Justin Jones

Chargers Activate Melvin Ingram, Justin Jones From IR

As they attempt to snap a four-game losing skid, the Chargers will have some reinforcements back. They activated defensive linemen Melvin Ingram and Justin Jones off IR on Saturday.

Ingram has been out since Week 2 with a knee injury. This year’s tweaked IR policy allows teams to shelve players for just three weeks, and the longtime Bolts defensive end will miss the minimum number of contests before returning to team with Joey Bosa on the edge.

This stretch of games will be key for Ingram, who lobbied for a new contract but failed to secure it during a brief training camp hold-in. The Bolts extended Ingram in 2017, and his contract expires at season’s end. Bosa signed an NFL-high (for defenders) $27MM-per-year deal in August, topping Ingram’s $16MM-AAV deal as the top Chargers contract.

It will be difficult for the Bolts to give Ingram a major raise ahead of his age-32 season in 2021, though Justin Herbert‘s rookie contract will make that easier than it would have been with Philip Rivers‘ deal on L.A.’s books. But Ingram showing good form in his team’s final 11 games would strengthen his bargaining position in free agency.

A third-year defensive tackle, Jones will also miss the minimum number of games. He went down with a shoulder injury. The Chargers have used the 2018 third-round pick as a starting defensive tackle over the past two seasons.

The Chargers also promoted running back Troymaine Pope from their practice squad and waived wide receiver Jason Moore and defensive end Jessie Lemonier.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Designate DE Melvin Ingram, DT Justin Jones To Return

The Chargers have once again been one of the most banged up teams in the league, but it looks like reinforcements are on the way. Los Angeles has designated defensive end Melvin Ingram and defensive tackle Justin Jones to return from injured reserve, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

Each can now return to practice. The team now has a three-week window to activate either player. If they are not activated in that span, they’ll be ineligible to return for the remainder of the year. Ingram usually forms one of the league’s best pass-rushing duos with Joey Bosa when healthy, and he’s made the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons. Jones, a 2018 third-round pick, is a starter and key run-stuffer.

With guys like Derwin James and Chris Harris sidelined, the Chargers could really use this boost on defense. They’re 1-4 on the year and have blown 17-point leads in back to back weeks. Despite the record the Chargers still have a legit chance, as Justin Herbert has looked like a star in the making and the schedule coming up is extremely soft. Their next five games are against the Jaguars, Broncos, Raiders, Dolphins, and Jets, so if the defense can heal up they’ve got a shot to make some noise.

Ingram has only played in the first two games of the season, and he had a crucial interception in a Week 1 win over the Bengals. The South Carolina product has at least seven sacks in each of the past five seasons. He’s dealing with a knee issue, while Jones has a shoulder injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Place Melvin Ingram On IR

On the heels of a fairly strong defensive performance against the Chiefs, the Chargers will see one half of their top-end pass-rushing tandem miss time.

The Bolts placed Melvin Ingram on IR Saturday. This will knock the veteran defensive end out for at least three games. Ingram is battling a knee injury.

Also placing defensive tackle Justin Jones and linebacker Asmar Bilal on IR, the Chargers will promote safety Jahleel Addae to their active roster. The former longtime Chargers safety starter, Addae agreed to a practice squad deal recently. The Bolts will also promote running back Darius Bradwell from their practice squad.

Ingram, though, certainly represents the biggest piece of news from the team’s Saturday transactions. He and Joey Bosa have seen some interruptions in their run as an edge-rushing pair during an era featuring rampant Bolts injury trouble. Though, Ingram has only missed three games over the past five-plus seasons. The three-time Pro Bowler has 43 sacks over the past five seasons.

Ingram’s return from this injury will begin a critical stretch, with the 31-year-old defender in a contract year. Ingram waged a brief hold-in during training camp but returned to practice when the Bolts guaranteed his 2020 salary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/12/18

Here are today’s rookie signings:

  • The Buccaneers have signed third-round offensive lineman Alex Cappa, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (via Twitter). The Division II Humboldt State product was the GNAC offensive lineman of the year for four straight seasons, and he was a unanimous All-American in 2017. Cappa primarily played tackle in college, but he could end up being a versatile reserve lineman for the Buccaneers.
  • The Chargers announced that they have signed third-round defensive tackle Justin Jones to a four-year contract. Interestingly, the Bolts’ first 2018 pick signing comes from the third round, which generally produces the biggest hiccups in terms of negotiations. Jones played on the N.C. State defensive line on which Bradley Chubb starred and fellow 2018 draftees B.J. Hill and Kentavius Street played. Jones finished with 22.5 tackles in three seasons with the Wolfpack.

Workout Notes: Colts, Holliday, Jones

The latest auditions from around the NFL..

