Jason Verrett

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/23/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jason Verrett‘s 2017 season ended up including just one game. The cornerback will undergo season-ending left knee surgery, and the Chargers placed the cornerback on IR Saturday. To make room on their 53-man roster, the Bolts signed linebacker Nick Dzubnar, Eric Williams of ESPN.com reports. Dzubnar played in 20 games for the Chargers over the past two seasons.
  • Steven Johnson‘s transaction-heavy month continued today when the Steelers cut the veteran linebacker and signed linebacker L.J. Fort, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette tweets. The Steelers made this reverse transaction last week, and Fort re-signed with Pittsburgh’s practice squad soon after. Johnson’s been involved in four September transactions. He figures to be a candidate to re-sign.
  • The Bears promoted linebacker John Timu from their practice squad and cut wide receiver Tre McBride, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Already down multiple key receivers, the Bears currently are carrying just four on their active roster.
  • The Titans also made a receiver transaction before their Week 3 game, swapping out pass-catchers. The team promoted wideout Darius Jennings from the practice squad and waived wideout Zach Pascal. Jennings has spent time with several teams prior to this promotion, but his most relevant work came in making 14 receptions for the 2015 Browns.

Jason Verrett To Have Season-Ending Surgery

Jason Verrett‘s season is over. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter), the Chargers cornerback has decided to undergo season-ending surgery on his left knee. The team is expected to place him on the injured reserve.

Jason Verrett (vertical)This is another tough blow for the former first-rounder, as Verrett has been hindered by injuries throughout his brief career. This current injury is attributed to an ACL tear that limited the cornerback to only four games in 2016. Last week, reports indicated that Verrett was experiencing soreness in the knee, although some expected him to return in several weeks. However, we later heard that there wasn’t a definitive timetable for the 26-year-old’s return.

“It was never right in my opinion, just watching him in practice,” coach Anthony Lynn said at the time. “He’s such a competitor. … But he wasn’t able to play to his standard. So we just want him to get healthy.”

Verrett did appear in the team’s season-opening loss to the Broncos, playing nearly every snap for the Chargers. The Texas Christian product flashed his talent during his lone healthy season in 2015. In 14 games (13 starts), Verrett compiled 47 tackles, 12 passes defended, and three interceptions (including one pick-six).

2016 undrafted free agent Trevor Williams has been starting in Verrett’s place opposite Casey Hayward. The team could look to add some depth at the position, as the team is only rostering a pair of reserves in Desmond King and Michael Davis. They could also promote former third-rounder Craig Mager, who is currently on the team’s practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

No Timetable For Jason Verrett Return

The Chargers don’t have a return date for cornerback Jason Verrett, who is dealing with soreness in his knee as he continues to recover from a torn ACL that ended his 2016 campaign, according to Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com."<strong

“There’s really not a timetable on Jason right now,” head coach Anthony Lynn said. “We’re still evaluating him and we just want him to get right before he’s back on the football field.

“It was never right in my opinion, just watching him in practice,” Lynn said of Verrett’s knee. “He’s such a competitor. … But he wasn’t able to play to his standard. So we just want him to get healthy.”

Verrett, 26, played nearly every snap for Los Angeles in the club’s Week 1 loss to the Broncos, but sat out for the Chargers’ game against the Dolphins on Sunday. The fourth-year defensive back was placed on injured reserve last October after playing with a torn ligament for at least two weeks. A former first-round pick, Verrett is signed through the 2018 season thanks to his fifth-year option.

With Verrett sidelined, the Chargers turned to 2016 undrafted free agent Trevor Williams to play every defensive snap at corner opposite Casey Hayward. Williams played well, as he allowed just three receptions and 41 yards on five total targets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Vikes, Bolts, Raiders, Lions

Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford is dealing with “swelling, pain and discomfort” in his left knee, Chris Mortenson of ESPN reports. Notably, that’s the same knee in which Bradford underwent procedures to repair a torn ACL in 2013 and ’14. Thanks to his latest knee issue, Bradford’s not a lock to play Sunday against in Pittsburgh, though the Vikings are “cautiously optimistic” he will, per Mortenson. At the same time, the Vikes do have some reservations about the injury, Mortenson notes. In the unlikely event Bradford doesn’t suit up, the Vikings’ offense would presumably experience a marked drop-off after handling the Saints on Monday. Bradford was the driving force behind that 29-19 win, going 27 of 32 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. His backup is Case Keenum, who struggled mightily with the Rams last season.

