Walker’s elevation comes amidst a degree of uncertainty regarding DeshaunWatson‘s Sunday availability. The latter is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he has expressed confidence he will be able to suit up. In the event he is unable to play, though, Walker will provide insurance under center. NFL Network’s James Palmer reports Watson will be a game-time decision.
Chosen, formerly Robbie Anderson, made his Dolphins debut in Week 3, scoring a 68-yard touchdown on his only catch. His performance – along with other depth wideouts currently being sidelined for Miami – will give the 30-year-old a longer look with his new team.
Gore’s elevation will give him the chance to see regular season game action for the first time since 2021. The former UDFA recorded 361 scrimmage yards with the Chiefs that season, but a subsequent IR stint marked the end of his time in Kansas City. Gore has since spent time on the Saints’, and now Commanders’, taxi squads. Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post notes that fellow depth back Chris Rodriguezhas bee ruled out with an illness, opening the door to Gore seeing limited snaps.
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Bengals, Browns, Ravens and Steelers moves are noted below.
The Ravens did a bit of work in the days leading up to the roster cut deadline, including the announced release of veteran running back Melvin Gordon. Still, there was a bit of work left to be done today. Here’s the remaining moves Baltimore made in order to get down to 53 players:
The most surprising moves here come at cornerback. Especially with the recent injury trouble facing star corner Marlon Humphrey, the Ravens choice to not only cut two reliable backups in Seymour and Worley but also to waive the fifth-round rookie draft pick Kelly is shocking. The team did reinforce with several free agent veterans like Rock Ya-Sin, Ronald Darby, and Arthur Maulet, and they’re hoping to see strong seasons from second year cornerbacks Damarion Williams and Jalyn Armour-Davis, both of whom were limited in their rookie seasons due to injury. Look for them to attempt to retain Seymour and Worley on the practice squad. Kelly will have to clear waivers in order to return, a tough ask for a fifth-round talent. Williams is expected to be placed on injured reserve following the deadline, opening a door for Worley or Seymour to return to the active roster.
Brown and Johnson put forth valiant efforts throughout the preseason, essentially allowing starting quarterback Lamar Jackson and primary backup Tyler Huntley to escape the preseason without really being touched. Unfortunately, neither made a strong enough case to remain on the regular season roster. Brown is surely a candidate to return to the practice squad, if he clears waivers.
Baltimore’s tradition of scouting undrafted talent continued this year as the team saw two free agent rookies make the initial 53-man roster. Former East Carolina running back Keaton Mitchell gave some strong impressions that helped him beat out Gordon and fellow undrafted signee Wright. Malik Hamm, Lafayette’s all-time sack leader, makes the team behind as of yet unproven pass rushers Odafe Oweh and David Ojabo, veteran Jadeveon Clowney, and fellow rookie Tavius Robinson, a fourth-round pick out of Ole Miss.
Baltimore will be without its four-time Pro Bowl fullback to start training camp, according to Jamison Hensley of ESPN. Head coach John Harbaugh told the media last week that Patrick Ricard underwent hip surgery this offseason, meaning he’ll start training camp on the physically unable to perform list.
After five seasons of defensive line play at Maine, Ricard began his career playing on both sides of the ball for the Ravens, serving double duty as a defensive lineman and a fullback. Over the past four years, Ricard has played exclusively on the offensive side of the ball, routinely grading out as the league’s top fullback, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required).
With Ricard out, the Ravens will turn to former fifth-round pick Ben Mason. It’s no wonder Baltimore saw something it liked in Mason in the 2021 NFL Draft. Coming out of Michigan, Mason had just moved into a fullback/tight end role for the Wolverines after spending a season at defensive tackle as a junior. They must’ve seen a lot of Ricard in Mason, but without an immediate need for him, Mason failed to make the final 53-man roster that year.
Mason spent 2021 on the Patriots’ and Bears’ practice squads. After the season ended, Mason returned to Baltimore, spending last season on the practice squad. If Ricard is forced to miss extended time due to his hip surgery, Mason could finally get a chance to prove his worth.
Here are a few other rumors coming out of Charm City:
Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman has had a rocky start to his NFL career. Despite obvious displays of the talent that got him drafted in the first round two years ago, Bateman has struggled to stay on the field. Over his first two seasons, Bateman has missed 17 total games, including a playoff game this past season. Groin surgery just before his rookie season forced him to miss five games and a Lisfranc surgery ended his season early last year. He’s not quite out of the woods yet, according to Jonas Shaffer of The Baltimore Banner. Harbaugh told the media that Bateman had received a cortisone shot “for healing purposes.” He seemed to hope that it would help keep the injury short-term, claiming that the shot would only sideline Bateman for a couple of days. “We just decided to let him keep rehabbing and make sure he’s ready to go for training camp,” Harbaugh explained.
The Ravens’ re-tooling of the receiver room continues. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports that Laquon Treadwellhas agreed to terms on a deal with Baltimore (Twitter link).
Pelissero’s colleague Ian Rapoport tweets that the deal will be signed tomorrow. The move represents another (albeit more minor) addition at the WR spot for the Ravens, a team which was active both in free agency and the draft this offseason. Their approach was highlighted by signing Odell Beckham Jr.to a one-year, $15MM deal and selecting Zay Flowerswith their first-round pick.
Expectations will be far higher for those two than for Treadwell, despite the fact the latter is also a former Day 1 pick. His career began in Minnesota, but he put up underwhelming numbers on his rookie contract and has bounced around the league since then. Treadwell’s best season came with the Jaguars in 2021, when he recorded a 33/434/1 statline.
