Jason Ankrah

Workout Updates: 1/15/16

After working out earlier this week for the Jets, free agent offensive tackle Lamar Holmes got a look from another AFC East team, auditioning for the Dolphins, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Holmes, a former third-round pick, started 19 games at tackle for the Falcons in 2013 and 2014. However, he spent most of the 2015 season on the PUP list due to a foot injury, and was ultimately cut by Atlanta in December with an injury settlement, allowing him to explore other opportunities. If he’s healthy, he should get a chance to sign somewhere and compete for a roster spot in 2016.

Here are the rest of today’s workout updates:

  • In addition to trying out Holmes, the Dolphins also brought in CFL pass rusher Cleyon Laing, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle. An Iowa State product, Laing recorded 40 tackles and eight sacks for the Toronto Argonauts this season.
  • Another CFL star, wide receiver Eric Rogers, continued his NFL tour by working out for the Titans, tweets Caplan. Wilson (Twitter link) adds Laing and quarterback Jerry Lovelocke to the list of players who tried out for Tennessee.
  • Linebacker Jason Ankrah, who appeared in two games in 2014 for the Texans, auditioned for the Packers, per Wilson (Twitter link).
  • The Chiefs worked out a pair of tackles, Kevin Graf and Bryce Quigley, according to Wilson (Twitter link). Kansas City remains alive in the postseason, so the team could be considering those offensive linemen as additions to the current roster, but I expect they’re candidates for reserve/futures contracts instead.

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/12/16

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves:

  • The Jets signed wide receiver Chandler Worthy to a reserve/future deal, as Mark Berman of FOX 26 tweets. Worthy was previously on Houston’s taxi squad.
  • The Packers worked out former Nebraska linebacker Jason Ankrah on Tuesday, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
  • The Chargers have signed former CFL inside linebacker Dexter McCoil to a futures deal, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Broncos have signed tight end Manasseh Garner, punter Will Johnson, and tackle Darrion Weems to futures deals, James Palmer of NFL.com tweets.
  • Washington signed defensive linemen Corey Crawford and Kamal Johnson and linebacker Derrick Mathews to reserve/future contracts, as Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post writes.
  • The Panthers have signed guard David Yankey to a futures contract, as Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press tweets.
  • The Cardinals signed Quayshawn Nealy to the practice squad, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun tweets.
  • The Patriots signed safety Cedric Thompson and wide receiver J.J. Worton to the practice squad and cut wide receiver DeAndre Carter, Wilson tweets.

AFC Notes: Yanda, Titans, Shorts, Skrine

Following Marshal Yanda‘s four-year extension with the Ravens, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com writes that the lineman “has earned the right to finish his career in Baltimore.” When Yanda ultimately hangs it up, the writer believes he’ll be regarded as one of the best players in franchise history.

That sentiment was echoed by general manager Ozzie Newsome on Friday.

“Marshal Yanda is not only a staple of our offensive line but also a staple of our entire team,” he said. “He is the best of what a Raven should be.”

Predictably, Yanda was calm and collected while discussing his new contract.

“I look forward to carrying on the Baltimore Ravens’ great tradition,” he said. “Hopefully I will finish my career as a Raven.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from around the AFC…

  • The Titans should have an open roster spot when they inevitably place linebacker Deiontrez Mount on injured reserve. Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com expects that spot to either be filled by practice squad participants Jason Ankrah or Justin Staples. “At some point, everyone’s number gets called, so I just have to make sure I am ready so I can help the team,’’ Staples said. “I am excited. My body is feeling great and I am ready to get out there and fly around with my teammates.”
  • The Jaguars let wideout Cecil Shorts depart to the Texans this offseason, but the receiver isn’t upset that the team didn’t put more of an effort into retaining him. “That’s where I started my career and spent four years of my life,” Shorts told Ryan O’Halloran of Jacksonville.com. “I have nothing but love for that community and for the fans. It will be a little emotional, but it will be fun to compete.”
  • Buster Skrine certainly wasn’t one of the Jets‘ biggest offseason moves, but the former Browns defensive back has proven to be an invaluable part of New York’s defense, writes Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.


AFC South Notes: Mount, Worthy, Texans

While Week 6’s Thursday night game features two NFC South teams squaring off, we’ll head over to the AFC, and round up the latest news, rumors, and other items out of the AFC South division. Let’s dive in….

  • Titans rookie linebacker Deiontrez Mount, the first player drafted in the sixth round last spring, has torn his ACL, per Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com (Twitter links). According to head coach Ken Whisenhunt, Tennessee will likely wait until Saturday to make a roster move involving Mount — the team could promote practice squad linebacker Jason Ankrah to replace Mount.
  • Having been cut from the Texans‘ active roster this week, wide receiver Chandler Worthy received multiple practice squad offers, including one from the Jaguars, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). However, Worthy chose to return to Houston, replacing Alan Bonner on the team’s taxi squad.
  • Texans practice squad wide receiver Josh Lenz is looking to prove himself, Wilson writes. The Iowa State product ran the 40-yard dash in 4.36 seconds at his pro day workout and had a 38 1/2 inch vertical leap, so he has shown that he has the athleticism to make an impact at the NFL level.
  • Defensive tackle Brandon Dunn‘s two-year with the Texans is worth $960K, Wilson tweets. Dunn will earn $360K for the remainder of this season and is slated to make $600K in 2016.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/9/15

Here are Wednesday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Signed: LB Jason Ankrah; LB Justin Staples (Twitter link via Terry McCormick)

Texans Cut 10 Players, Move Cliett To IR

3:50pm: The Texans have made another cut, waiving punter Will Johnson, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

1:34pm: The Texans’ cutdown to 75 players is underway, with Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston reporting, in a series of Twitter links, that the team has removed 10 players from its roster, cutting nine and moving linebacker Reshard Cliett to the injured reserve list. Cliett, a sixth-round pick, went down several weeks ago with a knee injury, and will be sidelined for his rookie season.

Per Berman, here are the nine players cut by the Texans today:

  • Aaron Adams, T
  • Jason Ankrah, OLB
  • Alan Bonner, WR
  • Jace Davis, WR
  • Chris Neild, NT
  • Cam McLeod, DE
  • Travis Labhart, WR
  • Bryan Witzmann, T
  • Cody White, NT

By my count, the Texans are now carrying 80 active players, following their acquisition of tackle Chris Clark, so they’ll have to make a few more moves by Tuesday afternoon’s 75-man deadline.

Texans Place Jadeveon Clowney On IR

DECEMBER 10: The Texans have finally placed Clowney on IR officially, promoting outside linebacker Jason Ankrah to take his spot on the roster, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26 Houston.

DECEMBER 4: Texans coach Bill O’Brien told reporters, including Mark Berman of FOX 26 (via Twitter) that No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney is going on injured reserve. Clowney will have to undergo surgery on his right knee, ending his 2014 season.

This guy’s been injured, and it’s time to clean it up and get him back to feeling good,” O’Brien said (via Tania Ganguli of ESPN.com on Twitter).Jadeveon Clowney (featured)

Indeed, it has been a trying season for Clowney, who has been struggling with his knee all year long. O’Brien made it clear that playing on the injury did not aggravate it any further, according to Ganguli (via Twitter). In just four games this season, Clowney amassed a grand total of seven tackles and zero sacks.

One can only wonder how this season might have turned out for Houston if they had a healthy Clowney in the lineup. J.J. Watt, who is in the midst of another stellar season, could have been even more menacing for opposing teams with extra attention being placed on the former South Carolina superstar. Despite Watt’s tremendous season, the Texans have struggled in all facets of the game and currently sit at 6-6, putting them two games behind the division leading Colts. According to Football Outsiders, the Texans currently have a 3.7% chance of winning the division and a 3.1% chance of securing a Wild Card spot.

Looking beyond this season, the Texans will be keeping their fingers crossed for Clowney to make a fast turnaround and recover well over the offseason. Widely regarded as the safest top choice in the 2014 draft, his knee injury casts doubt as to whether he’ll be able to live up to his skyhigh expectations.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Texans Sign John Simon, Put Sapp On IR

3:22pm: The Texans have confirmed the moves noted below in a press release, adding that fullback Toben Opurum has been cut to clear space on the practice squad for Ankrah.

8:36am: Ricky Sapp will be placed on injured reserve to make room on the Texans’ roster for Simon, according to Jayson Braddock, who reports (via Twitter) that the team is also signing outside linebacker Jason Ankrah to the practice squad.

8:13am: The Texans are set to snatch a player off the Ravens’ practice squad, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun, who reports (via Twitter) that Houston will sign outside linebacker John Simon to its 53-man roster. As Wilson observes (via Twitter), the move reunites Simon with Texans linebackers coach Mike Vrabel, after the two spent time together at Ohio State.

Simon, 24, was selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft by the Ravens, and spent some time on the club’s active roster last season, contributing primarily on special teams. After failing to earn a spot on the 53-man roster this year, Simon re-signed to Baltimore’s practice squad, and had some incentive to do so — his $10K weekly salary was more than most taxi squad players earn, though he’ll still be in line for a nice raise now that he’s making the move to an active roster.

The Texans don’t currently have an opening on their 53-man roster, so a player will have to be cut or placed on injured reserve in order to clear room to officially sign Simon.

Minor Moves: Tuesday

We’ve devoted one Tuesday post to the practice squad shuffling being done by teams today, but many clubs around the league are also tweaking their 53-man rosters. We’ll round up a handful of those transactions right here, with new moves added to the top of the list throughout the day:

Earlier updates:

  • In addition to the moves noted below, the Bears have also promoted defensive back Isaiah Frey to their active roster from their practice squad, and cut running back Shaun Draughn, as well as tight end Matthew Mulligan (Twitter link). The series of transactions leaves the club with 52 players on its roster.
  • Former Vikings linebacker and special-teamer Larry Dean has signed with the Bills, the team announced today in a press release. To make room for Dean, Buffalo placed safety Jonathan Meeks on injured reserve with a neck injury.
  • A week after placing tight end Tyler Eifert on IR with the designation to return, the Bengals have placed another tight end on injured reserve, and Alex Smith won’t be eligible to return the season (Twitter link). The team also announced that tight end Kevin Brock has been signed to take Smith’s roster spot.
  • The Bears have promoted practice-squad wideout Rashad Ross to the 53-man roster, cutting receiver and returner Chris Williams to clear room, per Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune (via Twitter).
  • Linebacker Dan Fox is set to be called up to the Giants‘ active roster from their practice squad, tweets Ebenezer Samuel of the New York Daily News, suggesting that placing Jon Beason on injured reserve may end up being the corresponding move.
  • The Colts announced in a press release that they’ve signed defensive tackle Kelcy Quarles off the Patriots‘ practice squad, waiving running back Dion Lewis to create roster space.

Texans Announce 20 UDFA Signings

The Texans took their time in announcing their rookie free agent signings, but the team has officially done so today, revealing the names of their UDFA additions in a press release. Here’s the complete list:

  • Jason Ankrah, OLB, Nebraska
  • Chris Boswell, K, Rice
  • Austin Brown, DL, Miami (Ohio)
  • Max Bullough, ILB, Michigan State
  • Chris Coyle, TE, Arizona State
  • Anthony Denham, TE, Utah
  • Tyrone Ezell, DL, Pittsburgh
  • Matt Feiler, OT, Bloomsburg
  • James Ferentz, OT, Iowa
  • Kevin Forsch, G, Houston
  • Sullivan Grosz, DL, Cal Poly
  • Travis Labhart, WR, Texas A&M
  • Terrance Lloyd, OLB, Baylor
  • Chris Martin, T, Central Florida ($7.5K bonus, per Aaron Wilson)
  • Chris McAllister, OLB, Baylor
  • Anthony McClung, WR, Cincinnati
  • Nathan Slaughter, WR, West Texas A&M
  • Marcus Williams, CB, North Dakota State
  • Bryan Witzmann, OT, South Dakota State
  • Chris Young, ILB, Arizona State