Kendre Miller

NFL Injury Updates: Higgins, Turner, Palmer, Saints, Jones

The Bengals will be without their second leading receiver for their Week 10 matchup against the Texans. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, Tee Higgins will miss Sunday’s game after injuring his hamstring in practice on Wednesday. He will reportedly continue to be evaluated on a week-to-week basis.

Partially due to the early struggles of quarterback Joe Burrow, Higgins is off to the worst start of his career this season. After averaging 1,009.33 receiving yards in each of his first three seasons, Higgins is currently on track to finish the season with only 703 yards. Hamstring injuries have a tendency to linger, as well, threatening to take even more away from Higgins this year.

Leading wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase has been limited this week with a back injury and is currently listed as questionable. Should he play, though, he will be joined by Tyler Boyd, Trenton Irwin, and sixth-round rookie Andrei Iosivas. With Higgins out, tight end Irv Smith may, too, continue to see an increased role in the Bengals’ passing gameplan.

Here are a few other injury updates from around the NFL:

  • The Jets will be without yet another offensive lineman this week as backup lineman Billy Turner will miss Sunday’s game in Las Vegas, per Brian Costello of the New York Post. Turner suffered a “concerning” broken bone in his hand during his first start of the season last week that head coach Robert Saleh disclosed had required surgery. Turner was starting in place of injured right guard Connor McGovern, who was placed on injured reserve before last week’s game with a dislocated knee cap. With all the current injuries on the offensive line, New York only has three linemen on the active roster – Chris Glaser, Dennis Kelly, and Carter Warren – that it can turn to as a replacement starter this weekend. They also have Jake Hanson, Xavier Newman, and Rodger Saffold, who should be available off the practice squad. Saffold and Hanson are recent signings who may have been brought in to assist with the team’s plague of injuries on the offensive front.
  • Chargers wide receiver Josh Palmer was placed on IR earlier this week without much word on the specifics of what was being called a knee injury. Daniel Popper of The Athletic provided an update on Wednesday that Palmer is dealing with a knee sprain. Popper’s report comes from head coach Brandon Staley, who relayed that Palmer will obviously be out for the next four weeks, the minimum required on IR, but he has “no expectations” after that. They will simply have to reassess once Palmer is eligible to return.
  • Two Saints rookies suffered injuries this past Sunday. Defensive end Isaiah Foskey suffered “a low-grade quad strain,” according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler. Foskey’s absence, as a rotational lineman, will open the door for more potential snaps for either Tanoh Kpassagnon or Kyle Phillips, who was signed to the active roster weeks ago but has yet to make his season debut. Foskey is expected to miss a week or two, but the injury isn’t considered serious. Running back Kendre Miller was the other Saints rookie to suffer an injury, spraining his ankle against Chicago last week, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football. He hasn’t participated in practice all week and will also be out this Sunday. It’s unclear whether or not his injury will linger to hold him out for much longer. Miller’s usage has decreased significantly since the return of Jamaal Williams, but with Eno Benjamin on IR, the team may feel the need to elevate practice squad running back Jordan Mims to back up Williams and Alvin Kamara.
  • The Browns will be down three offensive tackles for this weekend’s trip to Baltimore. According to Jeff Schudel of The News-Herald and Morning Journal, rookie fourth-round tackle Dawand Jones has been ruled out for Sunday’s game. Starting tackles Jack Conklin and Jedrick Wills both currently reside on IR, Conklin since Week 1 and Wills just this past week. Jones had been starting across from Wills in place of Conklin. With Wills and Jones out next week, Cleveland will have to start two fresh faces at offensive tackle. Schudel reports that James Hudson III is expected to start at right tackle. Starting left guard Joel Bitonio is expected to slide out to serve as a left tackle. Backup center Nick Harris will get an opportunity to start in Bitonio’s place at left guard. A beleaguered offensive line will face a significant challenge with three new starters in new positions against a Ravens defense that leads the league in sacks.

Saints To Sign RB Darrel Williams

5:00pm: The Saints have signed Williams, per Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football (Twitter link). Williams should have a pass-catching role early in the season in particular as he looks to put together a healthy campaign and in doing so, boost his free agent value. He will also provide insurance against Miller’s injury lasting longer than expected.

12:05pm: With the running back position in flux at the moment, the Saints are eyeing a depth addition. Darrel Williams is set to work out with New Orleans today, per Jordan Schultz of the Score (Twitter link).

Williams spent his first four campaigns in Kansas City, finding himself behind a number of different contributors on the depth chart over that span. In 2021, however, he saw a surge in playing time and recorded the only seven starts of his career. The 28-year-old parlayed that into a notable uptick in production with 558 yards and six touchdowns on the ground, coupled with another 452 yards and two scores through the air.

The former UDFA signed with the Cardinals last year to serve as James Conner‘s pass-catching backup. Williams was limited to just six games, however, and he received only 21 carries in Arizona. With a number of other backs still on the open market, it comes as no surprise that he has not been able to land a deal despite training camps and the preseason being well underway.

