Joe Mixon

Ezekiel Elliott Eyeing Eagles, Bengals, Jets

MARCH 24: Pouring water on the potential of an Elliott-to-Philadelphia move, John Clark of NBC Sports tweets that the Eagles have not yet talked with the three-time Pro Bowler about a contract. He adds that the reigning NFC champions are “happy” with their current situation in the backfield. That update illustrates the reality that Elliott’s preferred destinations represents a wish list on his part, more so than a shortlist of interested suitors.

MARCH 23: Although the Cowboys moved on from his lucrative contract last week, Ezekiel Elliott looks to have generated some interest elsewhere. He may have a new team before the end of the month.

Elliott wants to have a destination in place by the end of next week, and Adam Schefter of notes the two-time rushing champion has narrowed his choices to the Eagles, Bengals or Jets (Twitter link). It is unclear if each team has offered Elliott a deal, but each has some level of need in the backfield.

The Bengals have shown interest, Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer tweets. They have already lost Samaje Perine to the Broncos. Perine said (via the Denver Post’s Parker Gabriel) he chose Denver because of Sean Payton’s history using multiple running backs. Perine also looks to be insurance against Javonte Williams needing in-season time to finish up his ACL recovery.

The Bengals, however, wanted Perine back. They offered their Joe Mixon backup nearly identical terms to what he signed for in Denver, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic notes (subscription required). Perine signed a two-year, $7.5MM deal with the Broncos. The Bengals have also stopped short of guaranteeing Mixon would be back. The seventh-year back’s $12MM-AAV extension runs through 2024 and calls for salaries north of $9MM this year and next. Elliott spelling Mixon might not be the plan here, with Conway pointing to this as an either/or situation.

As the Jets prepare to trade for Aaron Rodgers, they are moving aggressively to surround him with talent. Allen Lazard and Mecole Hardman are en route, and the team moved up in the draft by unloading Elijah Moore. The Jets join the Broncos in having their starting running back — Breece Hall — coming off an October ACL tear. The Jets showed interest in ex-Rodgers teammate Jamaal Williams, but the breakthrough Lions back chose the Saints.

Philadelphia, which once signed DeMarco Murray after Dallas let him walk in 2015, has added Rashaad Penny in free agency. That deal is more of a flier, considering the ex-Seahawks first-rounder’s injury history, but the Eagles also re-signed longtime backup Boston Scott and roster Kenneth Gainwell. Elliott could be a piece of this equation, but it would be uncharacteristic for Howie Roseman — who was demoted during Chip Kelly’s 2015 in power — to splurge for a back. But Elliott moving from the Cowboys to their biggest divisional threat would obviously be a captivating storyline.

Elliott, 27, has seen his snap share drop in each of the past four seasons, with Tony Pollard showcasing himself as the more efficient member of the Cowboys’ backfield. With the latter seeing more early-down work, Elliott has seen his role shift to that of a short-yardage specialist; that, coupled with his general decline, helped account for his career-low numbers in 2022 (876 yards at an average of 3.8 per carry). Those figures made it obvious that he would become a cap casualty for Dallas this offseason.

Now, Elliott appears close to the beginning of the second chapter of his NFL career. A deal sending him to any of the three aforementioned teams would likely involve plenty of work on third down given his recent short-yardage history but also his proficiency in pass protection. In any case, a new contract would be far more modest than what he was due on his now former Cowboys accord. The Bengals, unlike the Eagles and Jets, currently reside in the top-10 in the league in cap space, so they could win out a potential bidding war. How much interest each team shows in Elliott will be a key storyline to follow in the secondary waves of free agency.

Adam La Rose contributed to this post.

RB Rumors: Mixon, Cook, Dolphins, Jaguars

Emphatically announcing that Tee Higgins was not available for a trade, Bengals VP of player personnel Duke Tobin was less declarative regarding Joe Mixon‘s future. The seventh-year running back, one of a few 2017 backfield draftees who entered the offseason with an uncertain place on his team’s roster, has a fairly manageable 2023 cap hit ($12.8MM). Mixon, 26, is still unlikely to be with the team too much longer, considering the payments that will need to be made to the offense’s other high-profile players. His deal runs through 2024.

I’m not gonna predict the offseason because I don’t have the answers. In the words of the great Kevin Malone, ‘I don’t know,’” Tobin said, borrowing a line from one of The Office‘s accounting staffers, when asked about Mixon. “We’ll all see as the offseason goes what we’re able to get done and how the resources are spread around, but Joe’s been a vital part of our team, a successful part, a contributing part. My job is to try to keep as many of those pieces around as I can.

