Devonta Freeman

49ers Place RB Elijah Mitchell On IR, Add RB Marlon Mack

Elijah Mitchell‘s run of injuries continued with an MCL sprain. This is viewed as a rather severe MCL issue, with Kyle Shanahan expecting his starter to be out for around two months. As such, Mitchell landed on the 49ers’ IR list Tuesday.

The 49ers brought in several backs for auditions Tuesday. Old friend Tevin Coleman, Devonta Freeman, ex-Jet La’Mical Perine and ex-Lion Godwin Igwebuike came in for workouts, Field Yates of tweets. Marlon Mack visited with the team, and this appears to be the direction it will go. The 49ers are signing Mack to their practice squad, Adam Schefter of tweets.

This will be Mack’s first move out of the AFC South; the former fourth-round pick has spent his career with the Colts and Texans. Houston, however, did not keep the former 1,000-yard rusher on its 53-man roster out of training camp. The Texans cut Mack, in moving their roster to 53, and then released him from their practice squad.

Mack, 26, saw a September 2020 Achilles tear throw his career off track. The Colts turned to 2020 second-rounder Jonathan Taylor, and although they re-signed Mack in 2021, the latter did not see much action last season. The Colts discussed possible trades ahead of last year’s deadline, and the 49ers were one of the teams to express interest. But Mack played out his second Colts contract, residing behind Taylor and Nyheim Hines on the depth chart.

Mack signed his second straight one-year, $2MM deal this offseason, joining the Texans, but will come to San Francisco for P-squad money. Mack, who rushed for 55 yards against the 49ers in this year’s Texans preseason finale, totaled 2,099 rushing yards from 2018-19.

Freeman and Coleman, of course, teamed up as part of potent Falcons backfields during the 2010s. They split up in 2019, with Coleman signing with the 49ers. Freeman also played for Shanahan in Atlanta, being the team’s starting back during both of Shanahan’s OC seasons. Coleman signed a two-year 49ers deal in 2019 and played with ex-49ers assistant Mike LaFleur in New York last season. Perine’s Jets stint also overlapped with LaFleur’s.

For now, Mack is the 49ers’ choice. The sixth-year veteran joins a team rostering Jeff Wilson, third-round pick Tyrion Davis-Price and rookie Jordan Mason at running back. Wilson is expected to be the 49ers’ starter during Mitchell’s absence, and the 49ers played Mason — a UDFA out of Georgia Tech — over Davis-Price in their opener.

Ravens Receiving Trade Interest On RBs

The Ravens are receiving trade inquiries on their running backs, according to’s Adam Schefter. Their revamped backfield currently features second-year pro Ty’Son Williams plus veterans Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell

[RELATED: Ravens Elevate RB Le’Veon Bell]

The Ravens’ position group was decimated by injuries to J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill just before the start of the season. Now, their replacements are drawing interest from teams in advance of the November 2 trade deadline.

Through four games, the Ravens have averaged 164.5 rushing yards per contest, good for fourth in the league. Quarterback Lamar Jackson is responsible for much of their ground game success, but Williams has also impressed with 164 rushing yards and a touchdown off of 27 carries — good for a 6.1 ypc average. Freeman, in a much smaller sample of six attempts, has averaged 6.8 yards per tote. Meanwhile, Murray has three rushing TDs to lead the team.

They’ll all look to advance the Ravens to 4-1 tonight when they face the Colts in Baltimore.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Baltimore Ravens

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

New York Giants

New York Jets

Ravens Promote RB Devonta Freeman

The Ravens are promoting running back Devonta Freeman to the 53-man roster (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of Freeman, who joined the practice squad last week, will be eligible to play against the Chiefs on Sunday night.

Freeman is far removed from his best work at this point, but the Ravens will hope for the best as RB room has been decimated by injuries. Freeman, of course, has been derailed by injuries of his own. The former Falcons star missed 14 games due to knee and groin ailments in 2018. In 2019, he managed just 3.6 yards per tote. Then, last year, an ankle injury limited him to five games with the Giants. His final line in blue: 54 carries, 172 yards, and a 3.2 ypc.

The two-time Pro Bowler will at least have an opportunity to turn back the clock. The Ravens’ once-stacked RB group is now without J.K. Dobbins (ACL tear), Gus Edwards (ACL tear), and Justice Hill (Achilles tear). Freeman will likely operate as their No. 3 RB this week behind UDFA Ty’Son Williams and fellow vet Latavius Murray.

Ravens To Sign RB Devonta Freeman

The Ravens are moving quickly at running back. After Gus Edwards suffered a potentially serious knee injury in practice Thursday, the Ravens agreed to add Devonta Freeman to their practice squad, Adam Schefter of tweets.

Freeman joined Le’Veon Bell in working out for the team Monday. The Ravens added Bell to their taxi squad Wednesday, and although the team signed Bell first, Schefter adds Freeman is expected to be the back promoted to Baltimore’s active roster first.

Edwards is feared to have suffered a torn ACL. This setback follows J.K. Dobbins‘ ACL tear and Justice Hill‘s Achilles tear. Each injury occurred within the past three weeks, depleting the run-dependent team’s backfield. Should Freeman be bumped up to Baltimore’s active roster ahead of Week 1, he will join second-year UDFA Ty’Son Williams and recent free agent acquisition Trenton Cannon.

Injuries have affected Freeman’s career as well. After the former Falcons starter missed 14 games due to knee and groin ailments in 2018, an ankle injury limited him to five games last season with the Giants. Last season, Freeman rushed for 172 yards on 54 carries. In 2019, he managed just 656 at 3.6 yards per tote. The two-time Pro Bowler has not submitted much in the way of quality since the 2018 injuries, but the Ravens present an interesting opportunity as a run-centric team in a desperate situation.

