The Chargers waived Jerry Tillery last week, leading to extensive interest on the wire. Had the team hung onto Tillery through Sunday night’s game, he probably would have seen an increased role. The Bolts’ defensive line equation changed during its loss to the 49ers.
Both Christian Covington and Otito Ogbonnia are expected to miss the rest of the season, Brandon Staley said Monday. Covington suffered a torn pectoral muscle, while Ogbonnia suffered a more severe injury — a ruptured patellar tendon. The latter is most definitely done for the year.
An eighth-year veteran who has seen game action with four teams, Covington is in his second season with the Chargers. He saw a 48% defensive snap share last season and has played a regular role in four games this year. The former Texans, Cowboys and Bengals contributor provided supplementary work on a retooled Bolts D-line this year. Covington, 29, is signed through the end of this season.
A fifth-round pick, Ogbonnia started his first career game Sunday night. The UCLA product has played 31% of the Bolts’ defensive snaps but has a long rehab road ahead. Patellar tendon ruptures can be difficult to surmount, putting the 21-year-old defender on an uncertain NFL path.
Tillery’s exit and the three season-ending injuries will obviously transform this defensive line. The team only has offseason addition Sebastian Joseph-Day, veteran pickup Morgan Fox and recent practice squad promotion Breiden Fehoko healthy at this position group going into Week 11. Roster adjustments will be made ahead of that Chiefs matchup. If free agency is considered, the likes of Ndamukong Suh, Sheldon Richardson and Brandon Williams are available. Ditto Linval Joseph, a two-year Chargers contributor who recently visited the Jets.
Robinson has been mostly a rotational defensive end with the Seahawks, but the Syracuse product has five sacks in his two seasons. Robinson suffered a knee injury in Seattle’s preseason finale. He can return after four games, though teams only have eight IR-return slots — way up from the pre-COVID NFL but down from the 2020 and ’21 unlimited IR-return setup — this season.
The Seahawks will be without their primary long snapper, Tyler Ott, on Monday night. Ott is out with a shoulder injury. Tinker has been an NFL snapper since 2013, and the veteran specialist has experience with Seahawks kicker Jason Myers. The duo played together in Jacksonville during the mid-2010s.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Covington represents by far the most experienced player being let go. He spent just one season in Los Angeles, starting three of his 16 appearances. While the 28-year-old Canadian set a new career-high in tackles with 52, he was part of the league’s third-worst run defense. That, coupled with Covington’s small roster bonus, made him a logical cut candidate.
The Chargers have a crowded backfield to work with, and one main training camp storyline has been the competition to establish the pecking order behind Austin Ekeler. By waiving Nabers, however, the team can keep one more back on the 53-man roster. Given their passing efficiency, eliminating the fullback position from the offense would allow them to keep the former UDFA on the practice squad (if at all); if not, Nabers will need to find one of the few remaining teams with a spot for his skillset.
Surratt carries the most upside amongst the TE departures. The converted WR didn’t play during his rookie season, but demonstrated his talent in college, including a 1,000-yerd season at Wake Forest. Given his absence from the 2020 college season, as well as the 2021 NFL campaign, though, keeping the six-foot-three, 215-pounder as a depth option behind Gerald Everettcould better be done via the practice squad.
Following a four-year stint with the Texans to start his career, Covington has bounced around the NFL a bit over the past few years. He had stints with the Cowboys and Bengals before landing in Los Angeles in 2021.
He ended up getting into 16 games (three starts) for the Chargers last season, collecting 52 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble. He saw time on 48 percent of the Chargers defensive snaps, and he also got some run on special teams.
Defensive linemen Justin Jones and Linval Joseph combined for 23 starts last season, but both players are hitting free agency. As a result, Covington could see a larger role next season.
The Chargers are adding some depth to their defensive line. Los Angeles has agreed to terms with free agent defensive tackle Christian Covington, his agent David Canter announced on Twitter.
The Chargers previously had Linval Joseph, but not much else at defensive tackle. With Melvin Ingram leaving in free agency, their defensive front depth as a whole had been looking pretty thin. Covington was drafted by the Texans in the sixth-round back in 2015, and became a solid contributor and part-time starter in Houston.
In his final season with the Texans in 2018 he had his best year as a pass-rusher, racking up 3.5 sacks coming up the middle in only 12 games. He signed a one-year deal with Dallas in 2019, then a one-year $1.75MM contract with the Broncos last offseason.
He never ended up playing a game for Denver, as the Broncos traded him to the Bengals right before the start of last season. He appeared in all 16 games for Cincy, starting 14, and notching a career-high 39 tackles. The folks over at Pro Football Focus gave him middling grades for his work. He’ll turn 28 in October.
September 4th, 2020 at 1:25pm CST by Zachary Links
The Broncos have agreed to trade defensive tackle Christian Covington to the Bengals in exchange for linebacker Austin Calitro, as Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com tweets. The deal appears to be a one-for-one swap, with no additional draft capital attached.
Covington joined the Broncos on a one-year, $1.75MM deal in April. Before that, he spent the 2019 season with the Cowboys and the previous four years with the Texans. With Dallas, he had one of his most productive seasons to date, posting a career-high 28 tackles to go with one sack and one pass defended in 16 games. For his career, he has 93 tackles, 8.5 sacks, and a forced fumble to his credit.
Calitro suited up in 13 games (including four starts) for the Jaguars last year, but they dropped him in late April to make room for their incoming class of draft picks and a host of undrafted free agents. The Bengals scooped him up off of waivers, using their higher priority to beat out the Broncos. The Browns, Jets, and Raiders also tried to claim Calitro, who registered 40 tackles and a sack while serving as a key special teams contributor in 2019.