The 27-year-old was among Jacksonville’s final roster cuts at the start of the campaign, however, leaving him on the move once again. Treadwell spent time on the Patriots’, Cardinals’ and Seahawks’ practice squads during much of the 2022 season, and he made six total appearances in Seattle. His 34% snap share in the Emerald City was the fourth-highest mark of his career, though he only managed six catches.
In Baltimore, the Ole Miss product will join a crowded receiver room compared to recent seasons. In addition to Beckham and Flowers, the Ravens have 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman, along with veteran signing Nelson Agholorand 2020 draftees Devin Duvernayand James Prochein the fold. Treadwell will look to earn a spot amongst those pass-catchers during the summer, and in doing so perhaps aim to generate some career stability along the way.
After a career year in Houston, wide receiver Chris Moore is seeking a new contract for 2023. The veteran looked at a division rival, visiting the Titans yesterday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
Moore spent the first five years of his career with the Ravens, having his best offensive season with Baltimore in 2017 when he caught 18 balls for 248 yards and three touchdowns. His role diminished over time until he found himself contributing mostly on special teams. He returned to a role on offense with the Texans while still serving as a core special teamer. Over his two years in Houston, Moore has had two games over 100 receiving yards and several other strong contributions en route to 96 receptions for 775 yards and four touchdowns.
Here are a few more workouts from around the league:
The Cardinals have hosted a number of workouts this week, according to Field Yates of ESPN. Yesterday, the team worked out former Bengals tight end Drew Sample. Sample missed all but two games last season with a knee injury but could provide some depth behind Zach Ertz and Trey McBride. Today, Arizona worked out another former Bengal in quarterback Jeff Driskel. Driskel has been a career backup but has started 11 games over his career in Cincinnati, Detroit, Denver, and Houston. Driskel would add some depth at quarterback as Kyler Murray and Colt McCoy both attempt to recover from injuries this offseason. The only other passer currently on the roster is David Blough.
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 11: Walker is not expected to play against the Panthers, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com (via Twitter). The Seahawks hope to have him back in action for their upcoming Thursday night matchup with the 49ers.
DECEMBER 10, 3:05pm: Walker and Dallas have both been upgraded to questionable for tomorrow’s game, increasing the likelihood that they make an appearance against the Panthers, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The two still have not practiced all week, so it will be intriguing to see if they are still game-time decisions tomorrow and how much they will play, if at all.
The team also announced that it will be elevating practice squad running back Godwin Igwebuike, who converted to running back last year for the Lions after a couple years as an NFL safety. In 17 games with the Lions last season, Igwebuike ran the ball 18 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, adding seven catches for 60 yards. He also returned kickoffs for the Lions, which may indicate that he is taking an injured Dallas’s spot on the kickoff return team.
Seattle will use its second standard gameday elevation on practice squad receiver Laquon Treadwell.
DECEMBER 10, 2:04pm: Initially listed as questionable after injuries in last weekend’s win over the Rams, Seahawks running backs Kenneth Walker and DeeJay Dallashave both been downgraded to doubtful leading into the team’s matchup against the Panthers this Sunday, according to ESPN’s Brady Henderson. Both Walker and Dallas will be game-time decisions to play this weekend.
Seattle was closing in on panic mode as Walker, Dallas, and fourth-stringer Tony Jones all left the game with injuries. With primary backup running back Travis Homer already declared out for last week’s game, the Seahawks were in trouble when Walker and Dallas exited the game. When Jones sustained a hard hit and made his way to the injury tent, Dallas was asked to return to play despite being listed as doubtful to return.
Walker and Dallas are both technically possible actives for tomorrow, but neither has participated in practice at all this week. This may present Homer with his fist starting opportunity since his rookie season. A former sixth-round draft pick out of Miami, Homer has mostly served as a reserve back in a deep position room. Behind the team’s usual top running backs duo, Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, Homer was granted few opportunities to run the ball or show his prowess catching passes out of the backfield during his first three seasons.
Homer has held onto a roster spot much the same way as his former Hurricanes teammate, Dallas: stellar special teams play. While Dallas’s special teams impact has come as a returner. Homer tends to play on all of the kickoff, punt, and return units. He’s racked up a good amount of special teams tackles with aggressive play and even forced some turnovers. In fact, his lone rushing touchdown in the NFL could be attributed to his special teams play as he scored on a 73-yard rush during a fake punt. He has another special teams touchdown from an onside kick recovery that saw him recover the attempt and speed past would be tacklers as they looked for a ball that was on its way to the endzone.
Homer’s first start three seasons ago came in a Week 17 game that saw injuries force his way up the depth chart. The team signed then-retired running back Marshawn Lynch to back him up, welcoming Lynch back after four years away from the team. In his lone regular-season start, Homer rushed for 62 yards on 10 carries and caught all five of his targets for 30 more yards. He also started the Seahawks’ first-round playoff game before Lynch got the start in the second round.
If Walker and Dallas are unable to go, Jones will likely serve as Homer’s backup. Recent practice squad addition, Wayne Gallman, is also reportedly ready to play if Seattle needs him. Whoever is taking handoffs, Seattle may need a big game from them against a Panthers defense that has been more vulnerable to the run than the pass this year. A big game from Homer and company may be needed to keep the Seahawks from going 0-4 against the NFC South this season.