As the second of this year’s cutdown days approaches, the Bills made multiple additions. However, they also placed guard Forrest Lamp on IR. Lamp will not be able to suit up for the Bills this season.
A calf injury prevented Lamp from practicing much during Buffalo’s training camp, and the team will move him to IR to save a roster spot. The former Chargers second-round pick could play this season, but only if he and the Bills reach an injury settlement that takes him off the team’s IR list. The NFL’s newly flexible IR rule, which allows players to return to active rosters after three weeks, only applies after the season starts.
Injuries have dogged Lamp for most of his pro career. He missed all of his 2017 rookie season with an ACL tear, and he missed the second half of the 2019 season due to a broken ankle. Overall, the former higher-end offensive line prospect has been limited to 25 games as a pro. However, 16 of those came last season.
The Bolts used Lamp as a 16-game starter but did not re-sign him, leading the Western Kentucky product to Buffalo. The Bills guaranteed $350K of Lamp’s one-year, $1.1MM contract.
In other Bills transactions Monday, they signed running back Kerrith Whyte and cornerback Tim Harris and waived wide receiver Duke Williams with an injury designation. Teams have until 3pm Tuesday to pare their rosters to 80 players.
The Chargers selected Lamp in the second round of the 2017 draft to solidify their offensive line. Considered one of the safest offensive line prospects in the draft, the Western Kentucky product has yet to live up to that billing. Lamp’s first season was spiked by a torn ACL. After a knee procedure in 2018 and a broken ankle in 2019, Lamp suited up for just nine total games in his first three years under contract.
Injuries have kept him on the sidelines for much of his career, but he bounced back last year to play on 100% of his snaps last year. With the Bills, he has a chance to prove that the injury bug is behind him.
Lamp was expected to play a depth role this season, but after a season-ending injury to Mike Pouncey, the Chargers opted to shift starting guard Dan Feeney to center and to start Lamp at left guard. On Sunday, in his second start, Lamp went down and had to be carted off the field after he broke his ankle. The team decided to shift Feeney back to left guard and brought Scott Quessenberry off the bench to play center for the remainder of their 23-20 loss to the Titans.
Los Angeles selected Lamp in the second round out of Western Kentucky in 2017 to solidify its offensive line. Considered one of the safest offensive line prospects in the draft, he has yet to live up to that billing.
Lamp’s first season failed to get underway before he tore his ACL and missed the entirety of the year. After another knee procedure in 2018, he entered his second season as a backup. While Lamp remained healthy for the entirety of last season, he only appeared in two games, listed as a healthy scratch in the other 14.
On the heels of a 12-4 season, the Chargers were a popular pick to push the Chiefs in the AFC West. However, a host of injuries and close losses have piled up, leaving the team with a 2-5 record. Just along their offensive line, the Bolts have lost Pouncey and Lamp and have yet to see Russell Okung make his 2019 debut.
The Chargers are holding firm on their approximate $10MM-per-year offer to Melvin Gordon, and the fifth-year running back moved to request a trade. But with the market for running backs not exactly booming, the Bolts do not appear to believe they will get the value they would seek in a trade, Albert Breer of SI.com notes (on Twitter). This is understandable, given the state of the running back position’s state in the modern game and Gordon’s injury history. He has missed time due to maladies in three of his four seasons, including 2018. Chargers backup Austin Ekeler led the team last season with 5.2 yards per carry (on 106 totes); the third-year back and 2018 seventh-rounder Justin Jackson sit atop the Bolts’ depth chart without Gordon.
Here is the latest from the AFC West, first moving to the divisional kingpin’s running back situation.
A hamstring injury has shelved Chiefs RB1 Damien Williams throughout the team’s training camp, and it has created some uncertainty about who will primarily line up behind Patrick Mahomes. “I can’t tell you exactly when,” Andy Reid said, via the Kansas City Star’s Blair Kerkhoff, of Williams’ potential return. “He’s missed quite a bit, missed a lot of plays but it’s been great for the other guys. Carlos has done a nice job. He’s getting a lot of reps and he’s taking advantage of them.” The Chiefs signed Hyde to a one-year, $2.6MM deal this offseason. Williams is attached to a two-year, $5.1MM contract.
Despite Antonio Brown‘s trip to see a Bay Area foot specialist, the Raiders wide receiver remains categorized as “day to day,” Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 10th-year wideout has yet to go through a full Raiders training camp practice.
Russell Okung‘s uncertain situation has led the Chargers to try guard Forrest Lamp at left tackle, Breer tweets. Lamp has not yet lived up to his second-round draft status, seeing a rookie-year ACL tear impact his career. However, the third-year guard may have a future at tackle. Although, that would leave Los Angeles’ guard group thinner. The Bolts are experimenting with various personnel up front, arguably their weakest area.
