The Dolphins made Lawrence Timmons‘ suspension shortlived, reinstating the linebacker earlier this week. Timmons addressed his status, albeit vaguely. Adam Gase also said there’s a possibility Timmons could make his Dolphins debut Sunday against the Saints in London.
“To all the fans of the Miami Dolphins and to everyone, I’m just happy to be back here,” Timmons said, via James Walker of ESPN.com. “Sorry to the organization. I’m just happy to be a Miami Dolphin. I just want to play football and be the best I can.”
Timmons declined to say why he went AWOL from the team before Week 2. Gase said he and Timmons “worked through a couple of things,” adding he feels confident the linebacker will be able to contribute to the team. The former Steelers linebacker was said to have visited his old team’s facility during the Dolphins’ Hurricane Irma-induced bye in Week 1. Timmons would be a welcome addition to a Dolphins team that remains thin at linebacker, even after the Stephone Anthony acquisition.
Here’s the latest from around the league.
- Will Fuller looks set to return Sunday for the Texans, Bill O’Brien said (via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). The 2016 first-round pick broke his collarbone during training camp and was expected to be out up to three months. This would put the Texans‘ No. 2 wideout on the front end of that timetable. Fuller will be working with another new quarterback, with Deshaun Watson having taken the reins since the former Notre Dame speedster was last healthy.
- Kelvin Benjamin also figures to be ready for his team in Week 4. After suffering a knee injury in the Panthers’ Week 3 loss, their top receiver avoided a serious setback. And Ron Rivera, via David Newton of ESPN.com, said barring a setback Benjamin will suit up against the Patriots.
- Redskins backup offensive lineman Ty Nsekhe will miss three to six games with a core muscle injury that required surgery, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The 31-year-old has functioned as a part-time player in Washington since 2015, stepping in for left tackle Trent Williams during his four-game suspension last season and working as a reserve so far this year.
- Linebacker Eric Pinkins worked out for the Cowboys on Thursday, Wilson tweets. Pinkins played in 11 games between 2015-16, for the Seahawks and Giants, before failing to make the Giants out of training camp. The Cowboys have two linebackers on their injury report, Sean Lee and Anthony Hitchens. Neither got in a full practice Thursday.
- Quarterback Nate Sudfeld may have landed on the Eagles‘ practice squad after failing to make the Redskins out of the preseason, but Philadelphia sweetened the deal for the second-year quarterback. Sudfeld’s practice squad salary is $540K, Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets. That’s nearly $32K per week, a rather notable increase from the league minimum squad pay ($7,200 per week). He’ll earn more than some of the players on Philly’s 53-man roster. Sudfeld spent his rookie season on Washington’s active roster.
The Giants have begun the process of getting their roster to the league-mandated maximum of 53 players. The club announced the following moves today:
Placed on IR:
It sounds like linebacker Eric Pinkins is now looking to make the Giants 53-man roster as a safety. Pinkins tells Dan Duggan of NJ.com that he saw an opportunity to move back to the secondary and jumped on it.
“Honestly, I took initiative,” Pinkins explained. “I went up to the guy that runs the scout cards because they had two receivers at safety. I was like, ‘I’ll give a way better look than receivers out there.’ So he ended talking to the head man (Ben McAdoo) and I saw him just smirk and shake his head, ‘Yes.’ Then I was like, ‘Yes! It’s my opportunity to show them I can play safety.’ I ended up going back there. Two plays later, (Sterling Shepard) was running a corner route, I picked it and I’ve been playing safety ever since.”
Pinkins appeared in six games for Seattle in 2015 and made five appearances for the Giants last season. He hasn’t seen a ton of action over his two NFL seasons, but he might have an opportunity to see more time as a backup to Darian Thompson and Landon Collins this year.
Here’s more from the NFC East:
- Ezekiel Elliott‘s situation with the league office has dragged on for months and it’s anyone’s guess as to why things are taking so long. It could be that investigators are working toward resolving what amounts to a dispute between the Cowboys running back and his accuser as to what he did and didn’t do, Mike Florio of PFT writes. It could also be that the person making the decision at the league office is getting pressure from both Jerry Jones and the league’s public relation arm. Many expected that there would be a resolution for Elliott during Fourth of July weekend, but that did not happen.