  • The Colts worked out kick returner Trindon Holliday today, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The Giants released Holliday from IR earlier this year and last week the Bears were said to have interest.
  • The Dolphins are working out former Patriots tight end Justin Jones tomorrow, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter). At 6’7″ and 270 pounds, Jones is an intriguing talent who could be a fit in Miami.

Practice Squad Updates: Tuesday

We’ll round up Tuesday’s practice squad signings and cuts right here, with the latest news added to the top of the list throughout the day….

  • The Chiefs have signed fullback Jordan Campbell and tight end Justin Jones to the practice squad, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (on Twitter). To make room, they have released cornerback Robert Steeples.
  • The Cowboys announced (via Twitter) that they have released cornerback Jemea Thomas from the p-squad and re-signed fullback Nikita Whitlock.
  • Running back Edwin Baker has replaced cornerback Trevin Wade on the Saints‘ practice squad, tweets Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
  • Defensive end James Davidson, who was in camp with the Bengals, is set to fill the 10th and final spot on the Giants‘ practice squad, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • The Rams have removed linebacker Kevin Reddick from their practice squad, says Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (via Twitter).
  • The Chiefs have cut tight end Adam Schiltz from their practice squad, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter).

Earlier updates:

  • Besides confirming the previously reported re-signing of linebacker Darius Fleming to their practice squad, the Patriots also announced several more moves today. Offensive lineman Caylin Hauptmann and defensive lineman Kona Schwenke are now part of the club’s 10-man unit, while defensive lineman Cam Henderson and running back Marcus Thigpen have been cut.
  • The Browns have signed linebacker Allen Bradford to their practice squad, cutting wideout Ifeanyi Momah, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.
  • Safety Josh Aubrey has taken the place of wide receiver Travis Labhart on the Texans‘ practice squad, according to Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston (Twitter link).
  • The Redskins announced today (via Twitter) they’ve signed defensive lineman Hebron Fangupo to their practice squad, cutting another defensive lineman, Dennis Hopkins, to clear an opening.
  • Defensive tackle Roy Philon has re-signed with the Bears‘ practice squad, leaving the team with three openings on the taxi squad, the team confirmed (via Twitter).
  • The Panthers have signed former Redskins’ sixth-round running back Lache Seastrunk to their practice squad, the team announced today (Twitter link).
  • Offensive lineman Emmett Cleary has joined the Bengals‘ practice squad, replacing tight end Ryan Otten on the unit, according to the club (via Twitter).
  • The Colts have swapped one guard for another on their practice squad, dropping Josh Walker and signing David Arkin, the team announced in a press release.
  • After promoting tight end Marcel Jensen to their 53-man roster, the Jaguars have filled the 10th and final spot on their practice squad by adding offensive tackle Cody Booth, tweets John Oehser of Jaguars.com.
  • Fullback Zach Line, waived from the 53-man roster over the weekend, has joined the Vikings‘ practice squad, per Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities (Twitter link).
  • The 49ers made several changes to their practice squad last night. In addition to confirming the signing of tight end Xavier Grimble, which was previously reported, the club also signed cornerback Leon McFadden, dropping linebacker Shayne Skov and defensive back Chance Casey to make room, according to Brian McIntyre (via Twitter).

West Notes: Raiders, Allen, Chiefs

There’s a lot to like about the 49ers‘ new stadium, but the parking lot situation has fans grumbling, writes Al Saracevic of the San Francisco Chronicle. Fans took to Twitter in droves after waiting for hours in traffic and many were suddenly nostalgic for Candlestick Park. Of course, the 28-20 loss to the Bears didn’t have them in a great mood either. Here’s a look at some items out of the AFC and NFC West..

  • On ESPN earlier today, Chris Mortensen said that there is already talk of Raiders head coach Dennis Allen losing his job, tweets Evan Silva of Rotoworld. “I know a lot of people around the league are talking about it,” Mort said, according to Silva.
  • The problems go beyond the team starting 0-2, Marcus Thompson II of the Bay Area News Group writes, and he wonders aloud how much longer the coach has in Oakland. The Raiders were blown out 30-14 in their home opener and the follow-up against the Texans was even worse. The fans aren’t the only ones that are frustrated. “That’s embarrassing. I’m embarrassed for this team. I’m embarrassed for these fans. And the thing about it is, I’m part of it. I don’t know what we need to do as a team going forward. I know something is going to have to be done,” veteran Charles Woodson said.
  • The Chiefs are scheduled to work out former Ravens wide receiver LaQuan Williams and former Patriots tight end Justin Jones, league sources tell Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Williams, a University of Maryland product, was cut by the Ravens in preseason. Jones is a former East Carolina standout who was with the Patriots after going undrafted. At 6’7″ and 270 pounds, Jones is an intriguing talent.

