Josh Wells

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/27/22

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

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

Allen suffered a biceps injury in the Steelers win over Las Vegas, requiring surgery, according to Mark Kaboly of The Athletic. With two games remaining and Pittsburgh in danger of elimination from postseason contention, Allen’s 2022 season has likely come to an end.

Buccaneers T Josh Wells Suffers Season-Ending Knee Injury

Tampa Bay earned a come-from-behind, overtime win last night to maintain their lead atop the NFC South. The Buccaneers lost another member of their offensive line for the remainder of the season in the process, however.

Swing tackle Josh Wells suffered a torn patellar tendon in his left knee and is out for the year, reports Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times (on Twitter). He was carted off the field after just 16 snaps yesterday, and was quickly ruled out by the team. That invited speculation that a major injury had occurred, and today’s news confirms that Tampa’s o-line has been dealt another blow.

Wells, 31, was set to make his fourth consecutive start in place of an injured starter at tackle on Sunday, having filled in for Tristan Wirfs the previous three weeks. The latter returned for Week 16, but blindside protector Donovan Smith was unable to play, requiring Wells to shift to the left tackle spot. Wells had already logged the most snaps in a season of his four-year tenure with the Buccaneers (310) prior to suffering the injury.

The former UDFA has made 56 total appearances in Tampa Bay since signing there in 2019. His experience filling in when needed and familiarity with the organization led to a fourth consecutive one-year deal this offseason. The injuries to Wirfs, and then Smith, highlighted his importance despite logging an overall snap share of only 41% on the year. Wells’ PFF grade for 2022 (67.8) was the second-highest of his career, behind only the rating from his rookie campaign in Jacksonville.

This news adds further to the tumult Tampa Bay has endured with respect to their offensive line this season. Both starting guard spots needed replacing with the retirement of Ali Marpet and the free agent departure of Alex Cappa. That was followed by center Ryan Jensen going down with what is expected to be a season-ending injury of his own. The unit’s availability issues – which included Wells being placed on IR in September – have contributed to Tampa’s inconsistency on offense, which has seen the team rank last in rushing production.

If Smith (whom head coach Todd Bowles recently considered benching for performance reasons) is unable to suit up in Week 17, Tampa will likely turn to undrafted rookie Brandon Walton to fill in for him. The latter played 65 snaps in relief of Wells after he went down, and could have a significant role to play in the closing weeks of the season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/22/22

Here are the league’s minor moves going into Week 7:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/19/22

Today’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed off Chiefs practice squad: OLB Benton Whitley

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers Place RB Giovani Bernard, OL Josh Wells On IR

After injuries to veterans Giovani Bernard and Josh Wells, the Buccaneers are making roster adjustments. Both players landed on injured reserve Wednesday, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets.

Ankle and calf injuries, respectively, will sideline Bernard and Wells for at least four weeks. Wells’ ailment is not believed to be season-ending, per ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine (on Twitter), but the backup tackle will be shut down for a while.

[RELATED: Bucs Add Cole Beasley To Practice Squad]

Wells started in place of injured left tackle Donovan Smith in Week 2, but the ninth-year veteran went down during the Bucs’ win over the Saints. Following Wells’ exit, the Bucs turned to third-year UDFA Brandon Walton, who had spent last season on the team’s practice squad. A Florida Atlantic alum, Walton has only dressed for two NFL games. Sunday marked his first regular-season snaps on offense.

Wells joins center Ryan Jensen and guard Aaron Stinnie on IR. Smith, who missed Week 2 with an elbow injury, remains on the team’s active roster. Smith being unable to go in Week 3 against the Packers would mark yet another new starter for a Bucs offensive line that continues to absorb injury blows. Wells, 31, has been with the Bucs as a backup O-lineman since 2019.

Although the Bucs re-signed Bernard this offseason, the veteran running back has not been used on offense through two games. Leonard Fournette and rookie Rachaad White have played in front of Bernard, whom the Bucs signed as a possible passing-down option last year. Bernard caught 23 passes for just 123 yards last season. At 30, the former Bengals running back has seen time on special teams in his second Bucs slate.