The Bengals could save more than $7MM by releasing Mixon and just more than $10MM if he is designated as a post-June 1 cut. The team also has the likes of Jessie Bates, Vonn Bell and Germaine Pratt set to hit the market. The Bengals are near the top of the league in cap space, at over $35MM, and after being aggressive in adding outside talent from 2020-22, they plan to restore their offseason focus on attempting to retain their own players. Releasing Mixon would be a way to create more space, but the Bengals would then need help at running back. Backup Samaje Perine is set for free agency, though he could be retained cheaply if the Bengals decided to cut the cord on their longtime starter.

Here is the latest from the running back scene:

  • Both Mixon and Dalvin Cook signed extensions just before the 2020 season; Cook’s Vikings pact was for five years, however. Entering Year 3 of that contract, the Vikings are not certain to move forward with their Pro Bowl ball-carrier. While calling Cook a “great player, great leader,” Minnesota GM Kwesi Adofo-Mensah (via’s Kevin Seifert) joined Tobin in stopping short of guaranteeing the former second-round pick would be back. “In the NFL you have a lot of constraints, salary cap, different things, and we’re trying to figure out how we can operate in those things,” Adofo-Mensah said. The Vikings could save $9MM by designating Cook a post-June 1 cut; the team is currently $24MM over the cap. Cutting the four-time 1,100-yard rusher would obviously come with risk. Going into his age-28 season, Cook has been one of the NFL’s best backs in recent years. Though, he has battled injuries and recently underwent shoulder surgery. Longtime backup Alexander Mattison is also on the cusp of free agency.
  • The Dolphins want to keep at least one of their free agent backs — Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson — and’s Cameron Wolfe notes the team has discussed the prospect of re-signing both (Twitter links). The ex-49ers cogs fared well in Miami last season, and each should be affordable thanks to a flood of starter-level backs being set for free agency. Mostert, who will turn 31 next month, signed a one-year, $2.1MM Dolphins deal in 2022. Wilson, 27, re-signed with the 49ers on a one-year, $1.1MM accord — one the 49ers traded at the deadline.
  • Fellow former 49ers back JaMycal Hasty is staying in Florida, having re-signed with the Jaguars. The Jags gave their backup running back a two-year deal that can max out at $3.2MM, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. Hasty will return to spell starter Travis Etienne, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract.

Misdemeanor Menacing Charge Against Bengals RB Joe Mixon Dropped

Bengals running back Joe Mixon had a misdemeanor menacing charge against him dropped earlier today, marking a notable turn of events for his case, which may not be over yet. The warrant for the 26-year-old, which alleged that he pointed a gun at a woman’s head last month, was dismissed by a Hamilton County (OH) judge, as detailed by Sharon Coolidge and Kelsey Conway of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

The original investigator for the case was initially instructed to begin a “cursory review” of the matter, which allegedly took place on January 21, before proceeding with charges. Since that failed to take place, the case has since been reassigned, per a statement from the Cincinnati Police Department. The woman in question has remained cooperative with the investigation to date, including the decision to drop the charge at this time.

Mixon’s agent was confident that would take place today, writes ESPN’s Ben Baby. However, the possibility still remains that charges could be refiled in the future, as the investigation into the matter remains ongoing. “The evidence will guide CPD’s investigation and actions, and newly obtained evidence has since been recovered,” per the police statement. “Once all evidence is fully examined, criminal charges can be refiled at a later date.”

Pointing a gun – which Mixon is accused of doing as part of a road-rage incident – is a first-degree misdemeanor in Ohio. The alleged incident took place shortly before the Bengals headed to Buffalo for their Divisional Round game against the Bills. Cincinnati’s season came to an end the following week, leaving Mixon with two years remaining on his current contract.

As the investigation is still ongoing, more will no doubt be announced in the near future with respect to evidence collected and whether or not Mixon will ultimately face criminal charges upon its conclusion.

Ja’Marr Chase To Play In Week 13

DECEMBER 4: The Bengals announced that Chase is indeed active, as expected, which will give the Bengals both members of their 1-2 receiving duo once again. Mixon, however, will be inactive for the second consecutive game.

DECEMBER 2: Chase is on track to make his return against the Chiefs, Taylor said Friday. Mixon, however, remains in concussion protocol. The Bengals are not ruling out their well-paid running back, but he is running out of time to make a return in this key intraconference game.

NOVEMBER 30: Although Week 12 loomed as Ja’Marr Chase‘s comeback window, the second-year Bengals receiver indicated pregame discomfort. Chase said (via’s Cameron Wolfe, on Twitter) he asked Zac Taylor for one more week to move to 100%.

The Bengals, naturally, obliged and beat the Titans without Chase or Joe Mixon. They will face the AFC-leading Chiefs in Week 13. Chase, who fared rather well in the Bengals’ two Chiefs matchups last season, said he suffered a hairline fracture in his hip against the Saints in Week 6. While he played through the issue in Week 7 against the Falcons, the Bengals shut him down soon after.

No hip labrum tear occurred, Chase added (via’s Andrew Gillis and’s Ben Baby; Twitter links), but the fracture happened, confusingly, as he faked being hurt while scoring the first of his two touchdowns against New Orleans. The Offensive Rookie of the Year said he has no pain in his hip presently. Chase detailing his injury to this degree certainly points to a long-awaited return.

The Bengals are 3-1 without their top weapon but rocketed to Super Bowl LVI due to major contributions from last year’s No. 5 overall pick. Chase broke Jerry Butler‘s 42-year-old single-game record for receiving yards by a rookie, compiling 266 in Cincinnati’s Week 17 win over Kansas City last season. He added six catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in the Bengals’ comeback win in the AFC championship game.

This season, Chase sits eighth in the NFL with 86.4 receiving yards per game. Tee Higgins has picked up the slack for Cincinnati recently. The third-year wideout has 16 receptions for 262 yards and two touchdowns over the past two games. The Bengals are amid a stretch in which they face either a division leader or a team with a winning record in six of their final seven games; having Chase back would certainly help the defending AFC champions’ cause.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Bengals’ Joe Mixon Tests Positive For COVID-19

Bengals running back Joe Mixon has tested positive today for COVID-19 (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of Even under the league’s revised COVID-19 guidelines, Mixon will not be able to play on Sunday against the Browns. 

The Bengals have already clinched their playoff berth along with the AFC North, so Sunday’s game won’t carry too much weight. For what it’s worth, they still technically have a chance at securing a first-round bye, though that’ll require a win and losses from the Titans, Chiefs, and Patriots. Per the stats at FiveThirtyEight, the Bengals have a 3% chance of pulling it off.

Mixon, 25, has a career-high 1,205 rushing yards and 13 rushing touchdowns through 16 games. He’s also added 42 grabs for 314 yards and three receiving touchdowns for good measure. Those are the kind of numbers the Bengals were hoping for when they inked him to a four-year, $48MM deal back in 2020, even if it’s less efficient than his 4.9 ypc in 2018.

On top of Mixon, the Bengals will be short-staffed on both sides of the ball this week. On Tuesday, the club placed safety Vonn Bell, linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither, defensive end Trey Hendrickson, center Trey Hopkins, and guard Quinton Spain on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Bengals Activate Ricardo Allen

The Bengals have activated safety Ricardo Allen from the injured reserve list. To make room on the roster, they’ve placed guard Xavier Su’a-Filo on IR.

Allen signed with the Bengals in March. Before that, he operated as a first-string safety for the Falcons from 2015-2020, including a start in Super Bowl LI. Despite losing his 2018 season to injury, the 29-year-old was mostly healthy between ’19 and ’20. A hamstring strain coupled with a broken hand forced him to IR in September, but he’s bounced back in time for this week’s game against the Packers. In his 12 games last season, Allen registered 25 stops and a pair of interceptions.

This is familiar territory for Su’a-Filo, who missed ten regular season games last year. Injuries have limited the lineman for years now — from 2018-2020, he’s played in just 25 total contests. This time around, he’s dealing with a knee injury.

Meanwhile, the Bengals have received some good news on Joe Mixon. The running back is trending towards playing in “some capacity” against Green Bay, according to’s Tom Pelissero.

Bengals RB Joe Mixon “Week To Week”

The injury bug has hit Joe Mixon once again. The Bengals running back is dealing with a low-grade ankle sprain “that will leave him week to week,” reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).

While Schefter’s tweet seems to indicate that Mixon won’t be in the lineup on Sunday against the Packers, coach Zac Taylor classified his starting running back as “day-to-day” and indicated Mixon could play this weekend.

“I know he wants to play and will do everything he can to put himself in that position,” Taylor said (via ESPN’s Ben Baby).

Mixon suffered the injury late during Thursday’s win over the Jaguars. Up to that point of the season, the 25-year-old had collected 382 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. Since entering the league as a second-round pick in 2017, Mixon has missed 14 regular season games, including 10 in 2020.

If Mixon does miss any time, the team would likely turn to running backs Samaje Perine and Chris Evans.

Injury Updates: Goff, Rams, Murray, Cardinals, 49ers, Mixon, Bengals, Watkins, Chiefs, Edelman, Patriots

Things have gotten ugly for Jared Goff and the Rams’ offense the last couple of weeks, with back to back losses to the Jets and Seahawks in which Goff played poorly. Making matters worse, Los Angeles’ quarterback dislocated and broke his thumb during the loss to Seattle. It looks like there are a wide range of outcomes moving forward, with everything from Goff playing this Sunday to being out for the remainder of the season being on the table. Goff will require surgery on the thumb at some point but he’s hoping to push it back until after the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports (Twitter video link).

