Emil Igwenagu

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/19/16

Here are today’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Colts have signed free agent fullback/tight end Emil Igwenagu, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN.com. To clear room for Igwenagu, they’ve waived quarterback Josh Woodrum, per Mike Chappell of FOX59 (Twitter link). Igwenagu signed with the Eagles as an undrafted free agent from Temple in 2012 and appeared in three games that year. That’s his only NFL action to date, though he remained with the Eagles organization in 2013 and then caught on with the Lions’ practice squad in 2014. Woodrum became a Colt after they claimed him off waivers from the Giants in May. The UDFA from Liberty signed with Big Blue just a few days earlier.
  • The Falcons have waived center James Stone with an injury settlement, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Stone joined the Falcons as an undrafted free agent from Tennessee in 2014 and went on to appear in 19 games for Atlanta, starting 10. The vast majority of those appearances (12) and starts (nine) came in Stone’s rookie year. A torn ACL cut his 2015 season short in December, thus leading to the injury settlement. Stone’s departure leaves the Falcons with 88 players on their 90-man roster.
  • The Buccaneers have waived safety John Lowdermilk off the reserved/retired list, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times (Twitter link). The Bucs placed Lowdermilk on the reserved/retired list May 24, just under two weeks after claiming him off waivers from the Vikings. Lowdermilk, 24, spent time with the Vikes and Chargers organizations after entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent from Iowa last year. He didn’t appear in a game with either, however.

Workout Notes: 12/16/15

It’s been a busy last couple of days around the NFL, with teams still looking to fill up their squads for the rest of the season. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweeted a whole bunch of workout notes this afternoon, which we’ve compiled for you below…

Arizona Cardinals

  • CB Mitchell White (link)

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Read more

South Notes: Mariota, Texans, Bucs, Titans

After taking a low hit to his knee on Sunday, Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota continued to play, so the Tennessee coaching staff is “cautiously optimistic” about the status of that knee, says Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. According to Florio, Mariota is undergoing an MRI today to determine the extent of the injury, and the club is hoping that it’s just an MCL issue, which can heal with rest.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s South divisions:

  • Texans safety Lonnie Ballentine will undergo surgery after dislocating his left knee and suffering significant ligament damage, reports Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. Ballentine’s 2015 season will be over, and he figures to land on injured reserve within the next few days.
  • Two free agent fullbacks are auditioning for the Buccaneers today, according to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports, who tweets that ex-Giant Henry Hynoski and Emil Igwenagu are in town for the tryout.
  • After being traded by the Titans prior to the season, Falcons guard Andy Levitre is hoping to show his old team that it “made a bad decision” in getting rid of him, as Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com writes. A source tells McClure that Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt was never really a fan of Levitre in Tennessee, but Falcons head coach says the veteran guard has been a “great addition” for Atlanta.
  • Don’t expect the Titans to make a change at head coach or general manager during the season, says Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.com.
  • After head coach Gus Bradley said that his Jaguars need to “learn how to finish” games when they have a lead, one player tells Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union that “a lot of people will be looking for a job” if the club can’t figure that out. Jacksonville lost its fourth straight game on Sunday, falling to 1-5 on the season.

Lions Reach 53-Man Roster

The Lions slashed their roster to the 53-man regular-season limit and included a couple of notable names in their cuts.

Veteran defensive lineman Corey Wootton did not make the roster after joining the Lions this offseason. The 28-year-old made 22 starts for the Bears in 2012-13 before serving as a Vikings backup last season.

To make room for Zach Zenner and Tim Wright, respectively, Detroit waived George Winn and Joseph Fauria. After releasing former Boise State star Kellen Moore, the Lions also will go into a season with just two quarterbacks for the first time since 2009.

The remainder of Detroit’s cuts are as follows:

  • Al Bond, OL
  • Crezdon Butler, DB
  • Braxston Cave, OL
  • Jermelle Cudjo, DL
  • Kerry Hyder, DL
  • Emil Igwenagu, RB
  • Isaiah Johnson, DB
  • Joe Madsen, OL
  • Nate Ness, DB
  • Casey Pierce, TE
  • Xavier Proctor, OL
  • Jeremy Ross, WR
  • Greg Salas, WR (placed on IR)
  • Julian Stanford, LB
  • Brian Suite, DB
  • Larry Webster, DL
  • Torrian Wilson, OL
  • Jerel Worthy, DL

Extra Points: Lions, Taliaferro, Chancellor

Linebacker Kyle Van Noy, the Lions‘ second-round pick in 2014, had half of his rookie season wiped out by a stint on injured reserve, and he never got fully healthy after he returned, contributing just six tackles for the year. After undergoing hip surgery earlier this year, Van Noy had higher hopes for the 2015 campaign, but the 24-year-old continues to be nagged by injury issues with the season approaching.