Tampa Bay promoted linebacker Kenny Young and wide receiver Kaylon Geiger to its 53-man roster to replace Bernard and Wells, Stroud adds (via Twitter). The team also added offensive lineman Justin Skule to its practice squad. Skule spent the past three years with the 49ers. While he missed the 2021 season with an ACL tear, Skule started 12 games between the 2019 and ’20 seasons. The Vanderbilt product served as Joe Staley‘s primary replacement during the latter’s 2019 finale.

Bucs Re-Sign T Josh Wells

Swing-tackle Josh Wells will sign his fourth-consecutive one-year deal with the Buccaneers, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic. Auman adds that the deal is worth $1.12MM, with $895,000 guaranteed.

Wells has served as a key backup lineman in his three seasons in Tampa Bay. He participated in the team’s 2020 Super Bowl run, starting one game and playing in 15, not including his appearances in all four playoff games. Wells, 31, has operated in this capacity for most of his career. The former UDFA has topped out at five starts two times, doing so with the Jaguars in 2018 and for the Buccaneers last year. Wells has earned eight total starts and appeared in 45 games over his first three seasons in Tampa.

With Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs returning to bookend the Bucs’ offensive line, Wells is a depth signing that secures Tampa’s first man off the bench should anything happen with Smith and Wirfs. He also provides a familiar face as the team seeks to replace both guard spots. Alex Cappa departed in free agency to sign with the Bengals and Ali Marpet retired at the ripe old age of 28. Tampa brought in former Bengal Fred Johnson and acquired Shaq Mason in a trade with the Patriots in an attempt to fill those spots, but retaining Wells gives them some room for error as they attempt to replace the production from last year.

Wells joins returning starting center Ryan Jensen as the Buccaneers are trying to put together another Super Bowl squad for Tom Brady. He is sure to continue playing a key role as the offensive line’s sixth man with a chance to earn a starting spot protecting the NFL’s oldest active player.

Injury Updates For 49ers, Buccaneers

While the Buccaneers and 49ers both won on Sunday, they each suffered major injuries in the process. For the 49ers, defensive stars Nick Bosa and Fred Warner both exited the game early; for the Bucs meanwhile, offensive linemen Tristan WirfsRyan Jensen and Josh Wells are all banged up. 

According to Eric Brach of the San Francisco Chronicle, the status for both Bosa and Warner are “up in the air”. Bosa had to leave the game with a concussion suffered in the second quarter, while Warner exited due to an ankle injury in the fourth. In the latter’s case, there is some reason for optimism, though. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Warner’s injury is “similar to what he did earlier in the year”, referring to another ankle injury sustained in Week 12 against the Vikings, which resulted in his only missed game of the season. Shanahan added, “I think he’s got a chance” to play on Saturday against the Packers. In his first regular season since signing a record-breaking extension, Warner totalled 137 tackles, four pass deflections and a forced fumble, adding five stops against the Cowboys. The 25-year-old tweeted an encouraging update, saying, “sorry for the scare yesterday everyone… we’ll be good to go”.

For Bosa, on the other hand, a return to the field would be less likely. After colliding with teammate D.J. Jones, his head snapped back, and caused him to lay on the field for a matter of minutes. He was initially taken to the medial tent, but spent the remainder of the first half in the locker room and remained there past the beginning of the third quarter. The fact that the 49ers are on a short week doesn’t help his chances of clearing the league’s concussion protocol. In less than one half of action against Dallas, the two-time Pro Bowler recorded three tackles and a half-sack, after totalling 15.5 sacks and four forced fumbles in 17 regular season games. His absence against Aaron Rodgers and the Packers’ offense would be massive.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers will likely have to wait most of the week to see how healthy their offensive line will be. Head coach Bruce Arians stated that Wirfs, the team’s All-Pro right tackle, suffered a sprained ankle and will be in a walking boot throughout the week, according to ESPN’s Jenna Laine. Arians said “there’s a chance” Wirfs will be able to play, but that Laine adds “it will likely come down to the wire”. If the 2020 13th overall pick were to miss the Bucs’ next game, it would be the first of his young career. As for Jensen, the Pro Bowl center, an ankle sprain didn’t cause him to miss any snaps in the game, but Arians said he “will probably go all the way until Friday before we know anything true”. Jensen hasn’t missed a game in his four years in Tampa Bay.