Rapsheet says that Goff is “adamant” about pushing to play in Week 17 and that he at least has a “shot” to be under center. If the Bears lose to the Packers on Sunday then the Rams are in the playoffs no matter what, but if Chicago beats Green Bay then the Rams will need to beat the Cardinals to get in. It sounds like Goff is going to try to push through and suit up for the playoffs even if he isn’t able to be out there on Sunday. Goff is meeting with specialist Dr. Steven Shin today, the same doctor who treated Drew Brees‘ thumb injury last year, Adam Schefter of tweets. Obviously Brees missed a handful of games with that injury last year, although hopefully for the Rams this isn’t as severe. If Goff is forced to miss the game against Arizona, it’ll mean the first regular season NFL action for former Wake Forest and AAF star John Wolford.

Here are more health issues from around the league entering the final week of the season:

  • Goff isn’t the only banged up quarterback in this pivotal game. Kyler Murray has already dealt with a lingering shoulder injury this season, and he also hurt his leg at the end of Arizona’s Week 16 loss to San Francisco. Speaking to the media Monday head coach Kliff Kingsbury was vague, only deeming it a “lower leg” injury and saying they won’t put Murray out there if he can’t be effective. If the Cards win on Sunday, they’re in. If they don’t, they’re out. In a game of this magnitude, you have to figure Murray is going to play if it’s at all possible, but right now Kingsbury is saying it’s up in the air. This will be a situation to monitor closely, but either way it sounds like Murray is going to be at less than 100 percent against Aaron Donald and co.
  • One last dispatch from the NFC West. The 49ers picked up an upset of the Cardinals, but their injury-plagued season continued. They dropped at least two more starters, as rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk and left tackle Trent Williams both won’t play in Week 17 due to injuries they suffered against Arizona, Kyle Shanahan said Monday. Shanahan also said he’d be shocked if Jimmy Garoppolo plays this weekend, meaning C.J. Beathard should get another crack at it. Aiyuk has flashed a lot of promise, and 49ers fans have to be excited about his 2021 potential. It’s possible we’ve seen Garoppolo play his last snap as a 49er.
  • Joe Mixon‘s 2020 campaign is officially in the books. The Bengals running back won’t play this weekend, head coach Zac Taylor confirmed Monday. Mixon hasn’t played since all the way back in Week 6 due to a foot injury, but the team kept insisting he was only week to week this whole time. Mixon signed a four-year, $48MM extension back in September, so he’s in Cincy for the long-haul.
  • Chiefs fans can breathe a little easier. Receiver Sammy Watkins went down with a calf injury yesterday, but Rapoport tweets it isn’t believed to be major. Given Watkins’ injury history, that’s a big relief. Rapoport writes that Watkins will rest in Week 17, but that there’s a “good chance” he’s back for Kansas City’s first playoff game.
  • Another player whose season, and quite possibly career, is over: Patriots receiver Julian Edelman. Rapoport tweets that Edelman won’t be activated for tonight’s Monday Night Football showdown with the Bills, and that it’s “unlikely” he plays next week either. Edelman is under contract for next season but he’ll turn 35 in May, so it’s entirely fair to wonder whether he’ll end up retiring. The legendary Patriot, who has spent all 12 years of his career in New England, was limited to only six games this year due to a knee injury.

Bengals Move Joe Mixon To IR

Joe Mixon‘s recovery from a foot injury has not gone as expected. And the process hit another snag Saturday.

The Bengals placed their standout running back on IR, sidelining him for at least the next three games. The earliest Mixon can now return is Week 14. He has not played since Week 6.

This has marked by far the longest absence of the former Round 2 pick’s career. He entered the season having missed four combined games in three years. Mixon, however, did well to secure an extension — a four-year, $48MM pact — from the Bengals before encountering an injury-marred fourth season.

While the Bengals have continually delayed Mixon’s return timetable, Ian Rapoport of notes (via Twitter) this latest setback does not mean they will shelve their starter until 2021. Mixon is expected to return when first eligible — in three weeks.

Giovani Bernard and Samaje Perine stand to continue to serve as Cincinnati’s primary backfield presences in Mixon’s absence. The Bengals have given Bernard, a 2013 second-round pick, two extensions. The second of which, in 2019, was an agreement to keep serving as Mixon’s backup. Both Mixon and Bernard are averaging 3.6 yards per carry behind an embattled Bengals offensive line. Mixon surpassed 1,100 rushing yards in 2018 and ’19, despite substandard Cincy O-lines.

The Bengals promoted guard Quinton Spain and cornerback Jalen Davis from their practice squad.