Chris Harris (CB)

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/29/22

Here are the minor moves leading into Sunday’s slate of games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Saints Activate CB Alontae Taylor From IR

The Saints are adding some reinforcement to their secondary. The team announced that cornerback Alontae Taylor has been activated from injured reserve. In preparation for tonight’s game, the team has also promoted cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and wide receiver Kevin White from the practice squad. Wideout Keith Kirkwood was cut from the active roster to make space.

Taylor suffered a sprained MCL prior to Week 3, landing him on injured reserve. The rookie second-round pick ended up spending the minimum amount of time on IR before being designated to return earlier this week. The Tennessee product exclusively played on special teams during his NFL debut, but he got more run on defense in Week 2.

His return couldn’t come at a better time for a depleted Saints cornerbacks corps. Marshon Lattimore is sidelined and Paulson Adebo is questionable for tonight’s game, leaving the team thin at CB. The rookie probably won’t help relieve a secondary that’s allowing 189 yards per game to receivers, but he should at least provide some additional depth at the position.

Harris should also help in that regard, with the veteran cornerback now earning his third promotion since joining the Saints practice squad earlier this month. Harris got the start for the Saints in Week 6, finishing with eight tackles.

Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry are both out for the Saints, leaving rookie Chris Olave as the team’s top wideout. White could get some reps at the position, with the former first-round pick having seen time in seven games for New Orleans over the past two seasons (albeit with only one catch). Kirkwood got into two games for the Saints this season, hauling in a pair of catches.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/8/22

Here are the roster moves for today, leading into gameday tomorrow. Reminder that gameday elevations will revert to the practice squad after this weekend’s games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Commanders

Saints To Sign CB Chris Harris

The Saints’ experienced cornerback corps now includes one of this era’s most accomplished cover men. The team reached an agreement to bring in Chris Harris, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

New Orleans is adding the All-Decade corner on a practice squad deal. This opens the door to Harris playing a 12th NFL season. Prior to Harris signing a two-year deal with the Chargers in 2020, the Saints were in on the ex-Broncos stalwart. New Orleans will now see what the veteran defender has left. The Saints are planning to bump Harris up to their 53-man roster after a short ramp-up period, Troy Renck of Denver7 tweets.

Harris, 33, said before training camp he was generating interest. It is unclear how many teams pursued him, but he will rejoin Denver teammate Bradley Roby in New Orleans’ Marshon Lattimore-fronted secondary. The Saints had Paulson Adebo on their injury report last week and placed rookie Alontae Taylor on IR late last month.

The 11-year veteran landed on the 2010s’ All-Decade team for his slot consistency, and although Harris regularly played outside in Denver as well, the former UDFA’s Chargers role would point to the Saints eyeing him for his specialty skill. The Bolts used Harris mostly as their slot defender during his two-year Los Angeles run, but the team added Bryce Callahan this offseason. Despite being on the downside of his career, Harris was still effective when healthy in L.A. He finished with the lowest completion percentage allowed when lined up in the slot last season. That said, the four-time Pro Bowler missed 10 games during his two-year Charger run.

The Saints traded their slot man of recent years to the Eagles, unloading C.J. Gardner-Johnson after a contract dispute led to a brief hold-in period. Adebo missed the first two games this season due to injury but returned to a full workload alongside Lattimore and Roby in Week 4.

FA CB Chris Harris Generating Interest

Free agent cornerback Chris Harris is generating significant interest on the open market, according to the player himself. During a recent appearance on SiriusXM NFL Radio, Harris said he has heard from five teams (via Charean Williams of Pro Football Talk).

“Man, we’re definitely heating up,” Harris said. “I’m just taking my time and waiting to see what’s going to be the best fit for me. I’ve still got a little time, and I’m just waiting to make sure I pick the right team.”

Harris, 33, spent the first nine years of his career with the Broncos before signing a two-year, $20MM contract with the Chargers in March 2020. His time with the Bolts was marked by some availability issues, as he missed seven games in 2020 and another six contests in 2021. His Pro Football Focus grades of 61.9 and 62.4 over the last two seasons were also considerably lower than the marks he put up during his time in Denver.

Still, the four-time Pro Bowler and member of the 2010s All-Decade team offers the type of pedigree and experience that is hard to find in the days leading up to training camp, and teams in need of secondary help surely have Harris on their short list of possible signees. Harris’ willingness to play safety — he considers himself a position-less player who can line up on the boundary, in the slot, or at safety — should help his cause.

The Kansas product did not specify which teams have expressed interest at this point, though he said AFC West outfits have reached out, along with several NFC clubs. At this stage in his career, he is understandably looking to sign with a contender that has a strong quarterback situation, but every AFC West team fits that description, so that doesn’t narrow it down too much.

It is also unclear what type of money Harris is seeking, though his $68MM in career earnings — the second-highest mark among active players who went undrafted — suggests that the scheme fit and the opportunity to win a second championship ring is more important at this point. He hopes to sign no later than the middle of August.