Elsewhere around the NFL…

  • Speaking of left knee troubles, Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett is experiencing soreness there after an ACL tear limited him to four games last season. He’ll miss Sunday’s game against Miami as a result and could sit out “several” more weeks, according to Mike DiGiovanna of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Verrett played nearly all of the Chargers’ defensive snaps (63 of 69) in their loss to Denver on Monday, but head coach Anthony Lynn held him out of practice Friday and stated that the corner is “just not right.” Lynn added that he has “no idea” how long Verrett will be on the shelf, only revealing that the player is “week-to-week.” Verrett, 26, is less than a year removed from the knee surgery he underwent last October.
  • Left tackle Donald Penn expected the two-year deal he signed with the Raiders in 2016 t0 be his last contract, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. Penn didn’t show signs of slowing down last season, though, leading him to shelve any thoughts of retirement. He’s now under Raiders control through 2018 after inking an extension Friday. The 34-year-old believes the new pact will ensure that he’ll retire a Raider, which would be a “childhood dream,” as he told Bair and other reporters. Penn, who held out over the summer, noted that he wasn’t optimistic an agreement would come. “There was a lot of doubt (about getting a new deal),” he said. “I didn’t want to hit free agency again. I told them, ‘You know how much I love you guys. Show me how much you guys love me back, and let’s get this done so I can retire a Raider.’
  • Lions second-round pick Teez Tabor was a healthy scratch in Week 1 and, given the team’s depth at cornerback, probably won’t be a factor for a while, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com writes. But head coach Jim Caldwell still thinks the ex-Florida Gator could pay short-term dividends. “That probably would not be an accurate statement in terms of a ‘long-term project,'” Caldwell said. “I’m not certain what that denotes, but that probably wouldn’t be how we would assess it.” Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Teryl Austin is pleased with the progress Tabor has made in recent months. “He’s doing everything right and we’ll see him at some point,” Austin declared. “(He’s) much different than when he first got in here. I think he’s a really super smart player. Gets it, can get around the ball, again, just growing him right now.” Once considered a good bet to go in the first round this year, Tabor fell to the Lions at No. 53 after posting slow times in the 40-yard yard dash in the offseason.

Chargers Exercise CB Jason Verrett’s Option

Late last week, Chargers GM Tom Telesco said the team would exercise cornerback Jason Verrett‘s fifth-year option (Twitter link via Eric Williams of ESPN.com). On Monday, the Bolts made it official. "<strong

Verrett, 26 in May, missed all but four games last season thanks to a partially torn ACL. Injuries also limited him as a rookie, but he showed what he could do in a full season of work in 2015. In 14 games that season, Verrett earned his first career Pro Bowl nod with 47 total tackles, three interceptions, and 12 passes defensed.

Before being placed on IR, Verrett tried to play through the injury. While his toughness was admirable, his play was clearly suffering as a result. Through four games, Pro Football Focus pegged him as just No. 71 out of 114 qualified corners in the NFL. In the year prior, he was among PFF’s best cornerbacks.

Verrett, the No. 25 overall pick in the 2014 draft, will start opposite of Casey Hayward in 2017. Safeties Dwight Lowery and Jahleel Addae will round out the starting secondary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers CB Jason Verrett Done For Season

Today’s tests revealed some bad news for Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett. The starter has suffered a partially torn ACL and will undergo surgery to fix the issue, Verrett told Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter). Verrett added that his “season is done with.” Jason Verrett (vertical)

Earlier today, it was reported that Verrett feared that he had been playing on a torn ligament in his knee for the last two weeks. While his toughness is admirable, that’s obviously unsustainable. Verrett will face a lengthy rehab process after going under the knife with an eye on playing in 2017.

Verrett, who is often assigned to the other team’s top receiver, earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2015. In 14 games last year, Verrett had 47 total tackles, three interceptions, and 12 passes defensed.

Through four games, Verrett has 13 tackles, three pass deflections, and one interception. The advanced numbers at Pro Football Focus pegged him as just No. 71 out of 114 qualified corners in the NFL. That’s an indication that Verrett has been held back quite a bit by his injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers CB Verrett Has Torn Knee Ligament?

Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett fears that he has been playing with a torn knee ligament through the last two games, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. He is meeting with doctors today to determine the extent of the injury and whether or not he can play through it. If he does in fact have a torn ligament, that could mean a lengthy absence for one of San Diego’s top corners. Jason Verrett (vertical)

The Chargers haven’t had the best luck with injuries so far in this young season. Before Week 1, the team saw running back Branden Oliver go down with an Achilles tear. Then, in the first couple of weeks of the season, San Diego lost both Keenan Allen and Danny Woodhead to season-ending injuries. Losing Verrett would be another major blow for the 1-3 Chargers as they get ready to face the rival Raiders on Sunday.