Both Ravens practice squad backs have not shown much since 2017, when Bell completed the second of his All-Pro seasons, even though they carry unusually high profiles for P-squad cogs. Freeman’s two 1,000-yard seasons came in 2015 and ’16, and the Falcons rewarded him with a deal that at the time marked the top running back contract. Like Bell, Freeman is 29. Each will aim to join Williams as Baltimore ball carriers in a skeleton-crew backfield.

Ravens Work Out Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman

The Ravens’ running back search is underway. After losing Justice Hill to a torn Achilles, the Ravens auditioned running backs Le’Veon Bell, Devonta Freeman, and Elijah Holyfield, per the league’s official list.

[RELATED: Ravens’ Hill Done For Year]

Bell is undoubtedly eager to prove that he still has upper-echelon ability. He did not record a 20-yard run as a Jet or as a Chief. Bell’s most recent 100-yard rushing game came in 2017, during his Steelers heyday. In Pittsburgh, Bell posted 1,800-plus scrimmage yards three times en route to the 2014 and ’17 All-Pro teams. He added three 75-catch seasons in that span, so he could provide Lamar Jackson with an intriguing short-range option.

Freeman is also out to prove that he’s more than just a name at this stage of his career. The former Pro Bowler ended up with the Giants last year and averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on 54 totes. The Saints picked him up towards the end of July, but his New Orleans run ended after just one month.

Defensive tackle Reginald McKenzie and quarterback Kenji Bahar also worked out for the Ravens on Monday. And, in other Ravens news, they’ve locked up standout tight end Mark Andrews on a four-year, $56MM deal.

Saints Cut Chris Hogan, Kevin White, Get Down To 53

The Saints are down to 53. The team announced the following moves:



Placed on Reserve/PUP list

Placed on Reserve/Suspended list

We had previously heard about a number of these transactions, which you can find here (including full stories on Thomas, Siemian, and Freeman).

Among the notable additions to the list of cut players is veteran wideout Chris Hogan, who delayed a professional lacrosse career to return to the NFL. The two-time Super Bowl champ signed with the Saints back in July. Kevin White is another notable name to earn his walking papers. The former seventh-overall pick has been unable to hold a steady gig since leaving the Bears in 2019. He got into three games for New Orleans last season but mostly appeared on special teams.

Saints To Release RB Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman‘s time with the Saints will end after exactly a month. After a late-summer signing, New Orleans will release the veteran back, Adam Schefter of tweets.

After an injury cut Freeman’s Giants season short last year, he returned to the NFC South on a July 31 deal with the Saints. The Saints’ Alvin Kamara– and Latavius Murray-topped depth chart does not feature much work for other backs, and Freeman will head back to free agency.

The former Pro Bowler was a hotter commodity in 2020, having made several visits before his in-season Giants signing. But Freeman was believed to have set too high an asking price, leading to his lengthy 2020 stay in free agency. He ended up with the Giants and averaged just 3.2 yards per carry on 54 totes in the wake of Saquon Barkley‘s Week 2 injury.

The Giants waived Freeman in January, clearing a path for him to join the Bills during their playoff run. Freeman caught on with Buffalo’s practice squad. The former Super Bowl LI starter did not see any postseason action with the Bills.

While last year’s injury spared Freeman an extensive workload, marking the second time in three years he finished a season with fewer than 60 carries, it also docked his stock. Once the NFL’s highest-paid running back — via his 2017 extension with Atlanta — the 29-year-old veteran is running out of chances.

Saints To Sign Devonta Freeman

Devonta Freeman will have multiple chances to stick it to his old team in 2021. The veteran running back and former Falcons star has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Saints, according to his agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Financial terms weren’t immediately available, although it’s fairly safe to assume it was pretty cheap. The Florida State product became a starter for the Falcons in 2015, earning second-team All-Pro honors that year. In both 2015 and 2016 he made the Pro Bowl while having at least 1,500 all-purpose yards and 13 total touchdowns. It wasn’t too long ago that he was considered one of the league’s best backs, and a legit weapon in both the ground and passing games.

Multiple injuries limited him to only two contests in 2018, and despite regaining his starting job in 2019 he was cut the following offseason. He signed a $3MM deal with the Giants for 2020, but injuries limited him to five games for New York before he was cut in January. He was then added to Buffalo’s practice squad for their playoff run.

This was the first known interest he’d received this cycle. The 2014 fourth-rounder will now slot in as the third back on a running back depth chart that already features Alvin Kamara and Latavius Murray in New Orleans. It’ll likely take a injury to one of those guys for the 29-year-old to get significant playing time.

Bills Sign Devonta Freeman To Practice Squad

The Bills have agreed to sign running back Devonta Freeman to the practice squad, as Ian Rapoport of tweets. Freeman will provide insurance for Buffalo in the wake of Zack Moss‘ season-ending injury. 

The Giants released the Drew Rosenhaus client after the season in what was effectively a formality. It was also a courtesy move — Freeman was set to reach free agency anyway, so the Giants agreed to cut him so that he could potentially hook on with a playoff team.

The Giants didn’t have much interest in keeping Freeman around for 2021. Injuries and the COVID-19 list cost him much of the year and he played in just five games. All in all, he registered 171 yards off of 54 carries — good for just 3.2 yards per carry — and one rushing touchdown. He didn’t do much in the passing game either, finishing with seven catches for 58 yards.

With the Falcons, Freeman posted two separate 1,000-yard seasons with 1,500+ scrimmage yards each time. No one’s expecting a reprise at this point, but he could help out the Bills in a pinch.