Horton, a fourth-round rookie out of TCU, released a statement from the team that he is “dealing with a personal health matter that will keep (him) away from the team for an indefinite period of time.” His spot on the roster will be taken by Hyder, a practice squad end who is one of several former 49ers defenders to join head coach DeMeco Ryans in Houston.
The 49ers have upgraded one of their cornerback roster spots, subbing Womack in off the injured reserve for Jean-Charles. Womack was a much more active participant in his rookie season last year than Jean-Charles has been for the 49ers so far this season. While Womack was ready to return, the same could not be said for rookie fifth-round defensive end Robert Beal Jr. Beal was downgraded to out for tonight’s game and will remain on IR with his 21-day practice window still open for four more days.
Meanwhile, Miami and New York are making their standard gameday elevations for the league’s first ever Black Friday football game tomorrow.
Waived from reserve/suspended list: T Bernard Williams
The Bengals are without Tee Higgins for a second straight game. They added two wideouts to their active roster and are using their first injury activation this season, bringing Jones back after an IR stay. Cincinnati placed Jones on IR in late September due to a thumb injury. A fourth-round rookie who played at three Division I-FBS schools (Buffalo, Iowa, Purdue), Jones worked as the Bengals’ punt returner early this season. The Day 3 rookie made an early impact, already notching a return touchdown in his three-game work sample.
Chicago added Evans in October, doing so just after Khalil Herbert sustained an injury that required an IR stint. With Roschon Johnson also missing two games due to a concussion, Evans saw increased work behind D’Onta Foreman in the Bears’ depleted backfield. With Johnson back, Evans has seen just six offensive snaps in each of the past two games. This cut looks to lay the groundwork for the Bears activating Herbert soon. On IR due to a high ankle sprain, Herbert would represent the Bears’ final injury activation this season. They would be the first team this year to use all eight.
A productive player in Jacksonville, Jack spent last season in Pittsburgh before being released in March. The Eagles took a flier on the former second-round pick during training camp, signing both he and Zach Cunningham. While Cunningham has managed to move from a months-long free agency stay to a Philadelphia starter, Jack opted to retire in August. Were the UCLA alum to continue his career, the Eagles no longer hold his rights.
In a strange bookkeeping transaction, the Eagles also removed their 1994 first-round pick from the reserve/suspended list. Philly used Williams as a 16-game starter in 1994, when he protected QBs Randall Cunningham and Rodney Peete in Rich Kotite‘s final season as HC. A 1995 drug suspension led to Williams’ career ending.
The Bears’ resounding Thursday night win against the Commanders, which broke Chicago’s 14-game losing streak, came with a price. As Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports, running back Khalil Herbert will miss multiple weeks after suffering an ankle injury in the victory over Washington. Per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports, Herbert sustained a high ankle sprain and could land on injured reserve.
While Herbert’s rushing attempts this year have been somewhat limited by game script and the fact that quarterback Justin Fields carries the ball a great deal, he has played at a high level. He has 272 rushing yards on 51 carries — good for a strong 5.3 yards-per-carry average — and has added 10 catches for 83 yards and a score. The Bears’ offense came to life against the Broncos and Commanders over the past two games, and Herbert has performed especially well in both contests. In Chicago’s narrow loss to Denver in Week 4, the 2021 sixth-rounder recorded 18 carries for 103 yards and added four catches for 19 yards and a TD.
Denver and Washington are both fielding porous defenses at the moment, but Herbert’s play is in keeping with the ability he demonstrated over his first two years in the league as a backup to David Montgomery. Now with 283 NFL carries to his name, Herbert has maintained a career 5.1 YPC rate and has proven himself worthy of an RB1 role.
The Bears are also rostering talented rookie Roschon Johnson, who has 25 carries for 122 yards (4.9 YPC) and 11 receptions for 53 yards in 2023. Unfortunately, as Pelissero notes, Johnson is dealing with a concussion, and Travis Homer is battling a hamstring ailment. As such, free agent acquisition D’Onta Foreman — who has accumulated just five rushing attempts this year — could be in line for a larger role in the short-term.
Pelissero reports that Chicago, in an effort to fill out its RB depth chart, has signed running back Darrynton Evans off the Dolphins’ taxi squad. Evans, a 2020 third-round pick of the Titans, was waived by the Bills during final cutdowns in August and joined Miami shortly thereafter. He has not appeared in a game in 2023, but he has familiarity with the Bears, having played in six contests for the club last season.
Dean Marlowe was traded to the Bills last November, and the safety began his second stint with the organization after spending three-plus seasons with the organization between 2017 and 2020. The veteran ended up starting a pair of playoff games for Buffalo, collecting seven tackles and an interception. The 31-year-old re-signed with the Bills back in May.
A.J. Klein was another former Bills player added midway through the 2022 season. It was a whirlwind season for the veteran LB. Klein was released by Buffalo in March, and he ended up spending time with the Giants, Ravens, and Bears before returning to the Bills in November. He collected 11 tackles in six games before putting up zeros in a pair of playoff games.
On a more positive note, a day after the Bears placed Claypool on the PUP list, he has been removed from it. He’ll now be eligible to participate in training camp starting this Wednesday. Tomlinson returns to Houston after being released back in May. He’ll get another chance to work in the tight ends room that includes Dalton Schultz, Teagan Quitoriano, and Brevin Jordan.
