Kenneth Dixon

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/6/19

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Ravens Drop RB Kenneth Dixon

Kenneth Dixon‘s time with the Ravens has come to an end. Due to a fractured knee, the Ravens have released the running back with an injury settlement, coach John Harbaugh says.

Dixon was placed on IR over the weekend to help the Ravens reach the 53-man max. However, he was long speculated to be a release candidate due to his ongoing health issues.

Its been a rocky road for Dixon, who entered the league as a fourth-round pick in 2016. He made a splash early on, averaging 4.3 yards per carry as a rookie, but lost his 2017 season to a torn meniscus. Before the surgery, Dixon was slapped with a four-game suspension for PEDs, which already hurt his standing in the organization.

Last year, Dixon was primed to serve as the Ravens’ leading rusher, but a knee injury midway through the season opener sent him to IR. When he was brought back in December, he showed serious promise in a limited sample. Dixon ran for 289 yards off of 47 carries, giving him a 5.5 yards per tote average on the year.

Without Dixon, the Ravens will forge ahead with Mark IngramGus Edwards, and fourth-round rookie Justice Hill at running back.

Ravens Move Down To 53

The Ravens minced their roster to 53 players, parting ways with UDFA Gerald Willis to get there. Baltimore also placed Tavon Young and Kenneth Dixon on IR.

Young suffered a neck injury recently and will miss a full season for the second time in three years. While Baltimore boasts a deep cornerback corps, losing its slot man again will not help the high-end defense’s cause. Dixon will head back to IR. The Ravens placed him on IR in September 2018 but used an IR-return slot on him. That will not be an option this year, which doubles as the running back’s contract slate.

Character concerns caused Willis, viewed as a high-Day 3-type prospect out of Miami, to go undrafted. He is now on the waiver wire.

Here are Baltimore’s cuts:

Placed on IR:

Release Candidate: Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon

Could a running back with a career average of 4.8 yards per carry really be on the roster bubble? That’s the case with Ravens tailback Kenneth Dixon, who finds himself on a crowded depth chart at the position. 

[RELATED: Ravens WR Marquise Brown May Not Be Ready For Training Camp]

Its been a rocky road for Dixon, who entered the league as a fourth-round pick in 2016. He made a splash early on, averaging 4.3 yards per carry as a rookie, but lost his 2017 season to a torn meniscus. Before the surgery, Dixon was slapped with a four-game suspension for PEDs, which already hurt his standing in the organization.

Last year, Dixon was primed to serve as the Ravens’ leading rusher, but a knee injury midway through the season opener sent him to IR. When he was brought back in December, he showed serious promise in a limited sample. Dixon ran for 289 yards off of 47 carries, giving him a 5.5 yards per tote average on the year.

In short bursts, Dixon has looked the part of a starter. Unfortunately, the 25-year-old hasn’t been able to find sustained success and he now finds himself behind free agent pickup Mark IngramGus Edwards, and possibly fourth-round rookie Justice Hill.

If the Ravens carry only three running backs on the Week 1 roster, it seems unlikely that Dixon will make the cut. He has a shot at staying with the flock if they carry four, but team history suggests that they’ll roll with just a trio of RBs when the season begins.

A Dixon release would result in just $87K in dead money against $720K in cap savings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Place RB Alex Collins On IR

Alex Collins‘ season has come to an end. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that the Ravens have placed the running back on the injured reserve. The team has activated running back Kenneth Dixon in a corresponding move.

Collins had been dealing with a foot injury that forced him to miss last week’s win over the Raiders. NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero tweets that the running back won’t have to undergo surgery for the injury, but the organization decided that it was in the player’s best interest to sit out and heal his foot. Collins should be “fine” by the time he hits restricted free agency this offseason.

There were some high hopes for Collins heading into this season, especially after he finished the 2017 campaign having compiled 973 rushing yards and six touchdowns. However, the 24-year-old struggled in 2018, as he had rushed for only 411 yards on 114 carries (3.6-yard average). The running back did manage to find the end zone eight times, however.

Collins is expected to hit restricted free agency this offseason, and the Ravens will have to decide whether they want to tender him a contract. Fellow running backs Buck Allen and Ty Montgomery are also set to hit free agency, meaning the organization could completely revamp their running back depth chart before next season. At the very least, the running back corps could look a whole lot different behind Gus Edwards.

Dixon hasn’t been able to stay healthy since being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, as the 24-year-old has appeared in only 13 games through three seasons. The running back missed the entire 2017 season, and he’s only appeared in one game in 2018. He was relatively production during his rookie campaign, as he compiled 382 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 88 carries. He also added 30 receptions for 162 yards.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Designate RB Kenneth Dixon For Return

Ravens running back Kenneth Dixon has been designated to return from injured reserve and will practice on Friday, the club announced today.

Dixon was placed on IR in early September after suffering a knee injury in Baltimore’s season opener, but there was always an expectation that he could return. A fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft, Dixon hasn’t seen game action since his rookie campaign, as a torn meniscus kept him off the field in 2017. He was also handed a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, although he was able to serve that ban while on IR.

