Maurice Canady

Ravens Activate CB Maurice Canady

Maurice Canady will be returning from the injured reserve for the second consecutive season. Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic reports (via Twitter) that the Ravens have activated the cornerback. To make room on the roster, the team has waived offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu.

Canady, a 2016 sixth-round pick out of Virginia, has had a tough time staying healthy during his professional career. In three seasons, the 24-year-old has appeared in only 13 games, including one game this season. He suffered a knee injury during the 2017 offseason, but he was ultimately activated from the IR in early November. He proceeded to appear in eight games that season, compiling 27 tackles and one pass defended. Baltimore will surely be hoping for similar production this time around.

Canady injured his thigh in mid-September, forcing him to sit out more than two months. He’ll be joining a cornerback bench grouping that already includes Tavon Young, Marlon HumphreyAnthony Averett, and Cyrus Jones.

After being released by the Bears in early September, Grasu subsequently caught on with the Ravens. The 27-year-old only appeared in three games during his stint with Baltimore, but he did start 12 games during his two seasons in Chicago. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the lineman could end up getting claimed on waivers by a team that needs some interior offensive linemen depth.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Returned To Practice: Foreman, Canady

With more than half of the 2018 campaign in the books, NFL clubs are beginning to activate injured players who were previously placed on various reserve lists (injured reserve, non-football injury list, physically unable to perform list, etc.). A couple of notable players who were on said lists returned to practice this week, and we’ll take a closer look at their respective situations below:

  • Texans running back D’Onta Foreman returned to practice on Wednesday, head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, including Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Foreman, 22, tore his Achilles last November and has taken a full year to recover — he began the 2018 regular season on the PUP list and has resided there ever since. A third-round pick in the 2017 draft, Foreman managed 78 attempts for 327 yards and two touchdowns in his abbreviated rookie campaign. Houston’s rushing offense currently ranks just 29th in efficiency, per Football Outsiders, and while much of those struggles can be attributed to a poor offensive line, Foreman could be part of an improvement while seeing snaps behind Lamar Miller and Alfred Blue. Now that he’s back at practice, Blue can be activate at any point during the next three weeks.
  • The Ravens have designated cornerback Maurice Canady to return from injured reserve, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Canady, a 2016 draft selection, has actually been placed on IR in each of his three NFL campaigns. Last season, a thigh issue — the same injury that knocked him out earlier this year — was the culprit, but Canady eventually came off IR in November. Baltimore, of course, already has top-end talent at cornerback, with Jimmy Smith, Marlon Humphrey, Brandon Carr, and Tavon Young seeing most of the snaps in the Ravens’ secondary, but Canady could see special teams action if he comes back. Like Foreman, Canady’s return to practice opens a three-week window during which Baltimore must either place him on its 53-man roster or leave him on IR for the rest of the year.

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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/17/18

Monday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Ravens Bring CB Maurice Canady Off Of IR

The Ravens announced they have activated cornerback Maurice Canady off of injured reserve. To make room on the roster, wide receiver Chris Matthews has been released. "<strong

Canady went down with a knee issue in July, making him one of many Ravens to succumb to the injury bug. A sixth round pick in the 2016 draft, Canady looked great in this year’s spring practices and was in line to be the team’s top slot cornerback. He could work his way up to a similar role now that he is healthy. Canady has yet to record an official statistic in his four NFL games.

Matthews was added to the Ravens’ roster on Sept. 4 when Canady was first placed on IR. The 28-year-old had three catches for 25 yards in six games this season. Unfortunately, a thigh injury has sidelined him for the last two games.

With Matthews out of the picture, the Ravens have just four healthy receivers on the roster in Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin, Breshad Perriman, and Chris Moore.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: IR-DTR, Goodell, Hogan, Pack

This week marks the first time players who were placed on the IR-Designated to Return list can start practicing again. Under league rules, players must sit out at least six weeks on the injured reserve and then practice for another two weeks in order to be placed on the active roster again. That would mean that players who just started to practice on Monday are on track to return to game action in Week 9. Teams have three weeks to decide if certain designated players will return once they get back on the practice field.

Patriots LB Shea McClellin headlines the list of IR-DTD players who started practicing this week, which comes courtesy of Ben Volin of the Boston Globe (Twitter Link). McClellin has been recovering from an undisclosed injury he suffered during training camp. It’s an encouraging development for Bill Belichick as the Pats are heavily in need of capable pass rushers. The three other players who returned to practice were Chargers LB Denzel Perryman, Ravens CB Maurice Canady and Falcons LB LaRoy Reynolds.

