Kylin Hill

Bills RB Nyheim Hines Suffers Season-Ending ACL Injury

1:00pm: Hines suffered an injury to the ACL in his left knee, and he is expected to undergo surgery later this week (Twitter link via Pelissero). Given the non-football related nature of the injury, it will be interesting to see how much of his $2.56MM base salary the Bills will end up paying him, as both player and team look to the future.

Buffalo has moved quickly in their search for Hines’ replacement. Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets that Darrynton Evans, Kylin Hill and Abram Smith worked out with the Bills today. Evans, a 2020 Titans third-rounder, had a brief spell in Tennessee before spending time on and off the Bears’ practice squad last season. He was signed and waived by the Colts earlier this offseason. Hill was released by the Packers midway through the 2022 campaign, his second year in Green Bay, while Smith has yet to see any NFL game action.

9:53am: The Bills’ backfield has taken a notable hit well before the start of the season. Nyheim Hines suffered an off-site knee injury which is expected to sideline him for the 2023 campaign, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Adding further clarity to the situation, Pelissero tweets that Hines suffered the injury during a jet ski accident and is dealing with “serious but non-life threatening injuries” as a result. The news marks an obviously disappointing blow for the 26-year-old as he was poised to begin his first full season in Buffalo, a team which is expected to rely more on its running backs than previous seasons.

The Bills acquired Hines from the Colts at the trade deadline as backfield insurance and a returner for the stretch run. He saw just 66 offensive snaps upon arrival, but demonstrated his special teams value with a pair of kick return touchdowns in Week 18. Hines agreed to a restructured contract in the offseason to remain in Buffalo, though his role and even spot on the team’s 53-man roster faced questions entering training camp.

The Bills have 2022 second-rounder James Cook and free agent addition Damien Harris in place atop the RB depth chart. That left Hines and veteran signing Latavius Murray set for a training camp competition to potentially decide one roster spot. Hines’ special teams contributions likely would have given him the edge, but Murray should be able to provide effective depth in the running game.

Buffalo also has a few options to replace Hines as a returner. Deonte Harty signed a two-year deal in March to provide depth at the receiver position, but also a proven producer in both the kick and punt return games. Harty (or other returners who stand out in camp) will now see an uptick in third phase usage with Hines sidelined for the foreseeable future.

The former fourth-rounder is under contract through 2024, but no guaranteed money exists on his deal for that season. Today’s news thus puts Hines’ future very much in doubt, while the Bills will move forward with their current stable of backs and the opportunity to add another pass-catching specialist in free agency if they desire.

RB Notes: Jacobs, Patriots, Steelers, Hill

Coming off just the NFL’s 11th performance with 300 yards from scrimmage, Josh Jacobs is not expected to practice much this week. The Raiders running back suffered a calf strain during his monster outing against the Seahawks, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Planning to go through “around the clock” treatment, Jacobs said (via The Athletic’s Tashan Reed, on Twitter) he is not planning to miss any time.

Of course, that expectation will be tested. Calf strains can sideline players for multiple weeks. Jacobs handled a career-high 39 touches in Las Vegas’ overtime win in Seattle, finishing with 303 scrimmage yards. He now leads the league in rushing (1,159 yards) and is making a strong case for a second Raiders contract, despite the team having passed on his fifth-year option. The Alabama alum has stayed relatively healthy during his career, having never missed more than three games in a season. But missing time due to this calf ailment would give Jacobs at least one absence in each of his four seasons.

Here is the latest from the running back scene:

  • The Patriots are not expected to have Damien Harris available against the Bills on Thursday. Harris left the Pats’ Thanksgiving Day game with a thigh injury, and’s Ian Rapoport notes (via Twitter) that issue will keep him out in Week 13 and potentially for more games. One of several starter-caliber backs set to hit free agency in March, Harris has battled multiple injuries this season and seen Rhamondre Stevenson emerge as New England’s primary back. This certainly points to the former third-round pick needing to find another team to dole out his second contract.
  • Najee Harris also left his team’s most recent game due to injury, seeing an abdominal issue force him to leave the Steelers‘ Monday-night win over the Colts. Harris avoided a major injury, however, according to Rapoport (on Twitter). It is not certain the second-year back plays Sunday, but after he battled a Lisfranc issue this offseason, dodging another notable injury represents a nice break. The Steelers were without rookie backup Jaylen Warren in Indianapolis due to a hamstring injury and used veteran Benny Snell as their top ball-carrier.
  • The Commanders worked out a familiar NFC East back this week, bringing in Jordan Howard. The well-traveled back stopped through Washington for a Tuesday workout, Aaron Wilson of KPRC2 tweets. Former Panthers backup Reggie Bonnafon also took part in this audition. Howard spent time with the Saints this season, playing in two games, but New Orleans released the ex-Chicago and Philadelphia starter from its practice squad earlier this month.
  • Despite using one of their injury activations on Kylin Hill this year, the Packers cut bait recently. Matt LaFleur said conduct contributed to the transaction. “There are standards and expectations that are placed on every member of this team that we expect guys to live up to,” LaFleur said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk. “He’s a guy we had high expectations for, and [I] realize he’s in a loaded room, but regardless of your role big or small, we expect guys to come to work and be supportive and own that role to the best of your ability. If you don’t do that, that’s what happened.” This certainly points to the second-year back voicing dissatisfaction with being behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon on Green Bay’s depth chart. No team claimed Hill, who is now a free agent.