Through four games, Verrett has 13 tackles, three pass deflections, and one interception. While that sounds like a solid stat line, the advanced numbers at Pro Football Focus seem to indicate that Verrett’s knee is slowing him down. He is currently ranked 71st out of 114 qualified corners in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Dolphins, Chargers

The Broncos’ acquisition of tight end Vernon Davis at the trade deadline earlier this month didn’t pay dividends in the 10th-year man’s first two games with the team. The longtime 49er was on the receiving end of just five targets in those two games – both losses – and totaled a pair of catches for 19 yards. Davis’ role increased last Sunday, though, when quarterback Brock Osweiler made his first career start in place of an injured Peyton Manning. Osweiler was perfect when he targeted Davis, finding him on all six attempts for 68 yards, and the Broncos beat the Bears, 17-15. Not surprisingly, Davis praised Osweiler after the duo’s first game together.

“Sometimes it takes awhile to get on the same page and develop that chemistry with a quarterback. But with this guy, it’s like we connected from Day One,” said Davis, per Cameron Wolfe of The Denver Post.

Davis also had kind words for head coach Gary Kubiak, saying,I dreamed of being in a place like this, a system, a coach who understands talent.'”

As a free agent in a few months, Davis certainly isn’t a lock to remain in Denver beyond this season. But more performances like the one he turned in last week will increase the 31-year-old’s chances of continuing his career under Kubiak.

More from the AFC:

  • Edge defender Quinton Coples has practiced just three times for the Dolphins since being claimed off waivers from the Jets, but he appears poised to play this weekend against his old team, as James Walker of ESPN.com. As Coples himself observes, playing against the Jets after spending three and a half seasons with the team – and less than a week after they cut him – should be “quite interesting.”
  • Despite being well respected in NFL training circles, according to Jarrett Bell of USA Today, ex-Dolphins trainer Kevin O’Neill has been unable to find a job as a trainer since the team fired him in 2014 and the odds of getting another are slim. O’Neill believes he’s a scapegoat for Miami’s bullying scandal in 2013, one that mainly involved offensive linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. O’Neill, according to Martin, laughed as players hurled racially charged insults at Asian-American trainer Naoshisa Inoue. O’Neill downplayed the severity of the incidents, however. “They made fun at how he talked a little bit,” said O’Neill. “He laughed about it. I laughed about it, too. I didn’t laugh about anything that had to do with anybody’s mom or girlfriend, or somebody using a racial slur.”
  • At 2-8 and coming off a 30-point drubbing at the hands of the Chiefs, it’s fair to say there aren’t many players on the Chargers’ roster who deserve to be viewed as part of the solution going forward. One rarity is standout cornerback Jason Verrett, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Said head coach Mike McCoy, “He is out here every day, competing. That’s why he’s as good a player as he is: he loves to compete.”

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Chargers Activate Ingram, Put Verrett On IR

The Chargers have made several roster moves in advance of tomorrow’s game against the Raiders, according to Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Gehlken reports that the team has activated outside linebacker Melvin Ingram from injured reserve and promoted safety Adrian Phillips from the practice squad to the active roster. To make room for the new additions, San Diego placed rookie cornerback Jason Verrett on the IR list and waived outside linebacker Cordarro Law.

The loss of Verrett is another significant blow for a Chargers squad that has been plagued by injuries this year. The 23-year-old, selected 25th overall in May, had combined with free agent signee Brandon Flowers at cornerback to strengthen a San Diego secondary that was much improved in 2014. However, Verrett tore his left labrum in three places and will undergo season-ending surgery on his shoulder, per Gehlken (via Twitter).

While Verrett’s injury is bad news for the Chargers, the team will welcome back several players this weekend, including running back Ryan Mathews, inside linebacker Manti Te’o, and Ingram, who was placed on IR with the designation to return in September.

After their series of Saturday transactions, the Chargers are carrying a full 53-man roster and have one opening on their practice squad.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Verrett, Jets, Rice

Here are a few Thursday items from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos have taken a step forward on the defensive side of the ball this season, and the team’s pass rush has played a significant role in the unit’s improvement. Joan Niesen of TheMMQB.com takes a look at some of Denver’s key defenders, including free agent signee DeMarcus Ware and outside linebacker Von Miller, who will soon be in line for a pricey contract extension.
  • Rookie Chargers cornerback Jason Verrett has been diagnosed with a torn labrum, and is expected to miss two or three weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter). Rapoport indicates that Verrett hopes to play through the injury and perhaps explore surgical options after the season. With Brandon Flowers also ailing, San Diego could look into adding depth at cornerback, though it’s hardly the only position where the team has been hit hard by injuries.
  • Geno Smith doesn’t represent the present or the future for the Jets at quarterback, in the view of Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News, who suggests that the club needs to move on from its former 39th overall pick and focus on identifying a new QB of the future.
  • While Ray Rice likely won’t ever play for the Ravens again, some team will look into signing him eventually. Andrew Brandt of TheMMQB.com examines what a conversation between a general manager and a head coach may look like if the topic of signing the veteran running back surfaces.