A 2021 third-round pick, Rice started 10 games over his first two seasons. Although the Titans cut Zach Cunningham and let David Long sign with the Dolphins, they brought in Azeez Al-Shaair and have used second-year UDFA Jack Gibbens as starters this season. Rice has been strictly a backup, and a post-transaction tweet suggested the young defender was not too broken up about this Tennessee cut.
Hyder joined the Texans earlier this season. The 49ers had waived the rotational pass rusher after trading for Randy Gregory. Reuniting with DeMeco Ryans, Hyder spent much of his Texans stay on their practice squad. The team used the defensive end in two games this season, giving him 40 defensive snaps as a backup. Hyder would be eligible to return to Houston’s P-squad if he clears waivers.
For the second time this season, Derek Carrwas forced to exit a game with an injury which has landed him in concussion protocol. The Saints’ starting quarterback is thus in danger of missing game action for the first time in his debut New Orleans campaign, but no firm decisions have been made yet on that front.
Head coach Dennis Allen said after Sunday’s loss that Carr was still being evaluated and that no thought had been given to shutting him down for the remainder of the season (h/t Matthew Paras of the Times-Picayune). Carr has been dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered earlier in the year, and Allen added the veteran also has a rib injury (via Ian Rapoport of NFL Network).
Playing much of the year at less than 100% health, Carr’s debut Saints season has not gone according to plan. Expectations were high for the four-time Pro Bowler after he arrived on a four-year, $150MM deal with $60MM guaranteed at signing. He has struggled this year, however, posting a passer rating of 89.4, one of several figures which falls short of his career averages. Carr has overseen an offense which has struggled to find a rhythm on the ground or through the air for much of the season.
The 32-year-old drew the ire of the home crowd during the Saints’ Week 13 loss as frustrations from a disappointing season boiled over. New Orleans could elect to make a short-term switch under center in a move which would see Jameis Winstontake over the No. 1 role. The latter was similarly sidelined midseason in 2022 after he dealt with multiple injuries, remaining a backup to Andy Daltoneven after being cleared to return.
“I think both of those are totally different situations,” Allen said in his post-game remarks. “They’re both totally different situations. We’re not getting into what we did last year and what we’re doing this year, alright? Look, Derek’s in the concussion protocol right now. We will evaluate that as we go.”
Allen noted his “concern” over Carr suffering a concussion for the second time in one month. Winston would be in line to take on starting duties in Week 14 if the Saints were forced to keep the high-priced passer sidelined for at least one game, but a decision in that regard will depend in large part on Carr’s ability to clear the protocol. The Saints’ QB situation will be worth watching closely over the coming days.
The Chiefs have ruled out running back Jerick McKinnon for tomorrow’s game against the Packers, necessitating some extra depth at the position. The team will turn to Prince, an undrafted free agent who has spent the entire season on Kansas City’s practice squad. Prince had a breakout season at Tulsa in 2022, finishing with 813 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns.
Winfrey, a 2022 fourth-round pick, was cut by the Browns last July after being investigated for pulling a gun on a woman. He joined the Jets practice squad in early November and will finally earn his first promotion of the season. Winfrey got into 13 games for Cleveland last year, collecting 22 tackles and 0.5 sacks.
At age 36, Irvin will be making his debut for a sixth NFL team. The veteran pass rusher signed with Detroit midway through November and will finally have a chance to extend his streak of regular season appearances to 12 straight years. The only absence on the Lions’ front-seven will be linebacker Alex Anzalone, so Detroit may be looking to stand Irvin up to help the team’s depth at linebacker.
With Week 13 underway, the picture at the top of the NFL draft board continues to become clearer. Plenty is yet to be determined with respect to the top of the order, however.
The Panthers’ ongoing struggles led to Frank Reich‘s firing, but the Bears own Carolina’s top pick this year due to the 2023 swap which landed Bryce Youngvia the No. 1 selection. Chicago being able to have the top pick once again – coupled with their own selection landing in the top-10 – would make the Bears a team to watch closely come April. The race for the top two or three slots (and, as such, the ability to draft QBs Caleb Williamsand Drake Maye, along with wideout Marvin Harrison Jr.) will also be a key late-season storyline for the Cardinals and Patriots.
