich told reporters that wideout Devin Funchess should return to practice this week. “Technically, he could be cleared to play the game,” Reich said (via Jim Ayello of the Indy Star). “But he’s got a few more boxes to check. We have to make sure he’s good to go because this will really be his first week of practice. Then we still have to see how much he’ll be able to do Wednesday. We’re really encouraged. I think there’s another box he has to check before we can go full boar on the practice.” Funchess landed on the IR after breaking his collarbone during the season opener.
  • Bengals tight end Drew Sample suffered a high ankle sprain this past weekend, reports NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The 2019 second-rounder will undergo additional tests to determine how much time he’ll miss, but Rapoport notes that he’s a candidate for the injured reserve. The rookie has hauled in five catches for 30 yards in nine games (two starts) this season.

AFC South Notes: Hooker, Funchess, Lee

Colts safety Malik Hooker will be back in the lineup for the first time since Week 3, according to Mike Chappell of Fox 59. Hooker was close to returning last week against the Texans, but instead was held out to allow for a completely recovery. Now, per the report, Hooker is “a full go.”

Hooker had damaged his meniscus in Week 3 against the Falcons and was expected to miss 4-6 weeks, right in line with a return this week. Coming off an impressive victory over Houston, the Colts are in the driver’s seat in the AFC South at 4-2 and will be happy to get a starter back in their secondary.

Here is some more news from around the AFC South:

  • Colts head coach Frank Reich told reporters that wide receiver Devin Funchess should return to practice next week, according to Mike Wells of ESPN.com. Funchess was placed on injured reserve after suffering a clavicle injury in the team’s season opener. The Colts signed Funchess to a one-year, $10MM contract this offseason, but have yet to reap much on-field production for their signing. Prior to the injury, Funchess had three receptions for 32 yards.
  • The Jaguars expect a wide receiver of their own, Marqise Lee, to be back next week according to head coach Doug Marrone, via John Oesher of Jaguars.com. Lee missed all of 2018 with a torn-ACL, but had a strong track-record of success from 2017-2018, where he accumulated 119 receptions for 1,553 receiving yards. In his return this season, Lee was beginning to work his way into the rotation when he came down with an ankle injury that has had him out since Week 6.

Colts To Place Devin Funchess On IR

From a clavicle perspective, Sunday was a rough day for multiple key players. The Colts will place Devin Funchess on IR because of a broken clavicle, Frank Reich said.

Like the maladies Nick Foles and Tyreek Hill suffered, Funchess’ will likely not end his season. Reich added (via The Athletic’s Stephen Holder, on Twitter) the Colts do not view Funchess’ setback as one that will limit his 2019 season to one game. Funchess will miss at least the next seven, however. The former Panthers wideout has already undergone surgery.

This will almost certainly mean Funchess’ 2019 earnings will be capped at $10MM. The Colts gave the former Panthers auxiliary weapon $10MM guaranteed, but included an additional $3MM in incentives. Funchess will be out until at least Week 10.

The Colts were set to use Funchess as part of their revamped cast of T.Y. Hilton sidekicks. More work will now be left to Deon Cain, who missed all of 2018, and Parris Campbell, who dealt with an injury during camp.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Devin Funchess Has Broken Collarbone

Somehow we have yet another big name with a serious clavicle injury. Nick Foles and Tyreek Hill will both miss time with clavicle injuries, and Colts receiver Devin Funchess will be joining them.

Funchess broke his collarbone during Sunday’ loss to the Chargers, a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link). In a follow-up tweet, Pelissero reports that Funchess will get a second opinion, but as of right now surgery seems likely. It’s unclear at this time exactly how long he’ll be out, but obviously he’s going to miss some regular season action. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have a timetable. Funchess is in his first year with Indy after signing a one-year deal back in March.

The Colts gave Funchess $10MM in base money with another $3MM available in incentives, and they were hoping he could establish himself as the clear number two receiver they’d been missing behind T.Y. Hilton. The former Panthers second-round pick had three catches for 32 yards in his Colts debut before going down.

Funchess was up and down during his time with Carolina, although he was always clearly high on talent. His injury is the latest blow to a Colts offense that has had to deal with the sudden retirement of Andrew Luck. With Funchess on the shelf, the team will likely count on Deon Cain for a bigger role. Cain had 35 yards in the opener, the second-most on the team behind Hilton.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Hill, Funchess, Ravens, Jets

In May, Roger Goodell said the NFL would not interfere with the Kansas Department for Children and Families’ Tyreek Hill investigation, indicating the league would interview the Chiefs wide receiver “whenever we have permission to.” It is unclear if the Kansas DCF’s investigation has concluded, but if it has not, the news about NFL investigators meeting with Hill represents a reversal and, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, perhaps an acknowledgement by the league something needs to transpire on this front by the time the Chiefs report to training camp July 23. While the investigation is likely covering the bruises and welts that appeared on the body of Hill’s 3-year-old son, Florio notes Hill’s history of violence, and the comment his fiance needing to worry about more possible violence, will almost certainly result in a Hill suspension. Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith was suspended four games in 2018 for threatening and the mother of his child and “engaging in emotional abuse.” With audio evidence having surfaced in this case, and Hill not being punished for his admitted 2014 violence against Crystal Espinal, that would seem to be the baseline for his potential punishment.