Lastly, Wells, who took over for Wirfs at right tackle, suffered a quad injury. Like the others, Arians admitted the team will “have to wait and see” if he’ll be available on Sunday. Arians is understandably concerned about the offensive line’s current health situation, regardless of their next opponent. The Bucs will need to deal with either a defensive front featuring Chandler Jones and J.J. Watt if the Cardinals win tonight, or one featuring Aaron Donald and Von Miller in the event the Rams win.

 

Buccaneers To Re-Sign OL Josh Wells

Josh Wells is on track to spend another season in Florida. The Buccaneers are re-signing the veteran offensive lineman, Greg Auman of The Athletic tweets.

The former Jaguars tackle agreed to stay with the Bucs on a one-year deal, with Auman adding the agreement will be worth the veteran minimum. Wells will sign for $990K; $500K of this low-end pact is guaranteed (Twitter link via Auman).

Wells has served as a swing tackle during his two seasons in Tampa. He played that role for the Bucs’ Super Bowl champion team, starting one game and playing in 15. Wells, 30, has operated in this capacity for most of his career. The former UDFA topped out at five starts, doing so with the 2018 Jaguars, but has opened with the Bucs’ first-stringers three times in two seasons.

Wells will join a host of free agents that have agreed to stay in Tampa this month, following the likes of Shaquil Barrett, Lavonte David, Rob Gronkowski and Ndamukong Suh. This is not a similar needle-moving agreement, but Wells has provided depth behind the likes of Donovan Smith and Tristan Wirfs.

Bucs Place Donovan Smith On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Buccaneers have placed starting LT Donovan Smith on the reserve/COVID-19 list, per a team announcement. As a result, Smith will miss Tampa’s matchup with the Falcons on Sunday.

The 27-year-old blocker released a statement saying that he had close contact with a family member who recently tested positive for the coronavirus. Per league protocols, Smith must self-quarantine for at least five days.

Smith has never been a world-beater, but even an average blindside protector is a valuable commodity in the NFL, as evidenced by the three-year, $41.25MM contract Smith signed with the Bucs in 2019. He has been entrenched as the Bucs’ starting LT since Tampa selected him in the second round of the 2015 draft, and this Sunday’s contest will be just the second missed game of his career.

2020 has actually been a solid year for him relative to his usual performance, at least if you believe the advanced metrics. Pro Football Focus thinks favorably of both his run-blocking and pass-blocking this season and considers him the 39th-best tackle in the league out of 80 qualified players. Josh Wells will likely get the start in Smith’s absence.

There is some good news to pass along, however. Specialists Bradley PinionRyan Succop, and Zach Triner, who all found themselves on the reserve/COVID-19 list earlier this week, have been activated. According to Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk, one of those three players tested positive for COVID-19 earlier in the week, and the other two were placed on the list as close contacts. However, it appears that the positive test was a false one.

In order to guard against the possibility of losing their primary punter, kicker, and long snapper, the Bucs brought in free agent P Dustin Colquitt, K Brett Maher, and LS Garrison Sanborn for visits, as Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets. It doesn’t sound like there is a need to sign those players now, but Tampa may be keeping them on speed dial just in case.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/4/20

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wells is returning to Tampa Bay on a one-year deal, according to Greg Auman of The Athletic (Twitter link). Wells spent the 2019 campaign with the Bucs, starting two of his 13 games. He previously spent five seasons with the Jaguars, appearing in 39 games (nine starts).

Murphy had a solid run with the Bills back in 2018, rushing for 250 yards on 52 carries. After getting cut by Buffalo prior to the 2019 regular season, Murphy didn’t find a deal until inking a futures contract with the Panthers in December.

McNichols, a 2017 fifth-round pick, has four career carries. He’s spent time with seven organizations during his career.