Fitzgerald Toussaint

Lions Work Out Charles Sims, Terrance West

The Lions are looking into help at running back. On Tuesday, the Lions auditioned Charles Sims, Terrance West, and Michigan product Fitzgerald Toussaint, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets

The Lions already have solid depth in the backfield with rookie star Kerryon Johnson, power rusher LeGarrette Blount, pass-catching specialist Theo Riddick, and former second-round pick Ameer Abdullah under contract. It’s possible that one of those reserve RBs are injured, but it’s also possible that the Lions are simply updating their emergency lists in the event of an injury.

A former Buccaneers passing-down back, Sims has auditioned for the Texans, Patriots, and Jaguars over the last few weeks. He’s shown flashes of ability during his run in the NFL, especially during a 2015 campaign in which he caught 51 passes for the Buccaneers.

West was initially signed by the Saints back in June after Mark Ingram was hit with a four-game suspension, but he was cut loose in August. The 27-year-old appeared in only five games (four starts) with the Ravens last year, but he had a great 2016 with Baltimore as he racked up 1,010 yards on offense and six touchdowns.

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AFC North Notes: Browns, Steelers, Ravens

Prior to the Browns waiving kicker Zane Gonzalez, Hue Jackson did not know the second-year specialist was dealing with a groin injury. The third-year Browns HC (via Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk) said he knew “nothing about an injury whatsoever” and that no one from the Browns’ medical department told him Gonzalez was hurt, which could set up for an interesting situation as Cleveland pivots to another kicker. It hasn’t been reported that Gonzalez was waived with an injury designation, and Florio posits an injury grievance from Gonzalez could be in the cards. Gonzalez’s groin malady required an MRI, but he still attempted a 52-yard field goal in the final seconds Sunday. This information also doesn’t put Jackson in an especially positive light, given Gonzalez’s struggles on Sunday — ones that led directly to Cleveland’s 21-18 loss.

Shifting from a player the Browns just cut to one they opted not to draft, here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • Sam Darnold did his best to not offer much regarding his draft-night mindset, but he did say he expected the Browns to take him at No. 1 due to the amount of time John Dorsey and Co. spent with him leading into the draft, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes. The Browns spent time with all four of the top quarterback prospects before narrowing their decision to Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen. “We spent time with (Darnold) and his family, and obviously, every quarterback. We feel very comfortable with the guy that we selected in Baker, and I’m sure they do with him,” Jackson said. “He’s a fine prospect and is going to be a fine player. I think they got a good one, but we feel we have a really good one, too.”
  • The Ravens are not counting on having C.J. Mosley available for their Week 3 game against the Broncos, David Ginsburg of the Associated Press notes. The three-time Pro Bowl linebacker suffered a bruised left knee in Baltimore’s loss in Cincinnati. Rookie Kenny Young and Patrick Onwuasor were called to action in place of Mosley, who’s only missed two games (both in 2016) in his career. A fourth-round pick, Young looks like the Sunday starter, per Ginsburg.
  • Broncos rookie UDFA Phillip Lindsay sits third among the league’s rushing leaders going into Week 3’s Baltimore trip, and Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic tweets the Colorado product narrowed his post-draft choices to the Broncos and Ravens. Lindsay (178 rushing yards on 6.1 per carry) is part of a two-rookie backfield in Denver. The Ravens opted to retain their status quo at running back, with Alex Collins, Kenneth Dixon and Javorius Allen back.
  • Allen is now on IR, though the Ravens would’ve preferred to keep both he and cornerback Maurice Canady on their active roster rather than shelve them for at least two months, Jeff Zreibec of The Athletic notes. Neither’s injury is a season-ending setback, and Dixon is a candidate to return from IR later in the season.
  • Le’Veon Bell‘s agent, Adisa Bakari, attended the Steelers‘ season-opening tie in Cleveland, and Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes the vibe between he and Steelers brass wasn’t particularly uncomfortable. Bakari also represents Tyrod Taylor. Nothing on the Bell front’s transpired in several days, and Pittsburgh’s bracing for a long absence.
  • Mike Tomlin expressed frustration with punter Jordan Berry, per The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (on Twitter), and he may be on the verge of losing his job. The Steelers brought in free agent punters Jeff Locke and Justin Vogel for workouts today, Kaboly tweets. Berry’s been Pittsburgh’s punter since 2015, and the Steelers signed him to an extension in February.
  • With Joe Mixon out for a bit, the Bengals brought in a host of running backs for Tuesday workouts. Thomas Rawls, Fitzgerald Toussaint, Troymaine Pope and Matthew Dayes trekked to Cincinnati for auditions, Sirius XM’s Adam Caplan tweets.

Eagles Work Out QB Paxton Lynch

The Eagles auditioned quarterback Paxton Lynch and a host of other free agents on Tuesday, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link).

Philadelphia, of course, has already brought in one failed early-round quarterback this year in Christian Hackenberg, who didn’t make it through final cutdowns. Lynch, a first-round selection in the 2016 draft, has already met with the Bills and Lions since being cut by the Broncos last week.

Lynch, 24, failed to beat out seventh-round signal-caller Trevor Siemian in Denver for two consecutive seasons, and though he ultimately did make starts for the Broncos, his performances were abysmal. In four career starts, Lynch has completed only 61.7% of his passes for 792 yards, four touchdowns, and four interceptions, and was dreadful again during the 2018 preseason.

The Eagles don’t necessarily need another quarterback on their roster, as Nate Sudfeld is currently backing up temporary starter Nick Foles. Carson Wentz, still recovering from a 2017 ACL tear, is expected to be sidelined for a few more weeks.