  • In other league news, Roger Goodell‘s new contract, which was reportedly hung up over his prospective severance package, is now back on track to being completed sooner than later, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Rapoport relays a quote from Falcons owner Arthur Blank that states: “Making good progress. Shouldn’t be too long.” We don’t know exactly why the talks are in a better place, but with this news, it seems that the major hurdles are now in the rearview mirror.
  • The Browns named DeShone Kizer their starter once again today, but the other surprise announcement was that former starter Kevin Hogan had slipped behind Cody Kessler on the depth chart. Despite a poor game in his first start of the year, the move was rather unexpected, but new information sheds more light on the situation. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports that Hogan is now the third QB because of bruised ribs he suffered last week. Head coach Hue Jackson addressed the injury in a media session today. “They’re pretty bruised in my opinion. … I’m not going to put (an injured) guy out there or let him go through the week,” Jackson said. Jackson went onto say that Hogan would be the backup if healthy, so it looks like this development is more of a non-story at this point.
  • In other QB news, Mike McCarthy expressed some caution about an upcoming roster move regarding the injured Aaron Rodgers, reports Ryan Wood and Michael Cohen of Packers News. The Packers head coach told a number of reporters today: “Our focus clearly is just to get through the surgery, and just see where he is. I’m not personally looking in that direction. My focus is on Aaron’s health right now.” The team already elevated QB Joe Callahan from the practice squad this week, so it looks like there won’t be any further changes in regards to the Packers’ signal-callers until Rodgers’ surgery take place.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/4/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • The Browns claimed offensive lineman Zach Banner off waivers from the Colts, who cut him despite drafting him in the fourth round this year. Cleveland made room for Banner by placing offensive lineman Rod Johnson on IR. Additionally, the Browns continued their busy offseason regarding secondary turnover by releasing former safety starter Ed Reynolds from IR.
  • The Steelers re-signed linebacker Steven Johnson and waived safety Jordan Dangerfield with an injury designation. Johnson initially saw his name appear on Pittsburgh’s cut list Saturday, but the backup will return. Pittsburgh also placed cornerback Cameron Sutton, a rookie third-rounder, on IR.
  • Jacquies Smith will move from the PUP list back to the Buccaneers‘ 53-man roster. The team reinstated the defensive end on Monday. A fourth-year player, Smith is expected to be a rotational player in Tampa Bay this season.
  • The Dolphins re-signed tackle Sam Young. Miami cut the offensive lineman on Saturday but will keep him around for now. Miami guaranteed Young’s salary, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets, signing Young this week instead of next because an unspecified team wanted him. This will mark Young’s eighth NFL season. The Dolphins signed him to an extension in December.
  • Quarterback Jeff Driskel will land on the Bengals‘ IR list. The former 49ers sixth-rounder has yet to play in a game.
  • A starter in three games last season, linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin landed on the Jets‘ IR Monday. To replace the third-year player, Gang Green re-signed linebacker Bruce Carter. Now a seventh-year veteran, Carter played a depth role with the Jets last season.
  • Wide receiver Chris Matthews re-signed with the Ravens, who made room on their 53-man roster by placing cornerback Maurice Canady on IR.
  • The Falcons released defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who resides on the Commissioner’s Exempt list as a result of misdemeanor charges from 2016. While Hageman is on that list, the Falcons will not have to pay Hageman.
  • The Chargers claimed linebacker Hayes Pullard off waivers from the Jaguars. A former Browns seventh-rounder in 2015, Pullard started two games for the 2015 Jags and played in all 16 Jacksonville contests last season.
  • Jelani Jenkins was expected to start for the Raiders, but the former Dolphins linebacker found himself on the team’s cut list Saturday. The Raiders, though, reached an injury settlement with the fifth-year linebacker, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (on Twitter). Jenkins suffered a groin injury during the preseason. Oakland also reached an injury settlement with Jaydon Mickens, per Gehlken, who adds Mickens suffered an ankle injury.
  • The Seahawks waived cornerback Demetrius McCray with an injury settlement, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.
  • The Redskins reached an injury settlement with center Ronald Patrick, waiving the interior blocker from IR as a result.

Ravens’ Crockett Gillmore, Maurice Canady Sustain Knee Injuries

The Ravens cannot catch a break. Joe Flacco has a back injury that the team is currently downplaying but that could threaten the 2017 season, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Second-year RB Kenneth Dixon, who is probably the most talented back on the club, will miss the entire year with a torn meniscus; second-year slot corner Tavon Young, who had an excellent rookie campaign, suffered a season-ending ACL tear; longtime tight end Dennis Pitta is no longer on the club after sustaining yet another hip injury; tight end Darren Waller managed to get himself suspended for a year; and offensive linemen John Urschel surprisingly announced his retirement several days ago.

Jun 14, 2016; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens tight end Crockett Gillmore (80) runs after the catch during the first day of minicamp sessions at Under Armour Performance Center. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Now, tight end Crockett Gillmore — who has the most intriguing blend of athleticism, receiving ability, and blocking ability of the tight ends still on the roster — has sustained a potentially serious knee injury, as has second-year corner Maurice Canady. Per Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, both players suffered those injuries during Friday’s practice. Canady, whom the Ravens selected in the sixth round of last year’s draft, was terrific in spring practices and figured to get the first opportunity to replace Young. Gillmore has shown the ability to be a No. 1 tight end when on the field, but he cannot seem to stay out of the training room.

The Ravens have yet to comment on either injury, and it remains to be seen if they will need to scour the free agent market for replacements (the team did sign Brandon Boykin following the Young injury, but the hope was that Canady could capably fill the slot corner role). If necessary, Baltimore could finally turn its attention to Gary Barnidge, who is easily the best tight end still on the market, and it could look to players like Brandon Flowers and Tramon Williams to fill in at corner.

In the meantime, the Ravens will just have to pray they don’t lose a potential starter every time they practice.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens Sign Seven Draftees, 11 UDFAs

Like a number of other teams around the league, the Ravens made an effort to get plenty of contracts done before their rookie minicamp got underway, securing seven of their 11 draftees, and adding another 11 undrafted free agents to their roster.

The Ravens confirmed today that they’ve signed fifth-round defensive end Matt Judon, whose agreement was reported earlier this week, and announced that they’ve locked up six other draft picks, writes Ryan Mink of BaltimoreRavens.com. Sixth overall pick Ronnie Stanley remains unsigned, as do Bronson KaufusiTavon Young, and Keenan Reynolds. However, the following Baltimore draftees are now under contract, having signed their four-year rookie deals:

In a separate press release on their website, the Ravens also listed their 11-man UDFA class, complete with a scouting report for each player. Here are Baltimore’s UDFA additions: