The Chiefs have ruled out running back Jerick McKinnon for tomorrow’s game against the Packers, necessitating some extra depth at the position. The team will turn to Prince, an undrafted free agent who has spent the entire season on Kansas City’s practice squad. Prince had a breakout season at Tulsa in 2022, finishing with 813 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns.
Winfrey, a 2022 fourth-round pick, was cut by the Browns last July after being investigated for pulling a gun on a woman. He joined the Jets practice squad in early November and will finally earn his first promotion of the season. Winfrey got into 13 games for Cleveland last year, collecting 22 tackles and 0.5 sacks.
At age 36, Irvin will be making his debut for a sixth NFL team. The veteran pass rusher signed with Detroit midway through November and will finally have a chance to extend his streak of regular season appearances to 12 straight years. The only absence on the Lions’ front-seven will be linebacker Alex Anzalone, so Detroit may be looking to stand Irvin up to help the team’s depth at linebacker.
After leaving the Saints’ last game with what was labeled a signficant injury, Michael Thomaswill be shut down for an extended stretch. The All-Pro wideout has been placed on injured reserve, per a team announcement.
In the aftermath of New Orleans’ Week 10 game, head coach Dennis Allen made it clear both Thomas and cornerback Marshon Lattimorewere facing extended absences. The former now finds himself in familiar territory, having been placed on IR for the fourth season in a row. Thomas will be forced to miss at least four weeks as a result of today’s move.
The three-time Pro Bowler had managed to suit up for every game in 2023 until this point, marking a welcomed sign of availability after years of injury troubles. His list of ailments includes the ankle injury which cost him the entire 2021 season and put his Saints future in doubt. In his best run of form and health since his record-breaking performance in 2019, Thomas had posted a 39-448-1 statline before the injury.
Now, the 5-5 Saints will move forward without a key member of the passing attack. Thomas sits third on the team in receiving yards behind Chris Olaveand Rashid Shaheed. That pair will remain central to New Orleans’ offense, a unit which may be without quarterback Derek Carras he continues to recover from a concussion. Thomas – who agreed to a one-year, $10MM deal this offseason – is now set to miss many (if not all) of the incentives present in his pact ahead of a potential tip to free agency.
In a move to add depth at the WR spot, the Saints have brought back Marquez Callawayby signing him to the practice squad. The 25-year-old has played in 42 career games, all with New Orleans. He could be designated a gameday elevation to provide a complementary pass-catching option in Thomas’ absence. To fill the 53-man roster spot opened by Thomas moving to IR, the Saints promoted cornerback Cameron Dantzlerfrom the taxi squad. The team currently has six IR activations available, one of which will be needed to bring Thomas back into the fold if he is able to return in 2023.
While Michael Thomas recovers from a knee injury, the Saints are turning to a familiar face. Marquez Callaway is back with the Saints after bouncing around the NFL in 2023. The wideout wasn’t re-signed by the Saints following the 2022 campaign, and he’s since spent time with the Broncos and Raiders. The former UDFA spent the first three seasons of his career in New Orleans, hauling in 83 catches for 1,069 yards and seven touchdowns.
Eric Rowe has found a new home after getting cut by the Panthers practice squad back in September. Rowe earned a pair of Super Bowl rings during his three-year stint in New England, and he followed that up with a three-year stint in Miami. Rowe got into 14 games (six starts) for the Dolphins in 2022, finishing with 56 tackles and two sacks.
OCTOBER 21: To little surprise, Jones will make his Eagles debut on Sunday. The team announced he (along with cornerback Mekhi Garner) is a game day elevation for Week 7. Jones will thus revert back to the taxi squad after the contest, allowing two more game day call-ups before a signing on the active roster will be required. It will be interesting to see how large of a role he plays within an already capable Eagles offense during Sunday’s primetime matchup against the Dolphins.