Pats Release Will Smith And Tommy Kelly

MONDAY, 12:37pm: In addition confirming the releases below, the Patriots have announced the release of TE Justin Jones via press release.

SUNDAY, 4:53PM: As other NFL teams part ways with a slew of young, inexperienced players as Tuesday’s 3pm cutdown date approaches, the Patriots have taken a different tack, releasing veteran defensive lineman Will Smith and Tommy Kelly, reports Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Per Schefter, New England has also cut linebacker James Anderson.

The Pats added Smith, 32, on a one-year deal ($65K bonus) in May, after the veteran had spent his entire 10-year career with the Saints. I noted at the time of his signing that landing in New England’s versatile defensive scheme might be an ideal landing spot for Smith, who had noted he was open to playing in either a 3-4 or 4-3 front. However, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets that Smith was not fitting in as a 3-4 defensive end, noting that he hadn’t received the opportunity to rush from the edge.

Kelly, 33, joined the Patriots on a two-year deal prior to last season after spending the prior nine years in Oakland. He tore his ACL in Week 8, and spent the remainder of the season on IR. Kelly restructured his contract in March, turning some of his base salary into incentive-based and roster bonus pay, so his release doesn’t come as a total surprise. In fact, back in July, Reiss had predicted the Pats would eventually cut Kelly.

Anderson, 30, started 16 games for the Bears last season, but remained on the free agent market until New England signed him in June. Anderson had been working mostly as a coverage linebacker — Pro Football Focus (subscription required) graded him as the sixth-best 4-3 OLB in terms of pass coverage last season. As Reiss writes (Twitter link), the Pats were probably looking for more special teams ability out of their reserve linebacker position.

According to Brian McIntyre (Twitter links), the Patriots will save $3.565MM in cash this season by releasing the three players. Smith and Anderson were each due a $50K bonus if they were on New England’s Week 1 roster, while Kelly was entitled to $800K in per game active roster bonuses.

Minor Moves: Sunday

We’ll round up today’s minor transactions here, with the latest news appearing at the top:

  • To open a roster spot for tight end Kyle Auffray, the Raiders have cut kicker Kevin Goessling, per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (on Twitter).

Earlier updates

  • To fill the roster spot vacated by Ott’s departure, the Patriots have re-signed tight end Justin Jones, according to Tom Curran of CSSNE.com (Twitter link). Jones, an undrafted free agent, had been released a week ago.
  • Former Illinois receiver Steve Hull signed on with the Saints as a undrafted free agent just three months ago, but he has decided to end his playing career. Hull posted the news himself on his Instagram account.
  • The Patriots have waived long snapper Tyler Ott, an 2014 undrafted free agent out of Harvard, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Veteran Danny Aiken is now the only LS on New England’s roster.
  • The Bengals have waived OT Chandler Burden, tweets Coley Harvey of ESPN.com.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun tweets that the Colts have cut running back Davin Meggett and signed running back Deji Karim.
  • The Lions have signed linebacker Shamari Benton and waived linebacker Justin Jackson, reports Wilson (Twitter links).
  • Wilson tweets that the Chiefs have cut Rokevious Watkins from the reserve non-football injury list.

Minor Moves: Sunday

We’ll round up Sunday’s minor transactions from around the NFL in this space, with the latest moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

  • The Vikings have signed TE Kory Sperry, the team announced on Twitter. VikingUpdate.com (Twitter link) was the first to report that Sperry was on the Minnesota practice field. Sperry, entering his sixth season, has spent time with the Dolphins, Chargers, and, most recently, the Cardinals.
  • The following players have been removed from their respective team’s injured reserve list with an injury settlement, per Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter): FS Dion Bailey (Seahawks), LB Jeremy Grable (Buccaneers), and WR David Gettis (Buccaneers).

Earlier Updates

  • The Buccaneers have waived safety Mark Joyce, tweets Scott Smith of Buccaneers.com.
  • The Seahawks have re-signed DB Trey Wolfe and have waived LB Mike Taylor (Twitter links).
  • In addition to releasing Watson, the Patriots have also released tight end Justin Jones, tweets Ben Volin of the Boston Globe. Volin adds that New England has signed TE Ben Hartsock. ESPN Insider Field Yates tweets that the team has also waived running back Stephen Houston and has signed tight ends Steve Maneri and Terrence Miller.
  • Mike Rodak of ESPN.com tweets that the Bills have signed CB Sam Miller and have waived CB Michael Carter.
  • Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that the Patriots have released tight end Asa Watson. In a separate tweet, Volin notes that the Pats are clearly unhappy with their tight end depth and it appears as though they will be bringing in some “new blood” behind Rob Gronkowski and Michael Hoomanawanui.