Matthew Dayes

NFL Workout Updates: 10/9/18

Here’s the latest from the workout circuit, courtesy of veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

49ers Work Out Five Running Backs

With Matt Breida unlikely to suit up for Monday’s game against the Packers, the 49ers auditioned several running backs today. Veteran NFL reports Howard Balzer reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out Matthew Dayes, Andre Ellington, Jeremy McNichols (as was reported yesterday), Shane Vereen, and Charcandrick West. The 49ers ended up adding Dayes to their practice squad.

While Breida was able to avoid a high ankle sprain, he’ll likely miss Monday’s contest. With Jerick McKinnon already out for the season, this leaves the 49ers with a pair of healthy running backs: Alfred Morris and Raheem Mostert. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said the team could end up promoting Jeff Wilson from the practice squad for some extra depth, or maybe they’ll look outside the organization for reinforcement.

Breida has stepped up during McKinnon’s absence, compiling 369 rushing yards and one touchdown on 49 carries. His 7.5 yards per attempt is currently the best mark in the NFL, and he’s yet to commit a fumble this season. On the flip side, Morris and Mostert have been underwhelming, combining for 3.5 yards per carry.

The team may be willing to ride it out with Morris as their starting running back, especially since the majority of the auditionees have served as third-down backs throughout their careers. Vereen was the most productive in 2017, as he hauled in 44 receptions for 253 yards (he also had another 164 rushing yards on 45 carries). West finished last season with 27 receptions in 13 games with the Chiefs, while Ellington had 39 receptions during his stints with the Cardinals and Texans.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Practice Squad Updates: 10/9/18

Today’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: LB Brandon Chubb
  • Released QB: Connor Cook

Dallas Cowboys

  • Released: RB Bo Scarbrough

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: RB Tra Carson, WR Keon Hatcher
  • Released: RB Joel Bouagnon

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Placed On PS-IR: LB Robert McCray

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

  • Signed: RB Kenneth Farrow

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

NFL Workout Updates: 10/2/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • T Andrew Nelson (link)

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

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.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/18/18

Here’s the latest from the NFL workout circuit on a busy Tuesday. All links to NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

NFL Workout Updates: 9/11/18

Today’s workout updates, with all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter account unless otherwise noted:

Buffalo Bills

  • DT Du’Vonta Lumpkin (link)

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Patriots Work Out WR Kendall Wright

The Patriots hosted wide receiver Kendall Wright and a host of other free agents for workouts on Wednesday, reports Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

New England currently only has four wide receivers on its roster (excluding special-teamer Matthew Slater), and the club is counting on Chris Hogan, Phillip Dorsett, Cordarrelle Patterson, and the recently-claimed Chad Hansen to shoulder the load until Julian Edelman returns from suspension in Week 5. In addition to Hansen, the Patriots claimed former Seahawks pass-catcher Amara Darboh off waivers on Sunday, but waived him with an injury designation on Tuesday.

Wright inked a one-year, $1MM deal with the Vikings this spring that contained $400K guaranteed, but he was cut loose on Sunday. Scheduled to be Minnesota’s slot receiver between Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs, Wright was beaten out by former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell for a starting spot. Given his lack of special teams prowess, Wright didn’t hold much appeal as a reserve for Minnesota.

That Wright doesn’t play special teams (he has only four career ST snaps) could present a problem for his chances to earn a Patriots roster spot, as well, but New England’s dire need for receiving weapons could trump Wright’s weakness on teams. A former first-round pick, Wright spent five years with the Titans before landing with the Bears in 2017. The lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal passing attack, Wright posted a team-leading 59 receptions and 614 yards in his only season with Chicago.

Here’s the full list of free agents that were on hand for New England today, per Reiss:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Workout Updates: 9/4/18

Today’s workout updates:

Buffalo Bills

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

New York Jets

Browns Make Minor Trade With Saints

The Browns have reached the 53-man roster maximum by making a whole lot of cuts and acquiring one player just before the bell.

On Saturday, the Browns announced that they acquired defensive lineman Devaroe Lawrence from the Saints in exchange for a 2019 seventh-round pick. Lawrence, 26 in October, overcame legal trouble as a youngster to achieve his dream of making it to the NFL. Injuries have held him back in the pros, but the Saints stuck by him even after ACL surgery in December of 2016.

We felt he was athletic, explosive and we felt like he could recover,” said Saints coach Sean Payton (via Luke Johnson of The Times-Picayune). “In other words, he was battling an injury and we saw traits that are hard to find sometimes for defensive tackles, and it’s hard to find that position, especially after the draft.”

So, with Lawrence in the fold, the Browns waived the following 19 players to get down to the limit: