Kareem, who was just activated off of injured reserve, is being waived to make room for defensive end Montez Sweat, acquired by trade this morning. The Bears also announced a practice squad release, indicating a possible return for Kareem on that unit. The Colts are expected to do the same with Boettger.
O’Connor will lose his active roster spot to make room for quarterback John Wolford, whom Tampa Bay officially promoted today in order to ward off interest parties such as the Rams and Vikings, both of whom are experiencing injury issues at quarterback.
The Colts’ offensive line has been dealing with a couple injuries, so bringing in Boettger will help improve the line’s depth a bit. Boettger, a former undrafted free agent, spent the first five years of his career in Buffalo. He spent much of that time as a backup but did start 17 games in a two-year stretch from 2020-2022. Veteran starting experience is usually an asset worth having on the bench.
Walker’s elevation comes amidst a degree of uncertainty regarding DeshaunWatson‘s Sunday availability. The latter is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he has expressed confidence he will be able to suit up. In the event he is unable to play, though, Walker will provide insurance under center. NFL Network’s James Palmer reports Watson will be a game-time decision.
Chosen, formerly Robbie Anderson, made his Dolphins debut in Week 3, scoring a 68-yard touchdown on his only catch. His performance – along with other depth wideouts currently being sidelined for Miami – will give the 30-year-old a longer look with his new team.
Gore’s elevation will give him the chance to see regular season game action for the first time since 2021. The former UDFA recorded 361 scrimmage yards with the Chiefs that season, but a subsequent IR stint marked the end of his time in Kansas City. Gore has since spent time on the Saints’, and now Commanders’, taxi squads. Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post notes that fellow depth back Chris Rodriguezhas bee ruled out with an illness, opening the door to Gore seeing limited snaps.
September 12th, 2023 at 4:27pm CST by Sam Robinson
The Colts’ changes at running back continued Tuesday. Rookie Evan Hull is now on IR, and Jake Funk will replace him on the 53-man roster. Hull went down with a knee injury in Week 1.
In addition to the running back switch, the Colts added veteran guard Ike Boettger to their practice squad. The team worked out the ex-Bills blocker recently. Boettger spent the past five seasons in Buffalo.
At running back, this Colts operation continues to see hurdles form. Zack Moss missed most of training camp with a broken arm, and the team brought in Kenyan Drake. The seven-year veteran could not make Indianapolis’ 53-man roster. Funk played in Indy’s opener as a practice squad elevation. The former Rams UDFA is now on the Colts’ active roster.
Ex-Funk teammate Darrell Henderson also auditioned for the Colts on Tuesday, KPRC2’s Aaron Wilson tweets. A multiyear Rams starter, Henderson has resided in free agency since he cleared waivers following a Jaguars cut late last season. Henderson worked out for the Patriots last month, joining Leonard Fournette in that regard, but was not signed. The Pats ended up signing Ezekiel Elliott.
Henderson, 26, worked as the Super Bowl champion Rams’ primary starter in 2021, though Sony Michel ended up replacing him down the stretch. Making 21 starts between the 2020 and ’21 seasons, Henderson cleared 600 rushing yards in each and totaled 14 touchdowns in that span. The Rams used him a bit more than expected early in 2022, when the team tried to trade Cam Akers. After Akers returned to the fold, the Rams ultimately waived Henderson, who certainly hit free agency at a bad time for running backs.
Hull must miss at least four games due to this IR designation. The Colts can activate up to eight players from IR this season. The Northwestern product logged two touches in his first game. After producing an impressive 546 receiving yards in his final season with the Big Ten program, Hull will see his NFL career pause. Funk joins Deon Jackson as healthy options in Indy’s Jonathan Taylor-less backfield, with Moss finishing up a recovery from the arm break. Taylor is on the Colts’ reserve/PUP list but resides there in part because of a push to be traded. The 2021 rushing champion is believed to be healthy, and the Colts are likely to restart trade talks soon.
The Bills made some guard upgrades this offseason and released Boettger, who had started 17 games for the team during his career. Boettger, 28, made 17 of those starts between the 2020 and ’21 seasons. An Achilles tear in January 2022 sidelined Boettger for much of last season. The Bills moved on to new options this year, adding Connor McGovern, second-rounder O’Cyrus Torrence and ex-Rams starter David Edwards at guard.
Dion Dawkins, Spencer Brown and Mitch Morse are locked into Week 1 starting roles for the Bills, but uncertainty clouds the guard spots. And recent developments have Buffalo’s swing tackle role in flux.