The Broncos placed Billy Winn on IR this weekend and did so because of a torn tendon in his arm, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post tweets. A veteran defensive lineman, Wynn was attempting to play in his first regular-season game since 2016.
September 22nd, 2018 at 9:52pm CST by Sam Robinson
Prior to Vontae Davis‘ now-infamous halftime retirement, the 10-year NFL veteran cornerback told Bills defensive backs coach John Butler, “I’m done” while he was in uniform late in the first half. This one-sided conversation, per Davis (via The Undefeated’s Domonique Foxworth), occurred in the final minute of the half. Lafayette Pitts replaced Davis in the game and ended up having to play a larger role after halftime once Davis did not return for the second half.
“I didn’t expect them to understand,” Davis said, via Foxworth, of his teammates’ reaction to his abrupt NFL exit. “That moment was shocking to me as well. … My intention was not to hurt my teammates. In that moment, my intuition was telling me I don’t belong on that field anymore.”
The Bills received a roster exemption after the 30-year-old defender’s retirement, and they placed Davis on the reserve/left squad list, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. While Davis sounds about as far away from a player who’d attempt a comeback, his placement on this list would not allow it — with the Bills or another team — this season.
Shifting back to some active NFLers, here’s what’s new going into Week 3:
Jack Conklin‘s 2018 debut is unlikely to take place Sunday, Titans insider Paul Kuharsky tweets. In the final part of his recovery process from a torn ACL sustained in January, Conklin appears likelier to suit up in Week 4 against the Eagles than Sunday against the Jaguars. The Titans didn’t have Conklin nor Taylor Lewan in Week 2, but Tennessee’s left tackle has been cleared to return from a concussion he sustained in the season opener. Swing tackle Dennis Kelly, however, remains out. An illness forced Kelly to be hospitalized before last weekend’s game.
Another AFC South tackle won’t play Sunday, but Anthony Castonzo‘s second hamstring setback in as many months has not caused the Colts to consider placing him on IR. Indianapolis’ left tackle remains week-to-week in his recovery, Frank Reich said (via the Indianapolis Star’s Zak Keefer, on Twitter). Were Castonzo to land on IR, he would not be able to return for eight weeks.
Vita Vea‘s calf strain will delay his debut for another week. The Buccaneers‘ first-round pick is out for Monday night’s Steelers game, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets. Vea did practice on Saturday, doing so for the first time in a month, so the defensive tackle’s NFL debut appears imminent.
The Chargers continue to bring Forrest Lamp along slowly. The 2017 second-round pick has not yet debuted, and Anthony Lynn said (via Jeff Miller of the Los Angeles Times) Lamp isn’t ready for action yet. “It’s just that Forrest was an athletic guard,” Lynn said. “He moved a lot and we pulled him in space. He doesn’t feel that speed yet. He feels like he’s a step behind.” Lamp tore an ACL a few days into his rookie training camp and underwent an arthroscopic procedure in May. The Bolts are already down Joe Barksdale for another week. They’ve been playing guard-tackle Michael Schofield in Lamp’s spot, and Sam Tevi started in Barksdale’s right tackle position last week in Buffalo.
Forrest Lamp missed his entire rookie season after suffering a torn ACL, but the Chargers guard is also recovering from a second knee operation, according to Steve Wyche of NFL.com (Twitter link). While details on the second procedure are slim, it did prevent Lamp from being medically cleared from football activity.
The most recent surgery shouldn’t limit Lamp going forward or place any restrictions on his sophomore campaign, however. Los Angeles had coach Anthony Lynn tells Wyche that Lamp should be medically cleared “soon,” at which point the former second-round pick will likely be installed as a starter. Lamp is expected to line up at right guard opposite fellow 2017 rookie Dan Feeney, who made nine starts a season ago.
Lamp, 24, was widely viewed as a first-round pick coming out of Western Kentucky last year, but he eventually slipped to 38th overall. A versatile athlete capable of playing all over the offensive line, Lamp spent his collegiate career at tackle before shifting to guard in the NFL. In his pre-draft profile of Lamp, Lance Zierlein of NFL.com labelled the 6’4″, 309-pounder an “effective counter-puncher” who “processes quickly when [the] defense runs games up front.”
While the Chargers have expressed optimism regarding Lamp’s health issues, knee injuries are never a cut-and-dry affair. Los Angeles has several options along the interior if Lamp isn’t ready to go for Week 1, including Spencer Pulley, Michael Schofield, and fifth-round rookie Scott Quessenberry.
