Caleb Huntley suffered a season-ending Achilles injury this past weekend, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The injury is expected to require surgery. The Falcons RB made his NFL this season and has collected 369 yards from scrimmage.
While Russell Wilson is expected to start for the Broncos on Christmas, the Broncos still decided to promote a third QB to the roster in Jarrett Guarantano. According to Troy Renck of Denver7 (on Twitter), there was enough interest from other teams (including the Cardinals) for the Broncos to decide to promote the rookie. The UDFA out of Washington State had his first professional gig with the Cardinals before catching on with the Broncos.
December 20th, 2022 at 12:55pm CST by Adam La Rose
DECEMBER 20: As expected, Taylor has landed on IR. The Colts have last season’s rushing champion signed for one more season. Taylor will be eligible for an extension in January. Indianapolis is signing fifth-year running back Jordan Wilkins off its practice squad, Aaron Wilson of KPRC tweets. It is a two-year deal for Wilkins, Wilson adds (on Twitter).
DECEMBER 19: The Colts were without their lead running back for nearly the entire game during their historic loss to the Vikings on Saturday, and they now face the prospect of finishing the season without him. Jonathan Taylorhas a high ankle sprain, and is “highly unlikely” to play again in 2022, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
Taylor has battled ankle issues throughout the campaign, his least productive in the NFL so far. He had missed three games prior to Saturday, and this latest injury comes with a recovery timeline which would likely make a return before the end of the regular season improbable. Given the Colts’ 4-9-1 record, the team would have little need to take anything but a cautious approach to Taylor’s health. A meeting with team doctors will take place later today.
The former second-rounder entered the season with sky-high expectations after he led the league in rushing yards and touchdowns in 2021. He, like the offense in general, has not met those expectations, though Taylor has still managed to record 1,004 scrimmage yards and four touchdowns in a lost season. His yards per carry average (4.5, down from 5.0 and 5.5 in his two previous campaigns), however, could be cause for concern moving forward.
With Taylor likely to be sidelined for the final three games of the year, Indianapolis will continue to rely on Zack Moss and Deon Jackson at the position down the stretch. Their 37 combined carries on Saturday point to an emphasis being placed in the run game to close out the season, as quarterback Matt Ryanhas struggled with turnovers and interim head coach Jeff Saturdaylooks to make his case for an opportunity to become the full-time bench boss in 2023.
That will likely be the next time Taylor is available, barring a change of heart between himself or the medical staff in the near future. The 23-year-old could join star linebacker Shaquille Leonardon IR after the latter’s season-ending back surgery, a procedure which marked another disappointing turn in 2022 for the Colts.
NOVEMBER 13: Leonard may miss the remainder of the season, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. The 27-year-old ‘backer is scheduled to meet with renowned neck surgeon Dr. Robert Watkins in Los Angeles on Monday, which will provide some clarity on his playing status.
NOVEMBER 12: The Colts are getting some reinforcement on offense and special teams. The team has activated wide receiver/special teams ace Ashton Dulin from injured reserve. To make room on the roster, the team officially placed linebacker Shaquille Leonard on IR. The Colts have also promoted tight end Nikola Kalinic and running back Jordan Wilkins from the practice squad.
Dulin suffered a foot injury back in October, landing him on injured reserve. He returned to practice earlier this week. The 25-year-old made a name for himself in 2021 after earning a second-team All-Pro nod on special teams, with his 17 ST tackles ranking second in the league. Dulin also started to see a larger role on offense in 2021, finishing with 13 catches for 173 yards and two scores. Dulin was continuing to see a role on offense in 2022, with the wideout hauling in 12 catches for 168 yards in five games (one start).
We learned yesterday that Leonard had suffered a setback with his back injury during practice this week. The injury will now knock him out for at least four games. The linebacker has been limited to only three games in 2022 thanks to a concussion, nose surgery, and back injury.
“I had no power in my leg, just trying to fight through that through the whole season and Wednesday practice, something didn’t feel right,” Leonard said on Instagram (via The Athletic’s James Boyd on Twitter). “I had a setback.”
Wilkins, a 2018 fifth-round pick by the Colts, has seen a reduced role in recent years following three consecutive 300-plus-yard seasons to begin his career. The 28-year-old has seen time in one game for Indy this season, getting seven touches for 28 yards. Kalinic was a former second-round pick in the CFL. After spending the preseason with the Colts, he landed on the organization’s practice squad.
This addition comes after the Saints worked out a host of running backs Tuesday. Howard was part of a contingent that also included Jordan Wilkins, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com tweets. The former Bears, Eagles and Dolphins back will serve as depth for a Saints team that has needed to turn to it this year.