- The arrest of Cowboys linebacker Damien Wilson does not put additional pressure on Jaylon Smith to perform, Kevin Sherrington of the Dallas Morning News opines. If Smith has as much talent as Jones has indicated, then he might be the better player of the two anyway. Of course, it still remains to be seen whether Wilson will miss significant time due to the unfortunate events that transpired on Tuesday. There’s also no guarantee that Smith will be ready for the start of the season, though he is confident that he’ll be ready for Week 1.
- Former Eagles wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has cleared waivers.
Orleans Darkwa headed to the injured reserve list, Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com tweets. The running back has been dealing with a leg injury and he’ll need to take some time off to recover. To take his place, linebacker/safety Eric Pinkins has been promoted from the practice squad.
Darkwa entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Tulane in 2014. After spending time on the Dolphins’ active roster and practice squad, he found his way to the Giants. He has been a low-cost rotational piece for the G-Men ever since. Darkwa’s season ends with 30 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns..
As Darkwa exits, fellow running back Shane Vereen is getting ready to make his return. The veteran probably won’t suit up this week, but we may see him on the field in December. For now, the Giants have Rashad Jennings, Bobby Rainey, and rookie Paul Perkins at running back. Right now, Jennings is seeing the most action of any Giants back, but the share of carries could tilt towards Perkins down the stretch of the season.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Earlier today, the Steelers made a notable practice squad move when they signed running back Karlos Williams. Here’s the rest of today’s practice squad transactions:
- Signed: QB Zac Dysert
- Signed: OL Anthony Fabiano
- Signed: RB Senorise Perry
New England Patriots
- Signed: WR Shaq Evans
- Cut: FB Glenn Gronkowski
New York Giants
- Signed: LB Eric Pinkins
- Signed: TE Cooper Helfet
- Signed: DL A.J. Francis
Well, this is a new one: The Steelers worked out Spanish rugby sevens player Inaki Villanueva, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link), who adds that Villanueva will attempt to make the NFL as a tight end. Villanueva, 25 this week, was part of the Spanish rugby team that competed at the 2016 Summer Olmypics.
Here’s more on today’s tryouts and visits:
- The Patriots worked out wide receiver Donteea Dye, fullback Austin Johnson, and tight end Gannon Sinclair today, a source tells Doug Kyed of NESN. Per Kyed, the trio was likely auditioning for a spot on New England’s practice squad, which currently only has nine members.
- Jake Long wasn’t the only offensive lineman to audition for the Vikings today, as Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link) reports that Minnesota also took a look at Garrett Reynolds and Reid Fragel.
- The Redskins worked out defensive tackles Jermelle Cudjo, A.J. Francis, and Joey Mbu today, per Caplan (Twitter link). Washington met with fellow DTs Terrance Knighton (link) and Phil Taylor (link) today as well, but won’t be signing either one at this time, according to Mike Jones of the Washington Post (Twitter link).
- Although the Cowboys tried out defensive backs Rashaad Reynolds, Leon McFadden, and Richard Crawford today, the club won’t be signing any of them, tweets Todd Archer of ESPN.com.
- The Cardinals auditioned linebackers Dwayne Norman and Jayson DiManche, as well as safeties Keenan Lambert and Dezmen Southward on Monday, reports Caplan (Twitter link).
- The Eagles worked out linebackers Eric Pinkins, Lamar Louis, and James Burgess, Caplan tweets.
Further illustrating the Eagles‘ belief in Carson Wentz and their motivation to make the seminal trade with the Browns in April, new Philadelphia OC Frank Reich offered some high-end comparisons for the No. 2 overall pick.
“Physically, he reminds me a little bit of a combination of Andrew Luck — though, I’ve never played with him — just watching him play, but a guy that I did play with in Jim Kelly, the size, strength and just the toughness,” Reich said, via Matt Lombardo of NJ.com.
Wentz ran a tenth of a second slower in the 40-yard dash compared to Luck coming out of college (4.77 seconds to 4.67), but the quarterbacks are similar in size — both 6-foot-5 and around 235 pounds. The younger player will attempt to build on his breakthrough debut, one executed despite scant preseason reps and the anticipation he’d be the third-string passer.
Here’s more on Wentz’s potential rise and on some other NFC teams.