Barner seemed to have a decent chance of cracking the roster as a pass-catching back, particularly after the loss of Danny Woodhead. On 27 carries last season, Barner averaged a career-best 4.8 yards per attempt.
Clemens, 33, was slated to return for a fourth season as Philip Rivers‘ backup. Instead, that job will go to Cardale Jones, who was acquired in a trade with Buffalo earlier this offseason.
Chargers guard Forrest Lamp suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during practice on Wednesday, per a team announcement. The rookie second-round pick will miss the season as a result. Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the news (Twitter link).
With Lamp and rookie wide receiver Mike Williams dealing with significant injuries, the Chargers are in real danger of not having either of their top two picks this season. Williams, the Chargers’ first-rounder, is dealing with a back problem that head coach Anthony Lynnrecently admitted could keep him out for the year. Lamp’s issue will take the 38th overall selection out of play for 2017. It also continues a string of horrible injury-related luck for the Chargers, who placed a whopping 27 players on IR during a five-win 2016 campaign.
Lamp, formerly with Western Kentucky, looked like a potential first-rounder leading up to the draft. After landing with the Chargers early in Round 2, he seemed poised to serve as an immediate starter at right guard on a line that Football Outsiders ranked among the NFL’s worst last season. Los Angeles does have several interior O-line options on hand even without Lamp, as Roster Resource shows, though losing the rookie still counts as a notable setback.
After parting ways withOrlando Franklin with three years remaining on his deal, the Chargers are going to have a revamped offensive line in 2017. But they will be doing some rearranging on their own as well. Matt Slauson functioned at center for the 2016 Bolts, but the former Jets and Bears guard looks like he’s going to be moving back to his original position. The second-year Charger worked at left guard during the team’s voluntary minicamp last month, Dan Woike of the San Diego Union-Tribune notes. Franklin lined up at left guard the past two years for the Bolts. Slauson played center, and graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 18 player there last season, but he was a left guard starter for his first five-plus seasons in the league. Slauson moved to center with the 2015 Bears due to a Hroniss Grasu injury. New Bolts HC Anthony Lynn was the Jets’ running backs coach throughout Slauson’s time with Gang Green.
Woike adds that Forrest Lamphas begun working at right guard, where D.J. Fluker played in 2015-16, and Indiana Dan Feeney took early reps at center. That would be a way to get both Day 2 picks in the lineup, along with Slauson. A 2016 third-round pick, Max Tuerk could also factor into the equation at center.
Here’s more from around the league.
In moving from the Texans to the Bills, Brian Gainemade a lateral move in Brandon Beane‘s eyes. As Bills VP of player personnel, Gaine will oversee the Bills’ pro and college scouting departments while reporting directly to Beane, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports. Beane, of course, beat out Gaine for the Buffalo GM job. But the New York native saw enough in the Bills’ offer to move over from a similar job with what’s been a more successful franchise to the franchise with the longest active postseason drought among American major pro sports teams.
Speaking of the Texans, Shane Lechler‘s 2017 deal will contain a $500K signing bonus, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports. The 40-year-old punter re-signed with Houston for $2MM this year and doesn’t sound like retirement is especially close. This will be his 18th season. Despite being regarded as one of the greatest punters in NFL history, Lechler at this point is a middle-of-the-pack player in terms of salary. He’ll be making $200K more than last season.
The Seahawks don’t plan to play Malik McDowell as a defensive tackle, but rather as an interior player on passing downs, Sheil Kapadia of ESPN.com notes, adding that Pete Carroll wants him to operate in a Michael Bennett-like capacity. That means McDowell may be a second-stringer as a rookie but play multiple positions. While Carroll said the second-round pick would see time at the three-technique spot in Seattle’s 4-3 scheme, he doesn’t view the Michigan State product as a pure tackle. “We’ll play him a little more at defensive end,” Carroll said, per Kapadia. “He played inside a lot. He was over the center a lot, and he doesn’t look like that kind of player in our system to us.” The Seahawks still have 2016 second-rounder Jarran Reed and Ahtyba Rubinat defensive tackle, along with third-round rookie Nazair Jones.
The Eagles did not sign safety Weston Steelhammer after inviting the Air Force alum to their rookie minicamp. One of three Air Force products to receive a tryout over the weekend, Steelhammer sits in limbo after the Department of Defense reversed its more lenient ruling just before the draft. If nothing changes, Steelhammer and more prominent Air Force prospectJalen Robinette must serve for two years before beginning an NFL career. “Things didn’t work out how we thought or how we hoped, but everything happens for a reason,” Steelhammer said, via Dave Zangaro of CSNPhilly.com. “I’ll just try to make the most of it.”