Bolts Activate Chris Harris, Mike Williams

SATURDAY: Harris and Williams continued to test negative and are back on Los Angeles’ active roster. The Chargers, as they did with Bosa last month, will see both players land on the COVID list as close contacts but avoid missing a game. Allen, however, will not play Sunday. The perennial Pro Bowler tested positive Monday and has been ruled out.

WEDNESDAY: Two days after placing Keenan Allen on their reserve/COVID-19 list, the Chargers learned more standout performers face the prospect of being unavailable Sunday.

The Bolts placed Chris Harris and Mike Williams on their coronavirus list Wednesday. It turns out this is a similar situation to the one the Bolts dealt with regarding Joey Bosa last month. Harris and Williams are unvaccinated close contacts of Allen, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

While this development will prevent both from practicing this week, each starter would be eligible to return Sunday after their five-day quarantine periods cease. The five-day isolation stays begin after the duo’s most recent contact with Allen, giving each a chance to return since neither tested positive. Of course, a subsequent positive test would sideline the unvaccinated players for 10 more days.

Williams was set to play a bigger role for the Bolts on Sunday, with Allen testing positive earlier this week. The former top-10 pick is on pace for a career-best season. Los Angeles’ No. 2 wideout has amassed 854 yards and seven touchdown receptions this season; he is coming off a 110-yard day in Cincinnati.

A 2010s All-Decade performer who has been the Bolts’ primary slot cornerback, Harris has battled some availability issues during his two-year Chargers stay. The former Broncos All-Pro defender has missed five games due to injury this season and was sidelined for seven in 2020. The 32-year-old cover man intercepted a Joe Burrow pass to seal a Chargers road win in Week 13.

Chargers Activate Chris Harris, Place Melvin Ingram On IR

A Pro Bowl defender will be available for the Chargers against the Bills, but the team will also be without one. The Bolts activated Chris Harris on Friday but cleared the roster spot by placing Melvin Ingram on IR.

Harris has been out since Week 2 with a foot injury, but the All-Decade cornerback returned to practice last week. The Chargers signed the longtime Broncos slot corner to a two-year deal this offseason, but their squadron of All-Pros in the secondary has largely failed to materialize.

Derwin James is out for the season, and the Chargers traded 2018 All-Pro Desmond King to the Titans. Casey Hayward will also miss the Bills game with a groin injury, interestingly leaving Harris as the only member of that would-have-been All-Pro quartet on track to suit up in Buffalo.

The Chargers previously ruled Ingram out for Week 12 with a knee injury. This will be the second time the ninth-year edge rusher has landed on IR this season. He missed time earlier this year because of knee trouble. These setbacks have damaged Ingram’s 2021 free agency stock. After lobbying for a new contract in August, Ingram returned to practice. The 31-year-old defensive end’s multi-injury season — one that has yet to produce a sack — and the expected cap reduction could severely affect his market come March.

AFC West Notes: Broncos, Brown, Chiefs

Broncos defensive coordinator Ed Donatell required hospitalization after contracting the coronavirus, according to the team. The second-year Denver DC was hospitalized last week but discharged Sunday, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. He remains away from the team, recovering at home. Donatell, 63, has been battling COVID-19 symptoms since Oct. 31 and has missed the past three games. Donatell, who is in his third stint with the franchise, one of a few Broncos staffers to have contracted the virus. Running backs coach Curtis Modkins did so in October, and offensive line coach Mike Munchak was in the team’s COVID protocol. GM John Elway and team president Joe Ellis tested positive for the virus. Elway announced he has recovered, while Ellis has been in quarantine for nearly three weeks and has yet to be cleared to return, Klis notes.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The NFL has expressed “serious concern” about the outbreak among Broncos staffers, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora. The league and the NFLPA have continued to stress the importance of non-players adhering to the evolving COVID-19 protocols, per JLC.
  • The Raiders have been the league’s chief culprits at violating the NFL’s coronavirus policies, and their latest issue — Clelin Ferrell‘s positive test causing half the team’s starting defense to land on the reserve/COVID-19 list — could conceivably prompt the NFL to move another Las Vegas Sunday-night tilt off of primetime. As of Wednesday evening, however, the league has no plans to change the start time for Week 11’s Raiders-Chiefs rematch, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The NFL moved Week 7’s Buccaneers-Raiders game to a Sunday-afternoon window after Trent Brown‘s positive test caused Las Vegas’ starting O-line to miss a week’s worth of workouts.
  • Speaking of Brown, the mammoth right tackle remains on the Raiders’ COVID list. However, a hope exists Brown can receive clearance to resume workouts next week, Schefter tweets. Brown is naturally at higher risk of developing severe symptoms from the virus compared to most players, due to his weight (380 pounds), but he wants to play again this season. The Raiders have placed Brown on their virus list twice this year, the second time due to a pregame issue in Cleveland resulting in the 27-year-old blocker being hospitalized.
  • While Justin Simmons has not made an issue of his contract since he and the Broncos failed to come to an extension agreement in July, he would prefer to stay with the team, per the Denver Post’s Ryan O’Halloran. The floor for the standout safety will likely be $14MM per year on a long-term deal, with five safeties signing deals worth $14MM AAV or more since March 2019. Simmons has played every snap for the Broncos this season and ranks as Pro Football Focus’ fourth-highest-graded safety, a year after he landed second on PFF’s list. Citing the pandemic, Simmons said, via O’Halloran, he is grateful for his setup (an $11.4MM franchise tag salary). This comes after he expressed disappointment no deal emerged this summer. If the Broncos tag Simmons again, he would be entitled to a $13.7MM 2021 salary.
  • Former Simmons secondary mate Chris Harris will return to action soon. The Chargers designated the All-Decade cornerback to return from IR on Wednesday. The team has three weeks to activate him. Harris, who signed a two-year deal worth $17.5MM in March, has been out since Week 2 because of a foot injury.