The Commanders have lost three straight games, overshadowing a promising season from first-year starter Sam Howell. After deciding to move on from defensive ends Chase Youngand Montez Sweatat the trade deadline, the team’s defense has continued to struggle. DC Jack Del Rio is out as a result, and head coach Ron Rivera‘s position is not believed to be on strong footing. A top-five pick could make the job in Washington more attractive presuming a opening arises this offseason.
For non-playoff teams, the draft order will be determined by the inverted 2024 standings — plus a series of tiebreakers, starting with strength of schedule — with playoff squads being slotted by their postseason outcome and regular-season record. Here is an updated look at the current draft order:
Rumored to be eyeing kickers after rookie Chad Ryland‘s game-tying miss in Week 12, the Patriots will give Wright another opportunity. The Jaguars’ primary 2021 kicker, Wright has not kicked in a game this season. He logged six as a replacement leg — for the Steelers and Chiefs — last season. The Pats drafted Ryland in the fourth round and jettisoned Nick Folk on roster-cutdown day, trading the veteran to the Titans. Ryland has missed 35-yard field goals in back-to-back games; the Patriots will now give him competition.
Waived to make room for Monday claim Derek Barnett, Ammendola remains in place as the Texans’ Ka’imi Fairbairn fill-in. Ammendola, who also worked as a Harrison Butker replacement last season in Kansas City, will be elevated to Houston’s active roster once again, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson notes. Ammendola missed two 50-plus-yard field goals, including a game-tying 58-yard try, last week. Fairbairn, who is recovering from a strained quad, can be activated from IR next week.
After getting cut by the Patriots this past weekend, Will Grier is back with the organization. Considering the uncertainty surrounding New England’s QB situation, there was some speculation that Grier could get a look before the end of the season, and his addition to the taxi squad leaves that door open. The former Cowboys backup started two games for the Panthers back in 2019, going winless while tossing zero touchdowns vs. four interceptions.
A South Florida native, Pierre-Paul made his Saints debut against the Falcons on Sunday. But New Orleans will not sign him to its active roster to block this Miami poaching. The Dolphins attempted to claim Derek Barnett on waivers, seeing the Texans’ waiver priority win out. JPP looks to be a consolation prize of sorts, but the two-time Super Bowl winner obviously brings a considerable pass-rushing pedigree to the team.
While Pierre-Paul made his NFL mark with the Giants and later as a Shaq Barrett tag-team partner as a Buccaneer, he is a Deerfield Beach native who starred at South Florida in the late 2000s. Earlier this month, Pierre-Paul let it be known he was not intending to retire and had aimed to sign with a contender. The Saints endured their sixth loss Sunday, and while they are still in position to vie for the NFC South title, Pierre-Paul’s hometown team is 8-3 and pursuing its first AFC East crown since 2008.
Early in his age-34 season, Pierre-Paul played 17 defensive snaps for the Saints against the Falcons. The Saints could have blocked this Dolphins move by signing JPP to their 53-man roster; by leaving him unprotected, New Orleans will let its recent signee leave. By grabbing Pierre-Paul off another team’s P-squad, the Dolphins must keep him on their 53-man roster for at least three weeks. The team will likely hope this partnership lasts longer.
This move marks a response to Jaelan Phillips‘ Achilles tear. Phillips’ 6.5 sacks are tied with Christian Wilkins for the team lead. Barnett is seven years younger than Pierre-Paul, but the latter has considerable experience assisting contenders. Pierre-Paul and Barrett hounded Patrick Mahomes in Super Bowl LV, and JPP dropped Aaron Rodgers twice in that year’s NFC championship game. Pierre-Paul completed a 2011 breakout season — a first-team All-Pro campaign — by leading a stacked Giants D-end batch to a Super Bowl title in 2011. For his career, Pierre-Paul has 94.5 career sacks and 21 forced fumbles.
