Carlos Basham Jr.

NFL Injury Roundup: Saints, Watson, Heinicke, Thibodeaux

The Saints played much of the second half of their loss to the Vikings today without quarterback Derek Carr after the veteran passer took a nasty-looking hit from Danielle Hunter. It was announced that he was out for the remainder of the game with an injury to his throwing shoulder and that he was being evaluated for a concussion, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Further reports, provided by Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football, claimed that while the initial belief is that Carr avoided a major shoulder injury, he will undergo more tests in order to determine the severity. Head coach Dennis Allen told the media that Carr was only held out of the game because of a concussion, per ESPN’s Katherine Terrell, and refused to comment any further on the situation.

In Carr’s absence, former starter Jameis Winston performed admirably. He only completed just over half of his pass attempts for 122 yards and threw two interceptions, but he also threw the team’s two touchdowns in order to bring the Saints within spitting distance of the Vikings. Despite Winston’s seemingly superior effectiveness, Allen assured the media that, when Carr is healthy, there is no quarterback competition.

Lastly, veteran cornerback Marshon Lattimore left the game, as well, with what is believed to be an ankle sprain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. He will undergo an MRI tomorrow in order to determine the severity of his ankle injury.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson was forced to leave the field at times today during the Browns come-from-behind victory over the division-rival Ravens. He suffered an ankle injury late in the first half of the contest and, though he remained in the game for stretches at a time, he was noticeably limping at times. After the game, Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reported that Watson was in a walking boot. Watson claimed that while “he doesn’t feel great now…(he’ll) be fine” and should be ready to go next weekend.
  • Yet another quarterback was forced to leave their game today due to injury when the Falcons‘ new starting passer, Taylor Heinicke, was forced to leave early in the fourth quarter with a hamstring injury, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. This required Atlanta to return to former starter Desmond Ridder for the remainder of the contest. Ridder was fairly effective, leading the Falcons on a touchdown drive before failing to convert the two-point attempt that would’ve given the team a three-point lead. The team would go on to lose by those two points after Arizona kicked a game-winning field goal. This likely doesn’t change the team’s quarterback situation, if Heinicke is healthy enough to play, but hamstring injuries can be lingering and might open up more opportunities for Ridder.
  • In a blowout loss to Dallas this afternoon, Giants outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux was knocked out of the game with a concussion, per NFL Network’s Jane Slater. Thibodeaux’s absence opened up some playing opportunities for Boogie Basham, who saw an increased role due to injuries last week, as well.

Bills To Trade DE Boogie Basham To Giants

9:53am: This move will indeed lead to Ximines being released. The Giants had re-signed the Old Dominion alum midway through this offseason, but ESPN’s Jordan Raanan notes he will be cut. Ximines played four seasons with the Giants, arriving as a Dave Gettleman-era draft choice. While he recorded 4.5 sacks as a rookie, the former third-rounder only managed two in the ensuing three years.

9:20am: Coworkers for several years in Buffalo, Joe Schoen and Brandon Beane have a trade in place. The Giants are set to acquire edge rusher Boogie Basham from the Bills, Tom Pelissero of reports.

Schoen was in place as the Bills’ assistant GM when they drafted Basham in the 2021 second round. While Basham has not taken off in Buffalo, the Giants will give him an opportunity. The Giants had been among the most active teams in the market for edge help, per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

Beane and his former top lieutenant agreed to a pick-swap deal for Basham, with Pelissero adding the Bills and Giants will exchange 2025 late-round picks. Two years remain on Basham’s rookie contract.

The Bills’ Leonard Floyd addition made Basham a logical trade candidate, with the Bills also rostering 2020 second-rounder A.J. Epenesa and 2021 first-rounder Gregory Rousseau. Von Miller remains this position group’s anchor, but the future Hall of Famer is not certain to begin the season on time. The Bills have until 3pm CT today to move Miller from the active/PUP list to the reserve/PUP list, a designation that would shelve him for at least four games. The team could also go week to week with the high-priced D-end, but Shaq Lawson having re-signed this year also complicated Basham’s Bills place.

Epenesa has also drawn trade interest, per Fowler. One year remains on Epenesa’s rookie deal, but with Miller returning from his second ACL tear as a pro, it would make sense if the Bills held onto the Iowa alum for depth purposes. Epenesa finished with a career-high 6.5 sacks last season, breaking through after not producing more than 1.5 in either of his first two NFL slates. Basham, however, has not taken off. The Wake Forest product has 4.5 sacks and eight QB hits in 23 NFL games.

