Chandler Zavala

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/29/23

Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

After missing the Cardinals’ last six games on injured reserve, Wilkinson is now on track to return to his starting left guard post this season. Arizona has used a mixture of Trystan Colon and Carter O’Donnell to fill the spot in the interim.

King found his way to the Texans’ practice squad after being waived by the Steelers and was elevated to game action last week. After starting 25 games for Houston in the 2021 and 2022 seasons, King will be a welcome addition back to the active roster.

Hardee has missed six games with a hamstring injury. The Pro Bowl special teamer returned to practice today alongside quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Schweitzer. Schweitzer was one of several offensive linemen in New York who sustained injuries earlier this year, but after missing the four games required of an IR stint, Schweitzer is working to return, as well.

Panthers To Sign G Gabe Jackson

Seeing guard injuries play a key role in their offensive struggles, the Panthers are adding a veteran presence. Following his Wednesday workout, Gabe Jackson will sign with Carolina, Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz tweets.

This agreement comes nearly nine months after the Seahawks cut the veteran blocker. Jackson has 130 career starts over a nine-year career. The Panthers have been without left guard Brady Christensen since mid-September and recently saw Austin Corbett suffer an MCL injury that will sideline the right guard for the rest of the season. This will initially be a practice squad deal,’s Adam Schefter tweets.

The Christensen and Corbett setbacks open the door for Jackson, who is now 32. The former Raiders and Seahawks starter was not closely connected to a team during his lengthy free agency stay, but he stands as one of the NFL’s most experienced active guards. While it is far from certain Carolina will look to keep Jackson beyond this season — especially considering the reeling team will hire another new coach in 2024 — but the 1-10 squad represents an opportunity for the longtime first-stringer to play a 10th season and potentially make an effort to better position himself for free agency next year.

Although Christensen has been a multiyear starter, the Panthers had navigated his early-season exit (due to a biceps injury) for a while. But one of Carolina’s replacement options is now facing a season-ending malady. Rookie Chandler Zavala, who has been a starter for much of the season due to the Panthers losing both Christensen and Corbett, is an IR candidate,’s Jeremy Fowler tweets. Zavala, a fourth-round pick, suffered a knee injury in Week 12. Cade Mays left Sunday’s game due to an ankle injury, continuing this positional bloodbath for a team intent on maximizing what is left of Bryce Young‘s rookie year.

The Panthers have used Brett Toth as a fill-in starter; they finished Week 12 with he and rookie UDFA Nash Jensen at guard. This situation could point Jackson directly to a starting role, though given the timing here, the team may wait before such a move. That said, the Panthers have struggled to protect Young this season. While Carolina is buried in the standings and is focusing on another coaching search, the team still has six games of Young development to complete. Installing a veteran to help keep the No. 1 overall pick upright makes sense through this lens.

GM Scott Fitterer had already moved to Charlotte when the Seahawks traded for Jackson in March 2021, but the nine-year starter’s Seattle stay may still help for familiarity purposes. Upon being traded for a fifth-round pick, Jackson started 31 games in Seattle. Pro Football Focus viewed the once-dependable Raider as better in 2021 than he was last year, but given the timing of the Panthers’ latest guard need, pickings are slim.

Although Jackson has never made a Pro Bowl, the Raiders thought enough of him to authorize a $10MM-per-year extension in 2017. Jackson then played two years on a $7.5MM-AAV Seahawks pact. This Panthers agreement likely checks in at or near the prorated veteran minimum.

NFC Injury Updates: Zavala, Jefferson, Jones

The Panthers experienced a scare when starting left guard Chandler Zavala collapsed on the field and remained facedown after experiencing a neck injury in today’s loss to the Lions. The team’s medical staff placed him on a backboard, and as he was carted off the field, Zavala gave the stadium a thumbs-up.

The rookie fourth-round starter was taken immediately to a hospital where he was alert, responsive, and had movement in all his extremities. He underwent several tests, all of which came back well, was released from the hospital, and rejoined his teammates at the airport to return to Charlotte with the team, according to Panthers staff writer Darin Gantt.

In Zavala’s absence, second-year guard Cade Mays finished out the game at left guard. If Zavala’s neck injury forces him to miss any additional time, Mays will likely have an opportunity to prove his worth as a consistent starter after only starting two games his rookie year.