Last season, the Ravens signed JPP in September but used him as a starter in 13 regular-season games. This resulted in only three sacks and three QB hits. In 12 Bucs games during the 2021 season, JPP only notched five QB hits. The Dolphins are likely planning a rotational role for the experienced edge defender, with Bradley Chubb anchoring their OLB contingent. The team also has seen Zach Sieler post five sacks and Andrew Van Ginkel contribute four. Despite being demoted, Emmanuel Ogbah has four sacks. The highly paid pass rusher, however, has only been on the field for 21% of the Dolphins’ defensive snaps.
The latter was moved to IR on Saturday, per a team announcement. Like Thomas, Lattimore exited the Saints’ loss to the Vikings and was subsequently deemed to have suffered a “signficant injury.” The ankle ailment kept Lattimore out of practice this week, and New Orleans will elect to shut him down during a pivotal point in the campaign. He will be forced to miss at least four weeks as a result of today’s move.
Lattimore’s absence will be acutely felt given his importance to the Saints’ secondary. That unit has helped New Orleans rank seventh in the league in passing yards allowed per game (199); he has also recorded one of the team’s 12 interceptions, a figure which places the team second in the NFL. The four-time Pro Bowler has had another strong season in 2023 with 48 tackles, eight pass deflections and a 57.4% completion percentage allowed.
Fellow startersPaulson Adeboand Alontae Taylorwill be leaned on more heavily at the CB spot moving forward with Lattimore facing a lengthy injury absence for the second consecutive season. A lacerated kidney and broken ribs led to a 10-game stay on the sidelines last year, though Lattimore did not go on IR in that case. With him now guaranteed to be shelved for at least a medium-term stretch, veteran Isaac Yiadom(who has primarily played on special teams) could be in line to take on a starting role.
In more positive injury news, quarterback Derek Carrcleared concussion protocol on Thursday. He is thus in line to suit up tomorrow after exiting the Saints’ Week 12 game. With the team’s bye week having come and gone, Carr’s throwing shoulder – which was banged up earlier in the campaign – should also be healthier, which could lead to improvement in the passing game on offense. That would be a welcomed development for the 5-5 Saints as they look to maintain their lead in the NFC South down the stretch.
After leaving the Saints’ last game with what was labeled a signficant injury, Michael Thomaswill be shut down for an extended stretch. The All-Pro wideout has been placed on injured reserve, per a team announcement.
In the aftermath of New Orleans’ Week 10 game, head coach Dennis Allen made it clear both Thomas and cornerback Marshon Lattimorewere facing extended absences. The former now finds himself in familiar territory, having been placed on IR for the fourth season in a row. Thomas will be forced to miss at least four weeks as a result of today’s move.
The three-time Pro Bowler had managed to suit up for every game in 2023 until this point, marking a welcomed sign of availability after years of injury troubles. His list of ailments includes the ankle injury which cost him the entire 2021 season and put his Saints future in doubt. In his best run of form and health since his record-breaking performance in 2019, Thomas had posted a 39-448-1 statline before the injury.
Now, the 5-5 Saints will move forward without a key member of the passing attack. Thomas sits third on the team in receiving yards behind Chris Olaveand Rashid Shaheed. That pair will remain central to New Orleans’ offense, a unit which may be without quarterback Derek Carras he continues to recover from a concussion. Thomas – who agreed to a one-year, $10MM deal this offseason – is now set to miss many (if not all) of the incentives present in his pact ahead of a potential tip to free agency.
In a move to add depth at the WR spot, the Saints have brought back Marquez Callawayby signing him to the practice squad. The 25-year-old has played in 42 career games, all with New Orleans. He could be designated a gameday elevation to provide a complementary pass-catching option in Thomas’ absence. To fill the 53-man roster spot opened by Thomas moving to IR, the Saints promoted cornerback Cameron Dantzlerfrom the taxi squad. The team currently has six IR activations available, one of which will be needed to bring Thomas back into the fold if he is able to return in 2023.