John Franklin

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/30/21

Here are Thursday’s reserve/COVID-19 list updates:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • Activated from virus list: OL Cody Ford, CB Cam Lewis
  • Activated from practice squad virus list: TE Quintin Morris

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

  • Placed on practice squad virus list: LB Omari Cobb

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL Mulled 6-8 Game Ban For Antonio Brown

Earlier this week, the NFL hit Antonio BrownMike Edwards, and free agent defensive back John Franklin III with three-game bans for violating COVID-19 protocols. Initially, however, the league was considering six-to-eight game suspensions for those players (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). 

[RELATED: NFL Suspends Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards]

An eight-game ban would have trickled into the playoffs for Brown and Edwards. Thanks to NFLPA negotiations, both players will have a chance to return in a few weeks. According to Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, it’s not a given that Brown will be activated straight away, and Pelissero hears that’s legitimate. The team first wants to ensure that Brown is focused on football and adhering to the league’s rules. Beyond that, there’s also a non-trivial chance that the players could be facing legal entanglements, since falsifying vaccination cards is a federal crime.

Brown, 33, has been productive on the field, but he’s missed time thanks to a lingering ankle injury and time on the COVID list. Before the suspension, Brown was on pace for another 1,000-yard season with 29 grabs for 418 yards and two touchdowns in five games. Now, he’ll finish shy of that mark for a third straight year.

If the Bucs welcome Brown back immediately after the suspension, he’ll retake the field on Dec. 26th against the Panthers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Suspends Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards

Not long after a report surfaced indicating Antonio Brown acquired a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, the NFL is suspending the All-Pro talent. The league handed Brown a three-game suspension, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The NFL also suspended Bucs safety Mike Edwards for COVID-19 protocol violations, per Rapoport. Brown denied using a fake vaccination card, but the NFL determined he did, in fact, do so. Neither player is appealing; both will be out until at least Week 16. The league did not fine the Buccaneers.

This further mars Brown’s first full Bucs season. Tampa Bay gave the All-Decade wideout an opportunity after a turbulent 2019 and an eight-game 2020 suspension, with Tom Brady leading the charge to bring the mercurial superstar into the fold. While Brown has been productive on the field, he has run into myriad issues that have kept him out of games this season. He missed a game while on the COVID-19 list, has missed several due to a troublesome ankle injury and will now be down until late December because of his second NFL ban in just more than a year.

When Brown landed on the COVID list in September, he was treated as a vaccinated player, returning after eight days. Unvaccinated players who test positive must quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. The wideout’s lawyer nevertheless released a statement Thursday indicating his client is vaccinated (via Rapoport, on Twitter). Making a fake vaccination card or using one is a felony. Brown’s 2020 suspension stemmed partially from felony burglary conveyance and misdemeanor battery charges.

Brown’s ban also surfaced after Bucs HC Bruce Arians said the team did its due diligence regarding Brown’s vaccination status, via ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine. Arians called the matter a non-story last month, and a Bucs statement read a team investigation did not reveal any irregularities (Twitter link). Arians said in early September the Bucs were a fully vaccinated team, but the November report contradicted that status. Given Arians’ initial hesitancy regarding a reunion with Brown last year, this is obviously not a good look for the 12th-year wide receiver or the team.

Brown, 33, was set to miss at least two more games because of the ankle injury he has battled for much of the season. The timing of this suspension does not stand to hurt the Bucs much, though it may affect Brown’s post-2021 future with the franchise. Brown re-signed with the Bucs on a one-year deal in May. The former Steelers dynamo was on pace for another 1,000-yard season, having caught 29 passes for 418 yards and two touchdowns in five games. But he will finish shy of that mark for a third straight year.

A former third-round Bucs pick, Edwards has worked as a backup safety for most of his career. The third-year cover man did post a rare two-pick-six game in Tampa Bay’s first meeting with Atlanta. He will miss the Bucs’ rematch with the Falcons, along with games against the Bills and Saints. Edwards has played in all 11 Bucs games this season.

The NFL also suspended free agent defensive back John Franklin III, who was with Tampa Bay this offseason. The Bucs waived him in August. Franklin also received a three-game ban.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/17/21

Tuesday afternoon marked the deadline for teams to cut down from 90 to 85 players. We’ll keep track of those cuts and the day’s other minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: WR Jeff Badet

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Buccaneers Promote Franklin, Mickens

The Buccaneers promoted cornerback John Franklin and wide receiver Jaydon Mickens from the practice squad to the active roster on Tuesday. To make room, the Buccaneers waived wide receiver Ishmael Hyman and tight end Jordan Leggett.

Franklin has been playing cornerback on the Bucs’ taxi squad for the past six weeks, but he also played quarterback in college. After running the scout team offense in practice last week to mimic Deshaun Watson, it’s possible that Franklin could also see time under center in the Bucs’ season finale or at some point next year, if he sticks on the roster.

Johnathan Franklin did an unbelievable job being Deshaun Watson last week at quarterback,” said head coach Bruce Arians. “He gave our defense a tremendous look. [He] made me think about, ‘Hmm, what do we want to do with him?’ He’s really a corner, but he’s been a quarterback and he’s been a receiver. He’s a really good athlete – it’s just finding a niche for him.”

Four new players have debuted for the Bucs over the last couple of weeks as they take a look ahead towards their 2020 plans. Franklin and Mickens have a chance to join that group. Mickens already has 16 regular season games under his belt thanks to his time with the Jaguars.

Mickens entered the league as UDFA with the Raiders in 2016 and spent his entire rookie season on Oakland’s practice squad. Since then, he’s spent time with the Jaguars (taxi squad and active roster) and had a stay on the Panthers’ training camp roster over the summer. In 16 games for the Jags, he recorded six receptions for 77 yards and two touchdowns. He also averaged 8.9 yards on 39 punt returns and 21.1 yards on eight kickoff returns.

The Bucs will wrap up the 2019 season against the Falcons on Sunday.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/13/19

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

  • Signed: C Nate Trewyn

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

Read more

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/4/19

Here are Friday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day.

Cleveland Browns

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

NFL Workout Updates: 9/24/19

Here is the latest from the workout circuit:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC East

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC East 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 Bills, Dolphins, Jets and Patriots are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. 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 East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Buffalo Bills

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Jets 

* = International Pathway Program player

Jets Claim Kicker Kaare Vedvik

This has been quite the weekend for the Jets. On Sunday, they piled up even more transactions by claiming four players off waivers:

  • K Kaare Vedvik (Vikings)
  • WR Braxton Berrios (Patriots)
  • DE John Franklin, (Bears)
  • DB Bennett Jackson (Ravens)

The Vikings traded a fifth-round pick to acquire kicker/punter Kaare Vedvik just a few weeks ago, but dumped him on Saturday. The Jets, meanwhile, have been looking hard for kicking solutions and they appear to have found their guy with days to go before the season opener. To make room, they cut kicker Taylor Bertolet.

The Jets, naturally, will have to release more players to conform with the 53-man maximum.