According to head coach Jim Caldwell, the first opinion Van Noy received on his latest injury suggested more surgery isn’t necessary at this point, but the team is seeking a second opinion (Twitter link via Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com). While it’s possible that Van Noy lands in Detroit’s IR-DTR spot again, the timetable on his return isn’t clear yet, and the club may want to save that designation this time around.

Let’s check in on several more items from around the NFL…

  • Caldwell also said today that he hasn’t ruled out the possibility of two fullbacks – Michael Burton and Emil Igwenagu – making the Lions‘ roster (Twitter link via Rothstein).
  • Phones are lighting up across the league as teams look to make trades before the roster cutdown to 75 players next week, tweets Dianna Marie Russini of ESPN.com. Russini adds that, despite all the chatter, it’s not clear how many deals will actually go down.
  • Ravens coach John Harbaugh says running back Lorenzo Taliaferro will miss a “few weeks” with an MCL sprain, writes Garrett Downing of BaltimoreRavens.com. Taliaferro was listed as the Ravens No. 2 running back behind Justin Forsett, but now rookie fourth-round pick Buck Allen figures to see an increased workload for the rest of the preseason — and potentially early in the regular season.
  • Drawing on his past experience as an NFL executive, Jeff Diamond of The Sporting News takes a closer look at Kam Chancellor‘s holdout, suggesting that GM John Schneider and the Seahawks will have to consider the possibility of trading Chancellor if his holdout extends into September.
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter link), Eagles linebacker Mychal Kendricks said that his new extension came together within the last two weeks or so.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Lions Sign 12 Players To Futures Deals

4:37pm: Twentyman (Twitter link) adds Williams, whose pending deal was noted below, to the list of Lions signees, bringing the total to 12.

3:31pm: The Lions became the latest team to announce a series of reserve/futures signings for 2015 today, confirming that they’ve inked 11 players to new deals. Here’s the complete list of signees, via Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com (Twitter links):

Of the 11 players signed today by the Lions, eight finished the season on the team’s practice squad, with Boggs, Cave, and Hyder representing the new additions. Cornerback Trevin Wade and offensive tackle Michael Williams have yet to officially sign new deals, though Williams is expected to re-sign soon, per Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Sunday/Monday Transactions: NFC North

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC North teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions are noted below.

Additionally, as of 11:00am CT today, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads. For the 2014 and 2015 seasons, changes were made to practice squad rules that allow teams to carry eight players instead of 10, and the eligibility requirements for those extra two spots were also loosened. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day:

Chicago Bears:

Detroit Lions:

Green Bay Packers:

Minnesota Vikings:

Lions Release Leshoure, Roster To 53

2:50pm: The Lions have announced their remaining cuts, per Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. In addition to the players listed below, the following players have been let go:

1:45pm: The Lions have let go of one of Matthew Stafford‘s favorite targets, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press reports (via Twitter) that the team has released wideout Kris Durham.

The 26-year-old finished 2013 with career-highs in receptions (38) and yards (490). He also led all of the Lions offensive skill players in snaps, even topping All-Pro Calvin Johnson.

The Lions weren’t done there, as they released an additional six players:

11:40am: The Lions’ starting running back from 2012 is no longer on the roster, as the team informed Mikel Leshoure today that he’s being waived as the 53-man cutdown deadline nears, tweets Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. While the move leaves a little dead money on Detroit’s cap, the team avoids having to pay the running back his non-guaranteed base salary for 2014.

Leshoure wasn’t the only veteran among the Lions’ cuts today. Here’s the complete running list:

Minor Moves: Monday

Lions Claim Michael Egnew

3:49pm: The Seahawks also put in a claim on Egnew, according to Pelissero (on Twitter), but the Lions had waiver priority and were awarded the tight end.

MONDAY, 3:22pm: The Lions have claimed Egnew off waivers from the Dolphins, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today, who also reports that Detroit has claimed fellow TE Emil Igwenagu from the Eagles. The Lions are certainly stockpiling tight end talent, as they already have Brandon Pettigrew, Joseph Fauria, and 2014 first-rounder Eric Ebron under contract.

FRIDAY, 2:00pm: With roster cutdown deadlines approaching, the Dolphins will part ways with a player they drafted in the third round just two years ago, reports Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). According to Schefter, Miami is waiving third-year tight end Michael Egnew.

Egnew, 24, was inactive for most of his rookie season, and grabbed just seven balls in 2013 while struggling as a run blocker. The former 78th overall pick out of Missouri also dealt with a concussion earlier in camp. With the Dolphins’ front office having undergone significant changes this offseason, including Dennis Hickey replacing Jeff Ireland as general manager, the organization had less incentive to Egnew around, and has decided to cut its losses.

The move will leave Miami with an opening on its 90-man roster, though it’s not clear if the team will sign a replacement. Rosters must be cut down to 75 players by next Tuesday afternoon.