Here are a few other injury updates from today:

  • Early in the fourth quarter of today’s loss to the Dolphins, Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was knocked out of the game with a neck injury. This was cause for concern in New York, knowing that Jones missed the final six weeks of the 2021 season with a neck injury. While not an official diagnosis, head coach Brian Daboll relayed that Jones had told him after the game that he would be okay, per Dan Duggan of The Athletic. ESPN’s Jordan Raanan informed that Jones had negative X-rays at the stadium and would undergo an MRI tomorrow for an accurate diagnosis.
  • Late in the Vikings loss to the Chiefs, star wide receiver Justin Jefferson exited the game with a hamstring injury after slipping on the field. After what appeared to be a pep talk with his young wideout, head coach Kevin O’Connell told the media that it’s “still very early” to establish a timeline for Jefferson’s return, according to Kevin Seifert of ESPN, seemingly putting some doubt on the All-Pro’s status moving forward.

NFC Rumors: Bucs, Lions, Panthers, Packers

The Buccaneers may be considered as a rebuilding squad, but that doesn’t matter much to the players fighting for roster spots in the late preseason. As the regular season inches nearer and nearer, two starting positions are starting to come into focus, according to Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times.

On offense, center Ryan Jensen has not returned to practice as he continues to recover from three knee ligament tears that he opted not to have surgery on. In his absence, Robert Hainsey and Nick Leverett have been competing for the starting job. Hainsey likely has a bit of an edge after playing the position in college and starting all 17 games last season for Tampa Bay, but Leverett has meshed well in new offensive coordinator Dave Canales‘ new zone-blocking scheme. Even if Hainsey can’t hold onto the job, Leverett may keep the position competitive.

On defense, Dee Delaney has really stepped up at nickelback after the team opted to move Antoine Winfield Jr. back to free safety full-time. Delaney, who spent four years at The Citadel before transferring to Miami (FL) and going undrafted, has stuck in Tampa Bay, playing 32 games over the past two seasons while starting three of them. Delaney has had a great camp as reflected in a stellar performance in last week’s preseason game against the Jets. Undrafted rookie Christian Izien has also impressed with physical play throughout the preseason, while rookie sixth-round pick Josh Hayes has fallen a bit behind in the position battle.

Here are a few more roster battles to watch heading into the final weekend of preseason games this season:

  • Nate Sudfeld was viewed as a solid backup option at quarterback for the Lions last season. Coming into 2023, though, he may be struggling to retain a roster spot, according to Justin Rogers of The Detroit News. Obviously, Jared Goff has the starting job locked up, but recently signed veteran Teddy Bridgewater has made a strong case for the QB2 role behind him. Sudfeld still has value to the team, but head coach Dan Campbell made it clear that his roster status depends on if he adds more value to the team than depth at other positions on the roster. If CB5 or CB6 end up adding more value than Sudfeld as QB3, he may find himself missing out on the initial 53-man roster.
  • As starting guard Austin Corbett waits to be cleared following ACL surgery, the Panthers‘ situation at guard is feeling a bit precarious. A tweet from Joseph Person of The Athletic tells that a decision on the starting right guard job in Corbett’s absence has been delayed until the returns from injury of rookie fourth-round pick Chandler Zavala and undrafted rookie Nash Jensen. Head coach Frank Reich wanted both rookies to have a chance for the spot before making the decision. Zavala was recently activated from the physically unable to perform list and hasn’t seen much action. Jensen was impressing early in the offseason before a back injury slowed his progress. They’ll compete with Cade Mays and Justin McCray for the position, but Person believes that Carolina may pursue some added competition at roster cutdowns.
  • Last week, the Packers‘ seventh-round pick from last year, Rasheed Walker, got the starting call at left tackle ahead of usual backup Yosh Nijman, according to Matt Schneidman of The Athletic. Nijman has been the usual go-to at tackle when starter David Bakhtiari isn’t available, but Schneidman thinks that Walker may have worked his way past Nijman on the depth chart as of late.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/5/23

Saturday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts 

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

Signed: WR Jontre Kirklin

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Washington Commanders

The Browns waived receiver Daylen Baldwin yesterday, and more details on his situation have emerged today courtesy of NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link). Baldwin tore a tendon behind his knee, and he will undergo surgery as a result. After his recovery (which is expected to take roughly six to eight weeks), Pelissero notes that a return is the Browns’ preference.