OCTOBER 17: Already rostering one of the NFL’s top wide receiver tandems, the Eagles will add an All-Decade player to the mix. The team agreed to a deal with Julio Jones on Tuesday.
The Eagles are adding Jones not long after placing their No. 3 wideout, Quez Watkins, on IR. Watkins has missed three games this season and landed on IR ahead of Week 6 because of a hamstring ailment. The 5-1 team brought in Marquez Callaway and Dezmon Patmon for workouts Monday, Schefter adds, but will go with one of this era’s best receiving options. Jones is obviously well into his post-prime period by this point, but the 6-foot-3 target supplies tremendous experience — both as a lead target on a Super Bowl team and a supporting-caster on playoff-bound squads.
Philly has shown a willingness to bring in accomplished veterans near the end of their careers, doing so in 2022, when they aided their run defense by signing defensive tacklesNdamukong Suh and Linval Josephmidway through last season. Both vets stayed on the team through Super Bowl LVII. Jones, who played in Super Bowl LI with the Falcons, will sign on to chase a ring in what could very well be his final season.
Jones authored the most statistically productive five-year run by a pass catcher in NFL history, totaling 7,994 receiving yards from 2014-18. That stretch produced two first-team All-Pro nods, and Jones ripped off three second-team All-Pro seasons during his lengthy peak, one that effectively concluded with the 2019 season. That 15-game Atlanta slate represents a line of demarcation of sorts for Jones, who saw injury trouble wrap his prime during the 2020 slate. He has missed 21 games due to injury over the past three years.
The initial months of the Terry Fontenot–Arthur Smith Falcons partnership led to a Jones trade to the Titans. Brown had pushed for the Titans to acquire Jones in 2021, and while the duo played together for a team that booked home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, both missed time due to injuries. The hamstring trouble that slowed Jones in 2020 followed him to Tennessee. He finished the ’21 season with 34 catches for 434 yards and one touchdown. Signing with the Buccaneers last year, Jones worked as an auxiliary target alongside Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. The 12-year veteran tallied 24 catches for 299 yards and two scores for a Bucs team that cratered offensively, though a porous NFC South kept the Tom Brady-fronted team afloat en route to a playoff berth. Jones missed games but did not land on IR during his Tampa stay.
Returning this year will delay Jones’ Hall of Fame induction, though given the waits receivers regularly endure en route to Canton, the former No. 6 overall pick may not be a lock for first-ballot enshrinement. Nevertheless, the surefire Hall of Famer will join an Eagles team that endured an ugly loss to the Jets. Brown and DeVonta Smith are coming off a 1,000-1,000 season, and Zaccheaus finished with 533 yards for the 2022 Falcons. Though, the diminutive Philly native has just 74 yards this year. Watkins cannot return until Week 12, leaving a bit of a void behind Brown and Smith. Howie Roseman will see if Jones can help fill it for the Super Bowl-contending squad.
Anthony Firkser will provide the Lions with some veteran tight end depth. Darrell Daniels has mostly transitioned to a fullback role and James Mitchell is sidelined with a hamstring injury, leaving Sam LaPorta and Brock Wright as the two healthy TEs on the roster. Firkser has seen time in 69 regular season games, hauling in 115 catches for 1,207 yards and five touchdowns. The 28-year-old tight end got into 11 games for the Falcons in 2022, finishing with nine catches for 100 yards.
Yodny Cajuste is back in New York after getting cut by the Jets back in August. The former third-round pick got into 17 games (five starts) for the Patriots between the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He was waived by New England back in May before catching on with the Jets for the preseason.
The Broncos will join other teams in using short-term IR to create roster spots for veterans they cut Tuesday. The team also needed to use its reserve/PUP list. Here is how Denver moved down to the 53-man limit:
Browning suffered a meniscus injury this offseason and underwent surgery in June. This obviously deals a blow to Browning’s development, seeing as the converted off-ball linebacker has yet to play a full season at his second NFL position, and Denver’s edge depth. Randy Gregory and Frank Clark lead the way at the position; both are going into their age-30 seasons. The Broncos have seen Gregory, Von Miller and Bradley Chubb miss substantial time in recent years. They will hope Browning, who showed promise opposite Chubb at points last year, can return when eligible.