Dixon is now the second Ravens player — joining cornerback Maurice Canady — who has been designated to return from injured reserve this year. Each NFL club only gets to bring two players off IR, so other injured Ravens, such as defender Willie Henry, are now officially done for the year. Now that Dixon is back at practice, Baltimore has three weeks to decide whether to activate him to its 53-man roster, or leave him on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

If he is able to come back, Dixon — who managed 4.3 yards per carry on 88 rushes in his rookie year — would join Alex Collins, Javorius Allen, recent trade acquisition Ty Montgomery, and rookie Gus Edwards in the Ravens’ backfield.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

Kenneth Dixon Could Return From IR

The Ravens placed running back Kenneth Dixon on injured reserve last week, but his season is not necessarily over. Dixon is a candidate to return from IR this season, according to head coach John Harbaugh (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). 

Per league rules, each team is permitted to bring two players back from IR each season, provided that they are sidelined for at least eight weeks. Therefore, Dixon could return as soon as Week 11, after the Ravens’ bye in Week 10.

For now, the Ravens will move ahead with Buck Allen as the team’s top backup to starter Alex Collins. They’ve also promoted running back De’Lance Turner from the practice squad in order to provide depth at the position.

After being selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft, Dixon averaged 4.3 yards per carry as a rookie. Last year, however, he was set back by a torn meniscus and multiple suspensions.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Place Kenneth Dixon On IR

Kenneth Dixon‘s career has encountered another barrier. The Ravens running back who missed all of 2017 will not be eligible to play again until at least November.

Dixon will head to IR, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, adding that Baltimore will promote running back De’Lance Turner from its practice squad to fill Dixon’s roster spot.

A knee injury was already set to sideline Dixon for multiple weeks, and the Ravens will take him off the 53-man roster for the time being. The soonest Baltimore’s No. 2 running back could return would be Week 11, since the Ravens are off Week 10. In the meantime, Buck Allen will likely become Alex Collins‘ top backup.

A torn meniscus and multiple suspensions set Dixon’s career back in 2017. The 2016 fourth-round pick rushed for 382 yards (4.3 per carry) and totaled three touchdowns as a rookie in 12 games.

Allen has two 500-plus-yard rushing seasons under his belt, in 2015 and ’17, and exceeded 800 yards from scrimmage in each campaign. The Ravens continue to see Dixon run into trouble, but they’ll still have an experienced backup during the first half of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC North Notes: Eifert, Browns, DeCastro

Despite being one of the NFL’s biggest injury risks, Tyler Eifert returned to the Bengals this offseason. The team that used a first-round pick on the former Notre Dame tight end has a plan for trying to prevent another significant setback, though. The Bengals are going to try to limit Eifert’s snaps, Marvin Lewis said (via Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer). Since Eifert’s Pro Bowl 2015 season, he’s played in only 11 games. With Eifert being most effective in the red zone (20 career touchdown receptions, 19 from inside the 20, per Dehner), that will surely be a place the Bengals try to deploy the sixth-year pass-catcher. But Lewis identifies Eifert as the team’s best blocking tight end, too. Eifert averaged 58 snaps per game during the 2015 season. Lewis doesn’t envision his starting tight end getting there again.

Well I hope he never gets 50,” Lewis said. “It’s a plan thing. There are certain things (OC Bill Lazor) is going to plan to do with him on the field, both runs and passes. I think that and then using him as a decoy at times to help open up other things for the other guys.”

This plan may limit Eifert financially. He has $3MM tied up in performance incentives, ones that will become difficult to reach if the Bengals place heavy restrictions on his usage. He played 23 snaps against the Colts.

Here’s the latest from the AFC North:

  • Emmanuel Ogbah‘s run into injury trouble again. Hue Jackson didn’t believe the third-year edge defender suffered a high ankle sprain but said (via ohio.com’s Nate Ulrich) it was “something like that” and that Ogbah will miss time. Chris Smith entered the fray as Myles Garrett‘s sidekick following Ogbah’s first-quarter injury and should be expected to start Sunday against the Saints. Recent waiver claim Anthony Zettel should have a role, too, Pat McManamon of ESPN.com notes. Ogbah saw a foot injury halt his momentum last year and end his season. His development was part of the reason the Browns selected Denzel Ward over Bradley Chubb.
  • The Browns‘ left tackle position contributed to several NFL news cycles this offseason, due to Joe Thomas‘ retirement and the layered search for his replacement. But Jackson insists no change will commence between Week 1 and Week 2. Desmond Harrison will remain the Browns’ left tackle, per Jackson (via the Lorain Morning Journal’s Jeff Schudel, on Twitter). The rookie UDFA made the start, despite Greg Robinson and 2018 second-round pick Austin Corbett residing on the roster. Pro Football Focus graded Harrison as the second-worst full-time tackle in his debut, and Rotoworld’s Evan Silva adds (on Twitter) Harrison allowed the most hurries of any lineman last week.
  • Kenneth Dixon suffered a knee injury in the Ravens‘ blowout win in Buffalo, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com expects (Twitter link) it to keep him out for several weeks. Dixon scored a touchdown against the Bills after missing the entire 2017 season. Buck Allen should move into the role of Alex Collins‘ backup for the time being.
  • David DeCastro fractured his hand on Sunday, and Mike Tomlin said this could limit him going forward. But the veteran Steelers blocker expects to play Sunday against the Chiefs, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (on Twitter).