Nathan Peterman

Justin Fields To Start In Week 13

DECEMBER 3: Getting Fields back is crucial for the Bears this week as their backup quarterback, Siemian is being placed on IR. To fulfill the backup duties, Chicago has signed the practice squad quarterback, Peterman, to the active roster, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

DECEMBER 2: Justin Fields has made steady progress since suffering a dislocated shoulder, and he will ultimately miss just one game as a result of it. The Bears quarterback is not on the team’s Week 13 injury report, meaning he is in line to start on Sunday.

Fields was carted off the field during Chicago’s Week 11 loss to the Falcons. The injury took away his opportunity to record three consecutive 100-yard rushing games, but more importantly, also left his short- and intermediate-term availability in question. After further testing, it became clear that his return to game action would be dependent on pain management.

The 2021 first-rounder expressed optimism in being able to suit up for Week 12, but was held out. He received first-team reps in practice this week, though, and was listed as a full participant for the past two days. As a result, head coach Matt Eberflus said Fields is “100%” with respect to his health status leading into the upcoming contest against the Packers.

“Right now he feels, and we feel, that the mobility and strength is there for him to protect himself,” Eberflus added, via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin, on Twitter“and he feels like he’s a hundred percent, ready to go.” 

That will allow the Ohio State alum to pick up where he left off in what has become an encouraging second year in the NFL. Fields has taken an incremental step forward as a passer in 2022, operating within a very run-heavy scheme and with a pass-catching corps which will no longer include No. 1 wideout Darnell Mooney for the rest of the season. On the ground, though, Fields has become the team’s offensive focal point with a league-leading 6.8 yards per carry and seven rushing touchdowns.

Even as Fields is set to return, however, the Bears will be shorthanded under center moving forward. Veteran backup Trevor Siemian – who filled in for Fields last week – suffered an oblique injury during warmups. While he was able to play through it during Chicago’s loss to the Jets, the 30-year-old will now undergo season-ending surgery, per an announcement from Eberflus. That will leave Fields and Nathan Peterman available as signal-callers for the remainder of the season.

The 3-9 Bears are not in the thick of the NFC playoff race, but they will have the opportunity to evaluate Fields both in terms of his recovery, and his continued career ascension as the rebuilding squad eyes improvements in the offseason.

Bears To Start QB Trevor Siemian In Week 12

NOVEMBER 27, 12:04pm: Scratch that. Siemian is under center for the Bears, with Peterman operating as the backup.

NOVEMBER 27, 11:29am: Fields is indeed inactive for Sunday’s contest against the Jets, and in even worse news for the Bears, Siemian injured his oblique during pregame warmups (Twitter link via Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network). Therefore, Peterman will be making his first start since Week 9 of the 2018 season, while Siemian will serve as his backup.

As Courtney Cronin of ESPN.com tweets, RB David Montgomery is Chicago’s emergency signal-caller.

NOVEMBER 26: It sounds like the Bears are preparing for tomorrow’s game as if they won’t have Justin Fields under center. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that Chicago has promoted quarterback Nathan Peterman from the practice squad.

Fields has been nursing a shoulder injury that resulted in him being listed as questionable for tomorrow’s game against the Jets. The QB told reporters that he’s dealing with a separated shoulder with partially torn ligaments, and while he acknowledged that he’s feeling better every day, he was still limited on Thursday and Friday before earning his official questionable designation.

“I think we’re going to let it go up to the game,” coach Matt Eberflus said (via ESPN’s Courtney Cronin). “We’ll try to do that. We think that’s where it is, and we’ll see where he is at game time and see how he feels.”

If Fields doesn’t play, veteran Trevor Siemian will likely earn his first start of the season. The Bears had been rolling with only two quarterbacks on their active roster prior to today’s transaction. Garafolo notes that the Bears will likely take their starting QB decision down to game time.

As for Peterman, the veteran QB has spent the majority of the 2022 season on Chicago’s practice squad. Following a one-plus-year stint with the Bills to start his career, Peterman spent the better part of the past four seasons with the Raiders. He only got into a pair of games during his time with the organization, completing three of his five pass attempts.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

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 BearsLions, Packers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Chicago Bears

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Released from IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Signed:

Waived: 

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Waived:

Bears Reduce Roster To 53 Players

The Bears trimmed their roster to the NFL’s mandatory 53-man limit today:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Michael Schofield III is an experienced starter with more than 100 NFL games under his belt, but it was immediately clear that he was competing for a roster spot when he inked a deal worth only $1.12MM. He ultimately lost out on a starting gig in Chicago to Teven Jenkins, who was mentioned as a trade candidate only yesterday.

Sam Kamara got into eight games with Chicago in 2021 while mostly appearing on special teams. Nsimba Webster got into six games with the Bears last year, returning four punts for 13 yards. Both of these young players are candidates to return to Chicago’s practice squad to start the 2022 campaign.