1:00pm: Hines suffered an injury to the ACL in his left knee, and he is expected to undergo surgery later this week (Twitter link via Pelissero). Given the non-football related nature of the injury, it will be interesting to see how much of his $2.56MM base salary the Bills will end up paying him, as both player and team look to the future.
Buffalo has moved quickly in their search for Hines’ replacement. Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets that Darrynton Evans, Kylin Hill and Abram Smithworked out with the Bills today. Evans, a 2020 Titans third-rounder, had a brief spell in Tennessee before spending time on and off the Bears’ practice squad last season. He was signed and waived by the Colts earlier this offseason. Hill was released by the Packers midway through the 2022 campaign, his second year in Green Bay, while Smith has yet to see any NFL game action.
9:53am: The Bills’ backfield has taken a notable hit well before the start of the season. Nyheim Hinessuffered an off-site knee injury which is expected to sideline him for the 2023 campaign, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Adding further clarity to the situation, Pelissero tweets that Hines suffered the injury during a jet ski accident and is dealing with “serious but non-life threatening injuries” as a result. The news marks an obviously disappointing blow for the 26-year-old as he was poised to begin his first full season in Buffalo, a team which is expected to rely more on its running backs than previous seasons.
The Bills acquired Hines from the Colts at the trade deadline as backfield insurance and a returner for the stretch run. He saw just 66 offensive snaps upon arrival, but demonstrated his special teams value with a pair of kick return touchdowns in Week 18. Hines agreed to a restructured contract in the offseason to remain in Buffalo, though his role and even spot on the team’s 53-man roster faced questions entering training camp.
The Bills have 2022 second-rounder James Cookand free agent addition Damien Harrisin place atop the RB depth chart. That left Hines and veteran signing Latavius Murrayset for a training camp competition to potentially decide one roster spot. Hines’ special teams contributions likely would have given him the edge, but Murray should be able to provide effective depth in the running game.
Buffalo also has a few options to replace Hines as a returner. Deonte Harty signed a two-year deal in March to provide depth at the receiver position, but also a proven producer in both the kick and punt return games. Harty (or other returners who stand out in camp) will now see an uptick in third phase usage with Hines sidelined for the foreseeable future.
The former fourth-rounder is under contract through 2024, but no guaranteed money exists on his deal for that season. Today’s news thus puts Hines’ future very much in doubt, while the Bills will move forward with their current stable of backs and the opportunity to add another pass-catching specialist in free agency if they desire.
The Colts added Evans, a former Titans third-round pick, earlier this offseason. The team still has Zack Moss and Deon Jackson on its roster behind Jonathan Taylor; Indianapolis also drafted Evan Hull in the fifth round. Gillespie, who was briefly with the Titans last summer, is only a Colts agreement away from the AFC South cycle.
Luton spent last season with the Saints, residing both on their practice squad and active roster. A former sixth-round pick, the Oregon State product’s last game action came with the Jaguars in 2020. Gore gained 256 rushing yards for the Chiefs in 2021; he joined Luton on the Saints’ P-squad for the second half of last season. The Saints have since signed Jamaal Williams and used a third-round pick on TCU’s Kendre Miller. Veteran special-teamer Dwayne Washington and Eno Benjamin also reside on New Orleans’ roster.
Flowers, a 6-foot-2 receiver out of Montana, joins the team’s UDFA class. The Division I-FCS product holds the Big Sky conference record for kick-return yards, averaging 28.9 per return. Flowers finished his college career with an eye-popping seven kick-return touchdowns. The seven TDs match current Saint wideout Rashid Shaheed‘s FCS record.
Once ticketed to be Derrick Henry‘s backup, Darrynton Evans did not finish out his rookie contract in Tennessee. But the former third-round pick is coming back to the AFC South.
After Evans worked out for the Colts on Friday, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler reports he will sign with the team (Twitter link). The Colts will be Evans’ third NFL team, with this agreement coming after stints with the Titans and Bears on his rookie deal.
The Appalachian State product — he of a 4.41-second 40-yard dash time in 2020 — does not have much NFL tread on his tires. Evans accumulated just 30 carries in three seasons. He starred at the Sun Belt program, however, stringing together back-to-back 1,100-yard rushing seasons. This included a 1,480-yard year — a season that featured 23 total touchdowns — in 2019. That enticed the Titans to draft him 93rd overall in 2020.
Injuries derailed Evans’ path to be Henry’s top backup; he played in just six games with the Titans. He was not available when Henry went down with a fractured foot in 2021, having aggravated a previous knee injury shortly before the rushing champion went down. The Titans ended up giving the Henry fill-in gig to in-season pickup D’Onta Foreman, and the ex-third-rounder showed starter capabilities in that role and in Carolina.
Evans, 24, will attempt to land a job as one of Jonathan Taylor‘s backups. The Colts acquired Zack Moss to be Taylor’s top reserve, in the deadline trade that sent Nyheim Hines to the Bills, but the team has since imported a new coaching staff. Shane Steichen will kick the tires on Evans as a possible reserve option.