Alvin Kamara has missed two games thus far and faces a possible late-season suspension in connection with a February arrest, but with the perennial Pro Bowler’s case continuing to be pushed back, the Saints might be in the clear there for 2022. Still, Kamara has battled injuries this season. The Saints also waived Tony Jones on Monday.
Howard has been with the Eagles for most of the past three seasons, and he made the practice squad-to-active roster jump last season to make an impact. Philadelphia deployed the league’s No. 1-ranked rushing attack in 2021, and Howard became a central figure in that climb during the season’s second half. Playing in just seven games, Howard totaled 406 rushing yards (4.7 per carry) and scored three touchdowns last year. Howard, 27, began his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons with the Bears, but after a 2019 trade, the former fifth-round pick worked as mostly a rotational back in Philly.
The Saints have Mark Ingram and Dwayne Washington on their active roster. When Kamara missed the team’s London game in Week 4, Murray received a call-up and handled 11 carries. The 32-year-old back gained 57 yards and scored in that game. Although the Saints offered Murray an active-roster spot, the veteran chose the Broncos’ offer, viewing it as a better opportunity due to Williams’ season-ending injury.
The Titans claimed a player off waivers and acquired a player via trade today. According to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter), the Titans have claimed defensive back Lonnie Johnson Jr.off waivers from the Chiefs. Meanwhile, Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com reports (on Twitter) that the Titans have acquired safety Tyree Gillespie from the Raiders.
The Chiefs traded a 2024 conditional seventh-round pick to acquire Johnson back in May, but they ended up dumping the defensive back yesterday (while also, presumably, retaining their draft pick). The former second-round pick had spent the first three seasons of his career in Houston, but he found himself in and out of the starting lineup. He started only 19 of his 44 games during his time with the Texans, collecting 172 tackles.
This past season, Johnson started seven of his 14 games while collecting 55 tackles and three interceptions. While he played mostly cornerback to begin his career, Pro Football Focus graded him as a safety in 2021…and they graded him as the worst player at the position. However, he did show some promise in his rush defense score.
Meanwhile, Gillespie was acquired from Las Vegas for a late-round conditional draft pick, according to Wilson (on Twitter). The safety was selected in the fourth round of last year’s draft but barely saw the field as a rookie. He ended up getting into 11 games, collecting eight tackles while primarily appearing on special teams.
The Titans’ offense has undergone a number of changes this offseason, but the unit’s catalyst will once again be in place for the start of the upcoming season. Derrick Henryis poised to handle a heavy workload as always, but there is much to be sorted out regarding the rest of the position’s depth chart.
In a breakdown of the unit heading into training camp, Jim Wyatt of the team’s website details the many moves Tennessee has made in recent months, including re-signing veterans Jordan Wilkins and Dontrell Hilliard. The latter showed promise while filling in for Henry after his midseason injury last year. Hilliard registered the first five starts of his career late in 2021, and averaged an impressive 6.3 yards per carry. His success (albeit in a limited capacity) earned the former UDFA another deal with the Titans.
While Hilliard could be in line for the main backup role left open by the departure of D’Onta Foreman, he will be facing competition from several other backs for playing time. Outside of Wilkins and free agent addition Trenton Cannon, that could come most from Hassan Haskins. The fourth-rounder raised his draft stock with a stellar 2021 campaign at Michigan, in which he led the Big Ten in carries and total touchdowns, ranking second in the conference with 1,327 rushing yards. Given his status as a rookie, and the role he played in helping the Wolverines to the CFB playoffs, Haskins’ spot on the roster in some capacity is likely secure.
As a result, Wyatt notes, Hilliard, Wilkins and Cannon could find themselves competing over one spot on the 53-man roster. The presence of fullback Tory Carterand the fact that Henry, when healthy, will operate as a workhorse limits the path each has to a full-time spot. Given the question marks currently surrounding the Titans’ pass-catching corps, however, the way the RB depth chart shakes out in camp will be significant.
After starting the season in San Francisco, Skrine was picked up by the Titans after being released. The Titans are Skrine’s fourth team since entering the league in 2011. In six games with the team, Skrine contributed 17 tackles and an interception.
Wilkins was a late-season addition to the Titans’ practice squad. Wilkins started his career in Indianapolis after being drafted in the fifth round out of Ole Miss. He served as the team’s primary back up running back, spelling Marlon Mack during his absences. Wilkins was released by the Colts in October last season and spent a month on the Jaguars’ practice squad before ultimately landing in Tennessee. He will have a chance to earn a spot on a depth chart that currently includes Derrick Henry and Trenton Cannon.
After signing tight end Austin Hooper and releasing wide receiver Julio Jones this week, Tennessee is clearly in the process of giving the roster some Spring cleaning. The Titans close out their week bringing back a rotation corner and a familiar face at running back to compete with Cannon for the back up position.