If healthy, Connor McGovern is in place as the Bills’ starting left guard. The Bills gave the former Cowboys starter a three-year, $22.35MM deal early in free agency. The fifth-year blocker, however, suffered a knee injury this week. No return timetable has emerged for the team’s top guard investment, ESPN.com’s Alaina Getzenberg notes. Considering the team has already held a long-running right guard battle, McGovern’s availability adds to the confusion here. For what it’s worth, McGovern does not believe this is a serious injury, per the Buffalo News’ Ryan O’Halloran.
Pro Football Focus graded Bates as a mid-pack guard last season, ranking him 41st at the position. The team chose Torrence 59th overall — the earliest O-line investment for the Bills since the Cody Ford pick (39th) in 2019 — and ESPN’s Scouts Inc. graded the Florida product as the draft’s best pure guard prospect. Torrence made 34 straight starts to close his college career, and Buscaglia adds the Bills have been pleased with his development.
McGovern being unavailable for Week 1 would open the door to Bates (19 career starts) keeping a starting role, though the team also has UFA addition David Edwards as an option. A three-year Rams starter, Edwards signed a low-end Bills deal (one year, $1.77MM) this offseason. A concussion limited Edwards to four starts last season, but the former Super Bowl starter has made 45 first-string appearances. Edwards’ arrival also complicates matters for longtime Bills blocker Ike Boettger, who worked with the third-team O-line during the first two preseason tilts. Boettger (17 career starts) sticking around for a sixth Bills season may hinge on his performance against the Bears tonight, Buscaglia adds.
It would be interesting to see if the Bills will look outside to address this swing issue. Jason Peters, who began his career with the team, said recently he is looking to play a 19th season. Peters, 41, may be a name to watch, per Buscaglia. Peters caught on late with the Cowboys last year, signing on Sept. 5, and played both tackle and guard as the team dealt with injuries.
Ike Boettger is moving closer to making his return from the Achilles tear he sustained in December of last year. The Bills activated the veteran guard from their reserve/PUP list Monday.
Monday represented the last day Buffalo could keep Boettger off its active roster, with the team having designated him for return three weeks ago. The Bills brought Tre’Davious White off the PUP list earlier this season but did not play him for a few weeks after that. It will be interesting to see when the team redeploys Boettger, who was working as a starter before going down with the Achilles injury.
Boettger, 28, suffered the injury during the Bills’ Week 16 game last year. If he returns Saturday, it will mark a year out of game action for the former UDFA. White missed one year as well, going down during a Thanksgiving Day game in 2021 and not returning until the Bills-Lions Thanksgiving tilt.
An Iowa product, Boettger started 17 games for the Bills from 2020-21. The team made some additions up front this offseason, adding Rodger Saffold and Greg Van Roten at guard. The team matched a Bears RFA offer sheet for Ryan Bates as well. Bates and Saffold have worked as the AFC East champions’ starting guards for most of this season, but Bates missed the Bills’ Week 15 game because of an ankle injury. Boettger would be ticketed for a depth role at least. Buffalo having he and Van Roten (53 career starts, including three this season) as backup options up front would represent strong depth ahead of the postseason.
Boettger will not have much time to show he has returned to form ahead of a free agency bid, however. The Bills re-signed the fifth-year blocker on a one-year deal this offseason. He joins Saffold and Van Roten in being eligible for free agency in March. By virtue of matching Chicago’s Bates offer sheet, Buffalo has him under contract through 2025.
To make room on the 53-man roster, the Bills waived defensive tackle Brandin Bryant. The Florida Atlantic product has played in four Bills games this season and seen defensive action in each. He logged 10 defensive snaps against the Dolphins on Saturday. Bryant, who has been with Buffalo since 2020, could return to the team on a practice squad deal if he clears waivers.
Tre’Davious White made his long-awaited return from a Thanksgiving 2021 injury, and the Bills are soon set to see how their other player who suffered a major injury late last season looks.
Buffalo designated guard Ike Boettger for return from the reserve/PUP list Monday, ESPN.com’s Field Yates tweets, opening his three-week practice window. Out since suffering an Achilles tear in Week 16 last season, Boettger must return in that three-week window or be moved to season-ending IR.
Injuries have hit the Bills hard this season, and while the team has been relatively healthy along its offensive line, Boettger’s return would certainly bolster the unit. The former UDFA had been working as a starter in the weeks leading up to his injury last season.
Boettger, 28, has made 19 starts over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus rates Bates and Saffold outside the top 50 at guard; neither has missed a game this season. Bates has played both guard and center this year, stepping in at center to replace Mitch Morse in Week 12. Morse has since returned to practice.
With Saffold, Bates, Van Roten and Boettger in the fold, the Bills will have some options along their interior O-line. The team has seen injuries decimate its defense, most recently injecting uncertainty into Von Miller‘s situation, but its offense has not encountered as much trouble. Despite the Bills’ high volume of injuries, they are in great shape in terms of activations. They have only used one (White) of their eight allowed injury activations.