Vigil will add considerable experience to the middle of the Jets’ defense. The 29-year-old has started 53 of his 89 career games, though he has not operated as a full-time starter in recent years as he once did. Vigil spent the 2022 season in Arizona, where he was limited to only eight games played and logged a defensive snap share of 35%. Both Vigil and Eguavoen worked out with the Giants last month, but they will instead head to New York’s other franchise for the 2023 season.

Kirklin played four games with the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks, and he scored four touchdowns in the process. He will look to carry over that production at the NFL level as part of a Saints receiving corps which has plenty of uncertainty amongst its depth options.

Whittaker spent the past three seasons in Arizona, coming on and off the Cardinals’ practice squad a number of times. He was a key member of the team’s secondary last year, however, starting four of his six games played and logging a snap share of 74%. The 28-year-old will compete for a depth role behind the established starters at the CB spot in Washington.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/22/23

Saturday’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

The Corbett news comes as no surprise, given the expectation from the spring that he would miss time in the regular season. The Panthers’ starting right guard suffered an ACL tear during the 2022 season finale, making him a candidate for a reserve/PUP designation. That would sideline him for at least four contests, so it is encouraging Carolina has elected instead to use the active designation, from which players can be activated at any time during camp.

Signed to provide last-minute offensive line help for the Jets last season, Brown played 12 games on the blindside last season while battling a shoulder ailment. Despite Mekhi Becton being healthy this offseason, the 37-year-old is the favorite to hold down the LT role for New York as the team looks to improve its pass protection at the start of the Aaron Rodgers era. If healthy in time for the spring, Brown will play a large role in determining their success on that front.

Farley’s brief NFL career has seen a continuation of his injury concerns dating back to college. The 2021 first-rounder saw a herniated disk end his season in December. He underwent surgery to address the issue, and the team may feel the need to proceed with caution given his potentially sizeable role with the Titans’ secondary. Radunz continues to recover from the ACL tear which likewise ended his second campaign in Nashville late in the regular season.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/8/23

Teams are moving quickly on inking their Day 3 draftees to their four-year rookie deals, with this process involving a slot system that does not feature many complications for late-round players. Here are the latest such agreements to commence:

Carolina Panthers

Minnesota Vikings

Panthers’ Austin Corbett To Miss Regular-Season Time; Brady Christensen On Track For Week 1

Big-picture changes have taken place in Carolina this offseason, but the team is planning to place Bryce Young behind the same offensive line that protected Baker Mayfield and Sam Darnold in 2022. But that configuration will not be in place to start the year.

Austin Corbett suffered an ACL tear during the Panthers’ Week 18 game in New Orleans, and Frank Reich said the expectation is the 2022 free agency pickup will not be ready in time for the season opener. In better news for the Panthers, David Newton of notes Brady Christensen — the other guard who suffered a major injury (a broken ankle) in Week 18 — is on track to be ready for the 2023 opener.

The Panthers gave Corbett a three-year, $26.25MM deal last year; after making every start for the Rams from 2020-21, Corbett did the same for the Panthers last season. His inability to make it through Week 18 unscathed could lead to a stay on the reserve/PUP list come August. Such a placement would shelve Corbett for at least four games next season, though the team could also keep the former second-rounder on its active roster and go week-to-week regarding a return window.

The Panthers factored the likely Corbett early-season absence into their draft, with Newton adding fourth-rounder Chandler Zavala is the most likely first-string fill-in opposite Christensen. After four years at Division II Fairmont State, Zavala transferred to NC State in 2021. He earned first-team All-ACC acclaim at guard as a sixth-year senior.

Carolina’s Ikem Ekwonu first-round pick last year led to Christensen sliding to guard on a full-time basis, and he started all 17 games. The BYU product went down six plays into the Saints rematch, but his injury ended up being slightly less severe than Corbett’s. Pro Football Focus rated Corbett as a top-20 guard last season but slotted Christensen 55th at the position. He and Corbett are signed through 2024.

Just as the Panthers dropped Pat Elflein, they re-signed center Bradley Bozeman to round out their O-line quintet. Carolina may also be eyeing more continuity up front, per Newton, who notes Cameron Erving may well remain on the radar as a swing option behind Ekwonu and longtime right tackle Taylor Moton. Erving signed a two-year, $10MM deal in 2021 and started all nine games he played for the Panthers that year. Despite Erving not being the one to stop the Panthers’ longtime left tackle merry-go-round, he appears to be under consideration for a second Carolina contract.