Here is the latest out of the AFC:

  • John Harbaugh has committed to Patrick Onwuasor returning as a starting linebacker for a revamped Ravens defense, but the 12th-year HC has not made a decision on C.J. Mosley‘s successor. While former UDFA Chris Board has impressed, Harbaugh indicated a committee is the likely post-Mosley plan. Harbaugh said (via Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com) Board will probably join 2018 fourth-rounder Kenny Young and hybrid safety Anthony Levine alongside Onwuasor in sub-packages. Young led the trio with 381 linebacker snaps last season; Board played just 21.
  • Onwuasor may be the best bet for the young defender who signs a Ravens extension, per Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic (subscription required). With emerging sack artist Matt Judon perhaps in line to continue a trend of edge rushers pricing themselves out of Baltimore and nose tackle Michael Pierce coming to Ravens minicamp at least 25 pounds overweight, in Zreibec’s view, the Ravens preventing their top inside linebacker from following Mosley out of Maryland seems logical. A former UDFA, Onwuasor has started 26 games. He graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 40 linebacker last season.
  • Devin Funchess has put together an inconsistent career thus far and went through most of the Colts‘ offseason program without working with Andrew Luck, who was sidelined with a strained calf. But Frank Reich said (via Kevin Bowen of 107.5 The Fan) he is “very encouraged” by Funchess’ route-running, for a player his size, and his overall progress in his system. Reich lobbied early for Funchess in March, and the former Panthers target will almost certainly play a big role for the Colts this season.
  • Another AFC free agent signing, Brian Poole, looks aimed toward a big role in his first AFC season. The Jets have used the former Falcons slot cornerback both inside and outside this offseason, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. Gang Green did not bring in a proven outside starter opposite Trumaine Johnson, and Morris Claiborne remains a free agent. While another corner will have to step up to join the duo in nickel sets, Poole appears set for a steady gig in New York.

AFC Notes: Colts, Funchess, Mathis, Texans, Mills, Bills, Ravens

The Colts made it very clear they were looking for a number two receiver this offseason. Ever since the season ended with a loss to the Chiefs in the second round of the playoffs, the front office and coaching staff had emphasized the need for a consistent second option behind T.Y. Hilton. The Colts mostly rotated lesser-known role players like Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers as their number two last season, and needed to upgrade. When free agency opened they went out and got their guy, signing Devin Funchess to a one-year deal worth up to $13MM.

Speaking to the media from the owners meetings this week, Colts coach Frank Reich revealed he banged the table for Funchess. When GM Chris Ballard first approached Reich about signing Funchess, Reich said he was immediately all-in, according to Zak Keefer of The Indianapolis Star. “I was like, ‘Please, let’s get this guy.’ That was the guy we really wanted to get,” Reich explained. Funchess was up and down during his time with the Panthers, but has always been high on talent. Funchess will provide the Colts’ receiving corp with the big bodied receiver they were lacking opposite the smaller Hilton, and will be a nice weapon for Andrew Luck in 2019. The Colts are clearly confident in his ability to improve his consistency, and Reich seems genuinely excited about the addition.

Here’s more from the AFC:

  • Speaking of the Colts, Indianapolis is making a notable change to their coaching staff. Robert Mathis will no longer be a full-time coach, according to Keefer. The Colts’ legend had served as an assistant coach helping out with the team’s pass-rushers the past two seasons. Mathis will now transition into a role as a consultant, giving him more time to develop his private training business. Mathis spent 14 years in the NFL, all with the Colts, and racked up 123 sacks. He’s also the league’s all-time leader in forced fumbles.
  • The Texans recently signed Matt Kalil, but that doesn’t mean they’re necessarily done adding offensive tackles. The team hosted former Bills tackle Jordan Mills on a visit before signing Kalil, but they’re apparently still interested in adding Mills, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle. Wilson writes that Houston has “remained in contact with Mills” and that he’s “still a candidate to potentially join the team.” Offensive line was the team’s main weakness last year, and it looks like they’re trying to add as many pieces as possible. Mills started all 16 games for Buffalo in each of the last three seasons, but graded out as Pro Football Focus’ 70th-best tackle last season.
  • The Bills and Ravens are two teams that could desperately use receiver help, that much isn’t really a secret. Both teams have young quarterbacks in Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson, and they both need to upgrade their receiving corp. They’re both likely to draft a wideout early next month, and they’re each showing interest in one of the top receivers available in the upcoming draft. Buffalo and Baltimore will both meet with Ole Miss receiver D.K. Metcalf ahead of the draft, James Palmer of NFL Network hears (Twitter link). Metcalf blew up the combine with freakish athletic testing, and should go sometime in the first round.