Chargers’ Chris Harris To Miss 4-6 Weeks

3:12pm: The Bolts have indeed placed Harris on IR. They replaced him on their active roster with safety Jahleel Addae. The latter resurfaced with the team as a practice squad cog but played against the Panthers in Week 3 as a special-teamer.

9:28am: Chargers cornerback Chris Harris suffered a foot injury against the Panthers that will keep him out for 4-6 weeks, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). It’s a tough blow for the Bolts, particularly in light of their other injuries in the secondary.

[RELATED: Chargers’ Derwin James Out For Year]

The Chargers already opened the year by placing star safety Derwin James on injured reserve, so they were banking on Harris to help keep opposing quarterbacks honest. Through three games, the longtime Broncos standout registered 15 stops and one pass defended. Now, he’s gone ’til November. On the plus side, Harris will not need surgery to correct the injuries suffered to his third and fourth metatarsals.

Harris joined the Chargers on a two-year deal this offseason after spending the previous nine seasons of his career with the rival Broncos. All in all, the 31-year-old has four Pro Bowls and 20 interceptions to his credit.

The Chargers – down yet another key player – will head to Tampa Bay this week to face Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. Harris, meanwhile, could be on track to return just in time for a key Week 10 matchup against his old friends in Denver. In all likelihood, the Chargers will place Harris on injured reserve to free up a roster spot in the interim. After a minimum of three weeks, the veteran will be eligible to return to the active roster.

AFC Rumors: Enunwa, Steelers, Harris

Quincy Enunwa missed all of the 2017 season and 15 games last year because of a neck injury, and the Jets have ruled him out for the 2020 campaign by placing him on the reserve/PUP list. While the veteran wideout will only turn 28 Sunday, he already faces the prospect of his career being over. Enunwa, however, is not conceding that yet.

If I’m capable of playing, then that’s what I’ll do,” Enunwa said, via Rich Cimini of ESPN.com. “If it comes down to the fact that the doctors say I can’t, there’s not much I can do. There’s really nothing I can do there, but if I have the ability to [play], the passion will always be there, the want-to will always be there.”

Enunwa signed a four-year, $33.4MM extension in December 2018. That deal included $20MM in guarantees, which have become crucial for the embattled receiver. The former sixth-round pick will earn $6MM in base salary this year and has a $4.1MM injury guarantee for 2021. Despite the Jets fining him $27K for missing two rehab sessions last year, Enunwa would like to stay with the team for the remainder of his career. It is unlikely, however, Enunwa — drafted two regimes ago — will be with the Jets in 2021. They can save $6MM by releasing him after this season.

I’m under contract. I want to be a Jet for life,” Enunwa said. “I saw Eli Manning say something. On his Twitter page he wrote, ‘Once a Giant, always a Giant, only a Giant.’ It would be cool to say that as a Jet.”

Here is the latest from the AFC, shifting first to Pittsburgh:

  • Ben Roethlisberger has progressed to the point he would have been ready to fully participate in Steelers OTAs, had those been non-virtual endeavors, Ed Bouchette of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Roethlisberger threw with teammates recently and appears on track for Pittsburgh’s training camp. This would be big news for a team that did not address its quarterback situation this offseason.
  • One of Big Ben’s top targets underwent surgery earlier this offseason. Diontae Johnson went under the knife for a core muscle injury in February, Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette notes. Johnson said he suffered the injury in Week 2. That did not deter him from leading all rookie wideouts with 59 catches — while posting 680 yards and five touchdowns — for a team that played most of the season two backup quarterbacks. Johnson hopes to be medically cleared within days, Fittipaldo adds.
  • Chris Harris confirmed he will play a familiar role with the Chargers. The ex-Broncos standout will play both outside and in the slot, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (on Twitter). While Harris played mostly on the outside in 2019, he earned All-Decade acclaim by playing both roles during his previous Broncos seasons. With Casey Hayward and Desmond King in the fold, the Bolts figure to have considerable versatility in their Derwin James-led secondary this season.