- The Eagles trading Sam Bradford to the Vikings opened the door not only for Wentz to receive an early start on Sundays, but it cleared a path toward endless practice reps instead of a short-term future as Philly’s third-stringer, Jeff McLane of Philly.com writes. Reich told media, including McLane, there was “no question” the additional practice work would accelerate Wentz’s development compared to a season spent behind Bradford and Chase Daniel. Per McLane, Wentz did not speak up much in quarterback meetings while he was the No. 3 quarterback, instead deferring to the veterans. Daniel functions as the scout-team quarterback, and the meetings are geared around a Wentz-conducted offense.
- Doug Pederson expected to hear something on Lane Johnson‘s lingering suspension by now, Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com notes, but the league has yet to announce the expected 10-game ban. “You would think you would have heard something by now,” Pederson said. “If it does happen down the road, it just pushes everything back. Me personally, I’d rather know now than later. But until then, [Johnson] is the guy.” Pederson said Stefen Wisniewski would play left guard after current starter Allen Barbre swings to right tackle in the event Johnson’s ruling comes down. Wisniewski usurped Isaac Seumalo as the next guard up since the Eagles initially announced their Johnson contingency plan.
- Earlier today, a potential Panthers plot to select Blaine Gabbert No. 1 overall emerged in advance of Sunday’s Panthers-49ers game. The Buccaneers‘ Week 2 opponent, the Cardinals, also employ a quarterback who will face a team that pursued him years ago. The Bucs attempted to trade for Palmer in 2013, but refusing to push then-starter Josh Freeman to a backup role did not make it an enticing fit for the then-Raiders quarterback as he looked for a team and a long-term deal, Tom Jones of the Tampa Bay Times writes, analyzing what could have been in advance of Sunday’s tilt. The Bucs joined the Cardinals and Bills in making a push for a then-33-year-old Palmer’s services. Then-Tampa Bay coach Greg Schiano wasn’t enamored with Freeman, but the organization did not want to give up on the former first-round pick by automatically making Palmer a starter. Freeman lasted just three games into the ’13 season before being released.
- The Giants worked out four linebackers on Saturday after cutting Deontae Skinner from their practice squad. Cassanova McKinzy, Deiontrez Mount, Eric Pinkins and Myke Tavarres worked out for the team, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports.
Here are today’s minor moves:
- The Seahawks have removed linebacker Eric Pinkins from their injured reserve list with an injury settlement, reports Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Pinkins, 25, appeared in six games for Seattle last season.
- The Seahawks have also made a swap on their practice squad, signing wide receiver Antwan Goodley and cutting offensive tackle Takoby Cofield, tweets Condotta.
- The Buccaneers have cut linebacker Micah Awe from their practice squad, reports Jenna Laine of ESPN.com. Awe’s removal opens a spot for fullback Dan Vitale, who was added to the taxi squad yesterday.
- The Raiders waived defensive end James Cowser off their IR list with an injury settlement, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).
- The Buccaneers promoted linebacker Josh Keyes to their 53-man roster, Roy Cummings of FanRag Sports reports (on Twitter). Keyes played in seven games last season for the Bucs. To make room for Keyes, the Bucs waived tight end Alan Cross, per Cummings (Twitter link).
- Although he enjoyed a productive preseason, Dezman Moses saw the Chiefs cut him to make room for Eric Berry, Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports (on Twitter). Moses spent the past three seasons with the Chiefs, serving as a backup outside linebacker and playing in 26 games for the franchise. Moses made four sacks for the Packers as a rookie but has been used mostly in a special teams capacity with the Chiefs.
- The Lions released linebacker Josh Bynes from their IR list, Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com tweets.
The Seahawks haven’t officially released their moves today, but as Curtis Crabtree of KJR noted (Twitter link), the club has listed their transactions on their official team depth chart.
- G Jahri Evans (story)
- FB Will Tukuafu
- DT Brandin Bryant
- TE Clayton Echard
- QB Jake Heaps
- LB Steve Longa
- WR Douglas McNeil III
- WR Uzoma Nwachukwu
- WR Kasen Williams
- RB Troymaine Pope
- G/C Will Pericak
- WR Antwan Goodley
- DE Tylor Harris
- S Keenan Lambert
- WR Kenny Lawler
- LB Kache Palacio
- DE Ryan Robinson
- CB Tye Smith
- DT Tani Tupou
Waived From IR:
The Seahawks also announced that they’ve acquired defensive back Dewey McDonald (for a conditional 2017 pick, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com) from the Raiders, and, as we previously noted, acquired safety L.J. McCray from the 49ers.