Mayfield missed all of last season due to injury, but he started each the 16 games in his rookie campaign the year prior. The former 23-year-old struggled at guard, which prompted a change in plans for the Falcons on the interior. They tried Mayfield at tackle this offseason, but that has clearly not gone according to plan given today’s move. It will be interesting to see if Atlanta tries to keep him in the fold via the practice squad if that option presents itself next week.
Covington, 29, could have provided experienced depth along the defensive interior for the Lions had he made the 53-man roster. The former sixth-rounder has 102 games to his name, including 20 with the Chargers over the past two years. Covington has also spent time with the Texans, Cowboys and Bengals, collecting 196 tackles and 9.5 sacks. He will now have a slight head start on many other players with respect to finding a new home as teams sort through their final roster decisions.
Not having practiced since late July, third-year interior offensive lineman Matt Hennessy will head to injured reserve in Atlanta, according to Falcons digital managing editor Scott Bair. Hennessy has been dealing with an unspecified injury since then, one that will apparently require a stay on IR.
This continues what has been an up-and-down start to Hennessy’s NFL career thus far. After getting drafted in the third round out of Temple in 2020, Hennessy was used sparingly as a rookie, appearing in 13 games but only starting the final two of the season at center. With Alex Mack in San Francisco the following year, Hennessy took over as a full-time starter for the Falcons in 2021. Overall, Hennessy put forth a strong performance, boosted by elite run-blocking while struggling in pass protection.
Last year, the team decided to employ 2021 fourth-round pick Drew Dalman at the starting center spot after a training camp position battle, playing Hennessy only on special teams. A Week 9 injury placed starting left guard Elijah Wilkinson on IR, allowing Hennessy back into the starting lineup. A knee injury would force Hennessy onto IR for the next six weeks before he would eventually come back to start the final two games of the season.
Head coach Arthur Smith has said that Hennessy’s issue is related to something he was dealing with last year, so it’s possible that late-season knee injury is continuing to trouble him. In his absence, second-round rookie Matthew Bergeron has been consistently handling first-team duties for the Falcons. Hennessy entered camp as the team’s starting left guard but with the expectation that he would need to hold off Bergeron for the role.
The injury has not only opened the door to opportunity for Bergeron, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, second-year backup center Ryan Neuzilhas benefitted, as well. While playing at left guard since losing the starting center job, Hennessy was still the top option to replace Dalman at center, should he succumb to injury. Hennessy’s chronic absence due to his own injury, though, has allowed Neuzil to work his way up the depth chart, making him the preferred option over Hennessy in certain injury situations.
It’s fortunate that the Falcons have such strong options to deal with Hennessy’s absence as it looks like he will be out for some time. According to another report from Ledbetter, Hennessy is expected to undergo surgery for his injury that will require a recovery period of 6-7 months, likely sidelining him for the entire 2023 season. If Hennessy is out for the year, that opens the door for Bergeron to start at left guard and Neuzil to solidify his role as the team’s top backup center.
In addition to the new roster spot opening up in Atlanta due to Hennessy’s move to IR, the Falcons filled the roster spot opened yesterday by linebacker Adetokunbo Ogundeji‘s placement on IR. According to Josh Alper of NBC Sports, Atlanta signed defensive lineman Delontae Scott to the roster today. A former undrafted free agent out of SMU, Scott has spent time in Green Bay, Pittsburgh, and Carolina over his first three years in the league. He provides some camp depth on defensive line for the rest of the preseason.
September 27th, 2022 at 3:59pm CST by Sam Robinson
Jordan Berry is back for another Steelers stint. Pittsburgh’s former long-term punter reached an agreement to join the team’s practice squad Tuesday.
This latest Berry-Steelers pact comes after Mike Tomlin said second-year punter Pressley Harvin is dealing with hip discomfort. Berry worked out for the Steelers on Monday. To make room for Berry on their 16-man P-squad, the Steelers cut linebacker Delontae Scott.
Originally a Steelers UDFA back in 2015, Berry signed an extension to stay with the team in February 2018. He later signed a two-year deal in 2019. But the Steelers cut bait on that contract in 2020, releasing Berry and using Dustin Colquitt as their punter to start that season. The Australian specialist, however, returned to replace Colquitt midway through that season.
Harvin’s 2021 arrival, via a seventh-round pick, led Berry to the Vikings, who gave him one-year deals in 2021 and earlier this year. Berry, 31, did not win Minnesota’s punting competition this year, leading him back to free agency.
While Berry represents insurance at this point, he has appeared in more games (91) than any Steelers punter this century. Only Bobby Walden, Josh Miller and Craig Colquitt have punted in more games for the franchise. Playing indoors regularly for the first time as a pro, Berry averaged a career-high 46.5 yards per punt with the Vikings last year.
A Kansas City-area native, Blanton will leave his home town again but rejoin a Rams team that carried him on its active roster or practice squad from 2019-21. Rams tight end Brycen Hopkins ran into a three-game suspension this week.
Jones vied for the Titans’ starting left guard job, which Rodger Saffold‘s cap-casualty cut vacated in March. Despite signing Jones to a two-year, $4.8MM deal in free agency, the Titans gave the gig to former UDFA Aaron Brewer. Although Jones has not played this season, he must miss four more games because of this transaction.
Two safeties the Steelers signed this offseason have landed on IR. The team waited until after setting its 53-man roster to move Damontae Kazee, as opposed to its shuttling of Karl Joseph to IR prior to that date. But the position became thinner this summer.
Pittsburgh is expected to address that soon. Andrew Adams is expected to sign with the team Monday, ProFootballNetwork.com’s Aaron Wilson tweets. It is a practice squad deal, according to ESPN.com’s Brooke Pryor (on Twitter).
The Giants had Adams in training camp this year but cut him ahead of their move down to 53. Adams, 29, is a six-year veteran who has played for the Giants (from 2016-17) and Buccaneers (2018-21).
The UConn alum worked as a backup for the Super Bowl-winning Bucs squad two years ago and made three starts for last year’s team. A former UDFA, Adams was a regular Bucs starter in 2019. He has seven career interceptions; four of those came with the 2018 Bucs.
Former second-round pick Josh Jackson is also signing with Pittsburgh’s practice squad, per Pryor. The Packers draftee has bounced around the league since a 2021 trade moved him out of Green Bay. Jackson’s most recent stop came with the Cardinals, who cut him on their way down to the 53-man max. The Steelers also added linebacker Delontae Scott to their taxi squad.
The Steelers had a number of difficult decisions to make leading up to the 53-man roster deadline, including the status of Mason Rudolph. The team ended up holding on to the quarterback, but the front office still had to cut a number of players to get to the roster limit:
Marcus Allen, a 2018 fifth-round pick, appeared in 33 games for Pittsburgh over the past four seasons. Justin Layne was a 2019 third-round pick by the Steelers, with the majority of his 43 appearances coming on special teams. Anthony McFarland was also a former Steelers draft pick, while Trent Scott was brought in this offseason to compete for an OL spot. Joe Haeg started two of his 12 appearances for the Steelers in 2021.
Henry Mondeaux spent the past two seasons in Pittsburgh, getting into 26 total games (two starts). After mostly seeing a special teams role during his rookie campaign, the defensive tackle saw more opportunities on defense in 2021, finishing with 16 tackles and two sacks. Buddy Johnson was a fourth-round pick in the 2021 draft. The linebacker got into four games as a rookie, collecting two tackles. Carlos Davis was a seventh-round pick by the Steelers in 2020. The defensive tackle collected 11 tackles in 11 games.