Packers Waive Amari Rodgers, Kylin Hill

Less than two seasons into his Packers rookie contract, Amari Rodgers is no longer with the team. Green Bay waived the former third-round pick Tuesday.

This move comes after Rodgers muffed a punt against the Cowboys, continuing a rough season in this role. The Packers also waived running back Kylin Hill, who joined Rodgers in being part of their 2021 draft class.

Not only was Rodgers unable to carve out a role in Green Bay’s receiving corps, he struggled consistently in the special teams gig he earned. Rodgers has fumbled five times this season, losing two of those. The Clemson product’s five fumbles lead all non-quarterbacks this season. With the exception of Melvin Gordon, no other non-QB has more than three fumbles in 2022.

It is still somewhat surprising the Packers moved past demoting Rodgers, 23, from his return role to taking him off the roster altogether. The slot receiver represented a key investment by a team famous for not reaching for first-round pass catchers. From 2019-21, Rodgers was the only wideout the Packers selected. But Rodgers failed to make strides in the team’s offense this offseason, one that featured three receiver investments in the draft. All three of those cogs — Christian Watson, Romeo Doubs and Samore Toure — have played ahead of Rodgers on offense.

The Amari Rodgers pick (No. 85 overall) came at a pivotal point on the franchise’s timeline. A day earlier, Aaron Rodgers‘ trade request became public. Lack of investment at wide receiver was among Aaron Rodgers’ issues with the franchise, one that passed on a wideout move to trade up for Jordan Love in 2020. Amari Rodgers wraps his Packers career with eight receptions for 95 yards and no touchdowns.

It will be interesting to see if another team takes a flier on the former Trevor Lawrence college target. Playing alongside the likes of Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross at Clemson, Rodgers worked as a regular during Lawrence’s three-year run as the Tigers’ starter. In 2020, he improved his stock with a 77-catch, 1,020-yard, seven-touchdown campaign. Even as injury and performance issues plagued this year’s Packers receiver crop, Rodgers did not secure a notable role. He has played 98 offensive snaps this year.

As for Hill, he has spent much of his career battling back from injury. A former seventh-round pick, Hill suffered an ACL tear midway through last season. The injury recovery dragged into this season. The Packers did use one of their injury activations on the Mississippi State product this season, taking Hill off the reserve/PUP list. It will be interesting to see if Hill is a candidate to stay with Packers via a practice squad agreement. He must clear waivers in order to be eligible for that path.

Hill, 24, zoomed onto the draft radar with a 1,350-yard 2019 season, but he opted out of the 2020 campaign and ended up becoming a seventh-round pick. The 214-pound back has 11 career carries for 31 yards as a pro.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/2/22

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

Arizona Cardinals

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/12/22

Today’s minor NFL transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

  • Waived: CB Thomas Graham Jr.

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Packers Cut Down Roster To 53

The Packers cut their roster down to 53 players today:



Placed on reserve/PUP:

The Packers ended up keeping only a pair of running backs in Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon, so the team must be feeling pretty confident that one of their waived RBs will pass through waivers and land on their practice squad. Patrick Taylor would seem to be the favorite for the RB3 role after collecting 25 touches in 2021. Meanwhile, the Packers kept seven wide receivers on their roster, so the release of Travis Fulgham was mostly due to a roster crunch.

The Packers no longer had a need for Ramiz Ahmed, as NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports (on Twitter) that the team activated kicker Mason Crosby off PUP after the veteran passed his physical. Crosby missed training camp and preseason while recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/22

Tuesday marked the day teams were forced to cut down from 85 to 80 players. Here are the moves teams made made to reach the new maximum. Players who land on the reserve/PUP or reserve/NFI list must miss at least the first four regular-season games.

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Packers Place Nine Players On PUP To Start Camp

Sat, 4:07pm:

As mentioned as a possibility last night, the Packers made an addition to their PUP list today, placing star left tackle David Bakhtiari on the list after not including him in their first moves last night, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Bakhtiari missed all but one game last season as he recovered from an ACL tear that he suffered in Week 16 of the 2020 NFL season. He spent most of 2021 rehabilitating before finally making his season-debut in a Week 18 game that had no bearing on the team’s playoff positioning. He was inactive for Green Bay’s playoff loss to San Francisco.

Reiterating what was said yesterday, there is no need for Packers fans to fret quite yet. This is a natural process for NFL teams, especially concerning players returning from a major injury. As long as Bakhtiari comes off the PUP list in the preseason, he should have no restrictions going into regular season play.