The Broncos did not place Jerry Jeudy on IR, keeping their No. 1 receiver available once his hamstring heals. This points to the team viewing Jeudy as likely to come back during the season’s first four weeks. Jeudy suffered a hamstring injury late last week; the malady is expected to sideline him for “several weeks.” The team is expected to re-sign Humphrey once it reorganizes its roster, 9News’ Mike Klis notes.
Although Purcell joined Humphrey as a cut, Klis adds the veteran nose tackle is set to come back. Ditto Moreau, as K’Waun Williams is set to head to IR — a designation that will cost the veteran slot cornerback at least four games — upon undergoing ankle surgery. The Broncos kept UDFAs Elijah Garcia, a defensive lineman, and Jaleel McLaughlin, a running back, after strong preseason outings. McLaughlin is the NCAA all-levels rushing kingpin, having amassed 8,161 yards while at Notre Dame College and Youngstown State — Division II and Division I-FCS programs, respectively, in Ohio. He will be the team’s third-string running back — behind Javonte Williams and Samaje Perine.
Another former Saint is heading to the Mile High City this offseason to reunite with a familiar face on the sidelines. Wideout Marquez Callawayis signing a deal with the Broncos, per a team announcement.
Denver added Callaway on one-year deal worth $1.14MM, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. The Saints non-tendered Callaway as an RFA, and while the former New Orleans starter agreed to a deal south of the tender price, he will reunion with Sean Payton with the Broncos. Just more than $200K of Callaway’s money is guaranteed.
Callaway joins a growing list of players with experience in New Orleans choosing to join Payton in Denver. Fellow wideout Lil’Jordan Humphrey, along with tight end Chris Manhertz, fullback Michael Burtonand running backTony Jones Jr. have agreed to deals bringing them to Denver as Payton looks to guide the team’s offense to a rebound from last season’s struggles.
Callaway joined the Saints as a UDFA, and flashed potential in his debut season in 2020. The following year, he stepped into a much larger role in New Orleans’ offense, logging a snap share of 76%. The 24-year-old set new career highs across the board, racking up 46 catches for 698 yards and six touchdowns. His 15.2 yards per catch average demonstrated his capabilities as a deep threat, but that figure (among all others) took a sizeable step back last season.
The 2022 campaign marked the first for the Saints under Dennis Allen, rather than Payton. The latter’s decision to step away for a year was not a productive one for Callaway, who will look to regain his 2021 form working under Payton once again. His arrival comes just one day after it was learned KJ Hamlerhad suffered a torn pec, the latest in a long line of injuries for the slot receiver.
Hamler’s injury could open the door to more playing time for Callaway. In general, Denver’s receiver room is somewhat in flux, with Courtland Suttonand Jerry Jeudyreceiving trade interest. The future of the latter two thus remains in the air, but Callaway’s is in place for at least the 2023 season. A reunion with Payton could produce a bounce-back campaign, something which would help the Broncos take an expected step forward in their passing attack.
One of the NFL’s best defenses will feature more defensive line talent than it has in recent weeks. The Saints activated Sheldon Rankins from IR on Saturday.
An MCL injury sidelined the contract-year defensive tackle since Week 8. While Rankins’ role has changed since his Achilles tear in the 2018 playoffs, he still represents a key depth piece for the Super Bowl-contending Saints. New Orleans has won eight straight games and now leads the league in total defense.
The Saints have used Rankins as a backup behind David Onyemata and Malcom Brown this season, but the former first-round pick was a full-time starter prior in the two seasons prior to his Achilles malady. Rankins has seen various injuries, including a 2019 ankle setback, affect his NFL status. But he will have a chance to make a final push for a reasonable free agency deal in the weeks ahead.