Chosen 61st overall, Basham has yet to make a start as a pro. Rousseau, Epenesa and then Miller have blocked Basham lineup avenues, and the Giants do not present an immediate starter opportunity. Kayvon Thibodeaux and Azeez Ojulari are in place as Big Blue’s starting edge rushers, but Schoen will take a flier on Basham as a depth piece. The Giants still have Jihad Ward and Oshane Ximines behind their starters. The latter, a former third-round pick, is not a lock to make the roster, The Athletic’s Dan Duggan notes (subscription required). With Basham now en route, Ximines may soon be released.

This move comes after the Giants sent the Cardinals a seventh-round pick for Isaiah Simmons. The team had been rumored to be eyeing another low-risk trade, per Duggan, and given Schoen’s Bills past, they are always a logical candidate to do business with the Giants. Beane and Schoen had first-round trade parameters in place this year, but no deal ended up happening.

Trade Candidate: Bills DE Carlos Basham Jr.

The Bills have a number of pass rushing options at their disposal compared to previous years. The team has used both free agent deals and the draft to add to their edge rushing arsenal recently, but the latter path has not worked as expected with Carlos Basham Jr. As a result, he could find himself playing elsewhere in 2023.

Selected in the second round of the 2021 draft, ‘Boogie’ came to Buffalo with considerable expectations. His final three seasons at Wake Forest resulted in a total of 19.5 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss, demonstrating his abilities as a disruptive presence in the passing game coupled with an intriguing frame (6-3, 281 pounds). His first two years in the NFL have not gone as planned, however.

Basham has made 27 combined appearances in the regular season and playoffs, but he has yet to register a start. Playing in a rotational role behind a host of other edge rushers, he has logged a snap share of 39% in both of his Bills campaigns. Notably, his spot in the pecking order is behind that of fellow former second-round pick A.J. Epenesa. Bashasm has totaled 4.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and one interception to date.

Buffalo made a major investment in their defensive front by signing Von Miller last offseason. The future Hall of Famer’s debut Bills season was cut short by an ACL tear, but he has appeared increasingly optimistic that he could be available in time for Week 1 of the 2023 campaign. Even if that is not the case, recent addition Leonard Floyd will give the team an experienced presence off the edge. When at full strength, the Bills’ depth at the position could leave Basham better suited for a new opportunity.

As a result, the latest roster projection from Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic includes Basham being dealt before the start of the season (subscription required). His college pedigree and status as a recent second-rounder could entice teams to take a flier on him, especially since he has two years remaining on his rookie contract. At the age of 25, there could still be considerable potential yet to be unlocked by an acquiring team, particularly one willing to use him both on the edge and the interior.

A trade would yield $1.17MM in cap savings for the Bills in 2023, and another $1.43MM next year, compared to modest dead cap charges. Added flexibility could be valuable given the team’s limited space and their win-now approach, while a change of scenery could result in increased playing time for Basham. In any event, the 2023 season could prove to be a critical one in his pro development.

Bills Sign Round 2 Pick Carlos Basham Jr.

The Bills operated aggressively in an effort to bolster their pass rush in the draft, taking defensive ends with each of their first two picks. The second of those selections, Carlos Basham Jr., signed his rookie contract Wednesday.

Basham will join first-round pick Gregory Rousseau in Buffalo. Cousin of Cowboys D-lineman Tarell Basham, Carlos went to Wake Forest and was a steady presence in ACC backfields.

The 6-foot-3, 274-pound pass rusher registered 10 sacks as a junior in 2019. Between his sophomore and junior seasons, the emerging Demon Deacons sack artist totaled 29 tackles for loss. Basham played in just six games last season, recording five sacks. Scouts Inc. graded Basham as the 43rd overall prospect — five spots ahead of Rousseau. The Bills drafted Basham at No. 61.

Last season, the Bills finished with just 38 sacks. No Buffalo rusher totaled more than five. The team still has thirtysomething starters Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, but three first- or second-round picks over the past two years will be groomed to take over in the near future.

Buffalo drafted Iowa’s A.J. Epenesa in the 2020 second round and now will have two new coveted prospects set to help the cause. Hughes and Addison are set to be free agents in 2022. Addison adjusted his three-year contract in March, converting it into a two-year deal.