New Orleans is expected to pursue help at the position, though, as Jeff Duncan of tweets. Williams, a Marrero, Louisiana native and LSU alum, could provide depth in a backfield which will be without Alvin Kamara for the first three weeks of the season due to suspension and which lost Eno Benjamin for the year to an Achilles tear. The Saints appeared poised to sign Kareem Hunt last week, but his visit did not result in a deal being signed.

With Kamara temporarily out of the picture, much of the Saints’ backfield responsibilities will fall to free agent signing Jamaal Williams and third-round rookie Kendre Miller. The latter suffered an injury scare during the team’s preseason win on Sunday, threatening to thin out the roster further at the RB spot. Testing confirmed Miller suffered a knee sprain, but surgery will not be required and recovering in time for Week 1 is still in play at this point (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network).

Even if Miller is able to suit up at the start of the season, a vacancy exists which Williams could fill if his visit convinces the Saints to add him. As the Hunt workout demonstrated, New Orleans is not prepared to make a sizable commitment in terms of guaranteed money for a depth addition to the backfield. It will be interesting to see if Williams’ case produces a different result than Hunt’s.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/18/23

As teams welcomed in rookies for camp this week, they began to reorganize their rosters. Today’s minor moves:

Miami Dolphins

  • Placed on NFI: CB Ethan Bonner
  • Placed on IR: LB Zeke Vandenburgh

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Vandenburgh, an undrafted rookie out of Illinois State, suffered an injury while training this offseason, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). His placement on IR means he won’t be able to play for the Dolphins in 2023, but he could work his way onto the field with another squad. Bonner, meanwhile, is dealing with a minor illness and should be good to go later this week.

Miller, a third-round pick by the Saints, is still recovering from a meniscus injury that kept him off the field for TCU’s National Championship game. The Saints were always planning to ease in the running back during training camp, and it sounds like he’s still expected to be a full-go by the time the regular season comes around.

Saints Rumors: Miller, Moreau, Saldiveri

One of three star offensive players for the Horned Frogs last year, new Saints rookie running back Kendre Miller was unable to finish the season with his fellow stars, quarterback Max Duggan and wide receiver Quentin Johnston, after suffering a knee injury in the team’s semifinal win over Michigan. Despite needing surgery to correct the knee injury, Miller expects to be 100 percent healthy by camp, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.Football.

Miller was dominant during his final season in Fort Worth, racking up 1,399 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. The game against the Wolverines that saw him leave early was the only contest of the season in which he failed to cross the goal line. His absence in TCU’s season finale against Georgia likely contributed to the team’s embarrassing championship loss.

Miller’s MCL was only injured and not torn, but the knee requiring surgery was a note of concern as it held him out of any pre-draft workouts. Luckily, it appears that the ailment won’t preclude him from getting some preseason work with his teammates in New Orleans. It’s not as if it matters too much, though, since Miller is set to join a loaded Saints running backs room.

Miller won’t be required to be an immediate contributor as Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams put New Orleans in a stellar situation to start the year. With Kamara and Williams both under contract through 2025, the Saints have an embarrassment of riches and will have plenty of time to allow Miller to develop without working too much tread off of his tires.

Here are a few more rumors coming out of NOLA:

  • Nearly two weeks ago, the Saints added former Raiders tight end Foster Moreau, rejoining him with quarterback Derek Carr in New Orleans. Thanks to ESPN’s Field Yates, we now have a few more details on the new deal. The three-year, $12.23MM contract has a guaranteed amount of $8.02MM consisting of a $3.5MM signing bonus, Moreau’s 2023 base salary of $1.1MM, and his 2024 base salary of $3.42MM. Thanks to two void years tacked on to the end of the deal, Moreau’s cap hit in 2023 will only be $1.8MM. In the final two years of the deal, Moreau will receive a per game active roster bonus of $16,470 for a potential season total of $280K. The team also built in a potential out after the 2024 season that will allow them to avoid $8.3MM in cap hit while taking on no dead cap.
  • The Saints were able to sign fourth-round offensive tackle Nick Saldiveri to his four-year rookie contract a little over a week ago. An interesting detail about the signing is apparent in the deal’s value. As the top pick of the fourth round, Saldiveri already was set for an impressive contract. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, though, the team ended up giving him a deal worth $63K more than the amount designated for that draft slot.
  • New Orleans made an addition to its player personnel staff this week, promoting Tosan Eyetsemitan to the role of pro scout, according to Neil Stratton of Eyetsemitan served previously in the role of football administration associate. This will be his third year with the Saints after four years in Cleveland.

NFL Draft Pick Signings: 5/12/23

Rookie minicamps started today and more rookies put the names on the dotted line of their four-year contracts. Here are the mid- to late-round picks who signed today:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Commanders