Fri, 9:52pm:

As many teams are making necessary adjustments to their injury lists, the Packers joined in today, adding twelve players overall, nine to the physically unable to perform list and three to the non-football injury list, according to ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. 

The biggest surprise on the list was rookie second-round pick Christian Watson. An injury has not been disclosed for the wide receiver, who recently signed his rookie contract. Similarly, undrafted rookie defensive tackle Hauati Pututau was placed on the list for an undisclosed reason.

Four players placed on the PUP list were expected, as they are returning from major injuries. Tight end Robert Tonyan missed half of last season after tearing his ACL in late-October. The same game saw then-rookie running back Kylin Hill suffer a season-ending knee injury. Shortly after, tackle Elgton Jenkins tore his ACL, as well, ending his season after only eight starts. Linebacker Randy Ramsey also suffered an season-ending injury before the season even began after serving in 2020 as a core special teamer.

The three remaining players, kicker Mason Crosby, defensive lineman Dean Lowry, and running back Patrick Taylor, were all placed on the list with no information as to what has put them there.

That’s five expected starters, Watson, Tonyan, Jenkins, Lowry, and Crosby, on the PUP. Packers’ fans will be relieved not to see left tackle David Bakhtiari placed on the PUP list a year after missing all but one game last year recovering from an ACL tear suffered in late-2020.

There could always be additions to the list, as it isn’t official until Tuesday. Additionally, a player can come off of the list anytime during the preseason and can’t be on the list once they’ve practiced with the team. Any players still on the PUP list at the start of the regular season will be required to sit out a minimum of six games, but they won’t count against the roster as the team trims to 53 players.

While the number of players on the list may be alarming, there’s little to worry about as of right now for these Packers. As long as they come off of the list before the season starts, there will be no league-restrictions on their participation.

Packers’ Kylin Hill Done For Year

Packers rookie running back Kylin Hill suffered a season-ending knee injury on Thursday night (Twitter link via’s Tom Pelissero). Hill will be placed on injured reserve, opening up a spot on the 53-man roster.

Hill suffered the injury on a third quarter kick return, when he was tackled by Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward. Both players had to be carted off of the field following the violent collision, with Ward being evaluated for a concussion.

Hill, a seventh-round rookie, has served as the Packers’ No. 3 RB behind Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon. The bulk of his work has come on special teams, with 26 snaps on offense vs. 76 ST plays. He’ll finish his season with 10 carries for 24 yards, one reception for five yards, and ten kickoff returns for 199 yards.

The Packers could use Malik Taylor as their KR going forward, but they’ll need to add a new RB. Practice squader Patrick Taylor would be next in line, but they could also audition free agents between now and their Nov. 7 game against the Chiefs.

The Packers advanced to 7-1 after beating the league’s last undefeated team. Now the owners of the NFL’s longest active winning streak, they hold a comfortable divisional lead over the 3-3 Vikings.

Extra Points: CBA, Marijuana, Draft

While CBA negotiations have been on the January schedule for a while, the NFL and NFLPA have already resumed talks. The sides convened for negotiations last week, Judy Battista of reports (on Twitter), adding the goal remains to have a new agreement finalized by season’s end. The NFL initially sought to have this done before Week 1, an unrealistic scenario since the current CBA does not expire until March 2021, and has since inserted a 17-game season into the talks.

Roger Goodell said he and the owners discussed the CBA for roughly an hour at this week’s league meetings, but the 13th-year commissioner is uncertain how far apart the owners and players are. Should a deal not be completed by March, new elections of an NFLPA president and new members on the union’s executive committee could change the tenor of the months-long negotiations, per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith.

Here is the latest from around the league:

  • Shortly after Major League Baseball announced marijuana will not be on its banned substances list, Jerry Jones said the NFL will likely further amend its policy, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets. The league has already shown leniency on this front, years ago raising the threshold for what results in a marijuana-based suspension. Owners are reportedly ready to make marijuana a bargaining chip in exchange for the players’ side agreeing to an extra regular-season game. Jones has said in the past he’s in favor of marijuana not residing on the NFL’s banned substances list.
  • Two running backs will skip their final collegiate seasons to enter the draft. Boston College’s A.J. Dillon and Mississippi State’s Kylin Hill announced they will enter the 2020 draft pool. At 250 pounds and with 13 career receptions, Dillon profiles as an old-school back. Boston College’s all-time leading rusher gained 4,382 yards (5.2 per carry) and, per Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports, is expected to time in the 4.4-second range in the 40-yard dash. The 215-pound Hill did not fare nearly as well in college but will enter the draft on the heels of his lone 1,000-yard season — a 1,347-yard, 10-touchdown slate — and do so with only 430 college carries under his belt. Hill will play in the Bulldogs’ bowl game; Dillon will skip the Eagles’ postseason tilt.
  • Louisiana Tech cornerback Amik Robertson will join the backs in declaring early, Tony Pauline of the Pro Football Network tweets. An All-American this season, Robertson intercepted five passes and ranked second in passes defensed with 21.