Here’s the list of other players worked out today by Philadelphia, per Caplan:

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Workout Notes: Giants, Jets, Raiders, Colts

As Week 1 practices are underway, here’s the latest from the workout circuit:

  • The Giants appear to envy the Raiders’ roster depth. After adding Mario Edwards and cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Big Blue will work out Raiders 2017 fourth-round tackle David Sharpe, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. Sharpe’s shed 30 pounds this offseason, per Gehlken. He played in five games and started two as a rookie. The Giants will also audition former Broncos cornerback Michael Hunter, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). These workouts will take place Tuesday.
  • Hunter was part of a four-cornerback contingent that auditioned for the Texans on Labor Day, with veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweeting Hunter, Breon Borders, Chris Campbell and Jalen Myrick took part in the Monday showcase. Of this quartet, only Myrick has NFL experience. He played five games as a Texan last season.
  • Dan Bailey appears to have a good chance to be the Jets‘ next kicker, but in the event the team doesn’t sign him, an insurance option is coming to the Big Apple for a workout. Matt McCrane will kick for Jets brass on Wednesday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. The Cardinals cut McCrane last week. Jason Myers currently sits as Gang Green’s kicker, but he may not have a good grip on the job.
  • Prior to the Raiders signing Brandon LaFell, they worked out one of their former wideouts. Brice Butler trekked back to Oakland for a Monday workout, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets. Although most of Reggie McKenzie‘s draft picks aren’t too popular with Jon Gruden right now, Butler joined the Raiders as a 2013 seventh-round and played sparingly in 2013 and ’14. The Raiders traded him to the Cowboys prior to the 2015 season. Butler did not impress the Cardinals in camp, despite signing a two-year deal this spring.
  • The Patriots worked out tight end Stephen Anderson, tackle Eric Smith and wide receiver Jace Billingsley on Monday, Balzer tweets. New England will sign Smith to its practice squad.
  • Thinner at wide receiver after losing Marqise Lee, the Jaguars will work out former Giants wideout Kalif Raymond on Tuesday, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets. The former UDFA mostly served as a Giants return man last season.
  • Multiyear Steelers backup Fitzgerald Toussaint visited the Colts on Monday, per Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The Steelers cut the 28-year-old running back last week after what ended up being a three-year stay.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Celestin will work out for the Browns on Tuesday, per NFL Draft Diamonds (Twitter link). The Falcons axed Celestin after the preseason.
  • Lastly, the Chiefs auditioned tackle Pace Murphy on Monday, per Balzer.

Steelers Cut QB Landry Jones, Others

The Steelers have reached the 53-man roster limit by cutting a number of players, including quarterback Landry Jones.

Jones, 29, hasn’t played much during his six-year NFL career, as he’s attempted just 169 passes in relief of Roethlisberger. In that span, Jones has been a middling option, completing 63.9% of his passes for 1,310 yards, eight touchdowns, and seven interceptions.

The Steelers also placed wide receiver Eli Rogers on the Reserve/PUP List, which will keep him off of the field for at least the first six weeks of the season.

Here’s the full rundown of the Steelers’ moves:

Released:

  • QB Landry Jones
  • S Nat Berhe

Waived:

In addition to those moves, the Steelers designated the following players waived/injured:

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/15/18

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

Arizona Cardinals

Houston Texans

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers Promote RB Fitz Toussaint

Fitz Toussaint is back in the NFL. Mark Kaboly of TheAthletic.com reports (via Twitter) that the Steelers have promoted the 27-year-old to their active roster. To make room, they’ve released running back Terrell Watson.

Fitzgerald ToussaintToussaint initially joined the Ravens as an undrafted rookie out of Michigan in 2014. He signed with Pittsburgh’s practice squad in 2015, and he was later promoted to the active roster. He took on a bigger role throughout the season, and he ultimately started his team’s wild card playoff game against the Bengals, hauling in four catches for 60 yards. Toussaint hung around as the Steelers’ third-string running back in 2016, rushing for 58 yards on 14 carries in 16 games. He also returned 13 kicks for 278 yards.

Toussaint ended up losing his spot to Watson during the preseason, and he was subsequently waived by the organization. However, he quickly caught on with the team’s practice squad, where he’s been all season. The running back will presumably slot in behind Le’Veon Bell and James Conner on the depth chart.

Meanwhile, Watson hadn’t done much in limited work this season. The 2015 undrafted rookie out of Azusa Pacific saw time in 10 games for the Steelers, compiling eight rushing yards on five carries. The 24-year-old has already bounced around the league during the early part of his career, spending time with the Bengals, Browns, Broncos, and Eagles.

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Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Ravens, Bengals, Browns, and Steelers are noted below.

Additionally, as of 12:00pm CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers’ Roster Now At 53

The Steelers have reduced their roster to 53 players by making the following transactions:

Cut:

Waived/injured:

Steelers To Waive RB Fitzgerald Toussaint

The Steelers will place running back Fitzgerald Toussaint on waivers, reports Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com.

Toussaint, 27, spent the past two seasons in Pittsburgh and managed 32 totes during that time. Although Toussaint appeared to have a shot at a roster spot earlier this year, Le’Veon Bell‘s decision to report to the club negated that opportunity. Instead, the Steelers will go with rookie James Conner and Terrell Watson behind Bell, who officially returned today.

Pittsburgh values Toussaint’s “toughness,” per Fowler, and given that he still has practice squad eligibility, Toussaint could see his way back to the Steelers’ taxi squad.

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