Nathan Peterman is also expected to land back on the Bears’ practice squad, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). After tossing three touchdowns vs. 12 interceptions in two seasons with Buffalo, Peterman spent the past three years with the Raiders, getting into only a pair of games. Justin Fields and Trevor Siemian are the only two QBs on the Bears active roster, so Peterman will see a promotion if either of those two are sidelined.

Bears Sign QB Nathan Peterman

After three-plus seasons with the Raiders, Nathan Peterman has found a new team. The Bears signed the veteran quarterback to a one-year deal Wednesday.

Although the once-maligned quarterback is best known for making disastrous starts during his Bills tenure, which included a Week 1 start ahead of Josh Allen in 2018, Peterman has stabilized his career as a reserve. He caught on with the Raiders during Jon Gruden‘s first year, and after signing a 2019 reserve/futures contract, the Pitt product continued to work as one of Derek Carr‘s understudies.

Peterman primarily played behind both Carr and Marcus Mariota in Las Vegas. The 2017 fifth-round pick signed a one-year, $1MM pact to stay with the Raiders last year, and he finished the year on the Raiders’ practice squad. Since his Bills tenure wrapped midway through the 2018 season, Peterman has attempted eight regular-season passes. He still carries a career 3-12 career touchdown pass-to-interception ratio and a 34.0 passer rating.

The Bears previously carried one of the most experienced sets of second- and third-string quarterbacks in NFL history, rostering Andy Dalton and Nick Foles. Dalton has since signed with the Saints, and the Bears cut Foles shortly after the draft. The 10-year veteran remains a free agent. Trevor Siemian joins Peterman behind Justin Fields now; the team waived second-year QB Ryan Willis on Wednesday.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/25-12/26/21

Here are the NFL moves from Christmas and today:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Raiders Waive QB Nathan Peterman

5:07pm: Indeed, the Raiders and Peterman are not truly planning to separate. Peterman is expected to land on Las Vegas’ practice squad, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). Unless another team poaches him, Peterman will stay on as the Raiders’ de facto third-stringer.

4:48pm: Nathan Peterman is no longer on the Raiders’ 53-man roster. The team cut its third-string quarterback Tuesday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. The Raiders also waived linebacker Javin White.

Since this transaction processed after today’s 3pm trade deadline, Peterman will head to the waiver wire. If unclaimed, the fifth-year quarterback will be a free agent. The Raiders signed Peterman to an extension in February; just more than $500K remains on his deal.

Following some disastrous in-game outings with Buffalo, Peterman landed in Oakland in December 2018. The then-Jon Gruden-led franchise then kept Peterman around via a reserve/futures deal and used him as a Derek Carr reserve over the next three seasons. Marcus Mariota stands as Carr’s backup; the Raiders do not have a quarterback on their practice squad.

Given Gruden’s abrupt exit, it will be somewhat interesting if the Raiders bring back Peterman. He remains practice squad-eligible, should Las Vegas go this route. Mariota has spent time on IR in each of his two Raiders seasons and certainly battled health issues while with the Titans.

A fifth-round pick in 2017, Peterman has a ghastly 3-to-12 touchdown pass-to-interception ratio and has completed 52.6% of his passes (at just 4.2 yards per throw). The 27-year-old passer has nevertheless stuck around as a backup arm. He appeared two Raiders games, the second of which coming earlier this season.

Extra Points: Murray, Njoku, Contracts

Before he was the first overall pick of the Cardinals in the 2019 NFL Draft, Kyler Murray was the ninth overall pick of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Oakland A’s. Then he went on to win the Heisman Trophy, causing him to rocket up NFL draft boards. Even after winning the Heisman Murray initially was reported to be pursuing baseball over football, but obviously that changed when it became clear just how high he’d be drafted. We haven’t heard a ton about his baseball passions since, but he made it clear he isn’t over the game in interviews this past week. “I would love to” play baseball again one day Murray said on The Pat McAfee Show, via Jeremy Cluff of the Arizona Republic. “I think it’s still there because I’ve been doing it my whole life. It wasn’t like I have to turn this off to be elite at football.”

When asked if he could see himself playing football and baseball at the same time one day soon, Murray said “I hope so. I hope so. I mean, I would love to. I think that would be good for everybody … I think it is tough because I play quarterback.” He also added that walking away from Oakland was “definitely the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make.” The Cardinals likely aren’t as enthused about the possibility, and it’s specifically in his contract that he’s not allowed to play baseball. Maybe when it comes time for Murray to get a contract extension from Arizona, he’ll look to negotiate a clause that allows him to try his hand at baseball? It’s certainly fun to think about, and I think every fan would be hoping he can become the next Bo Jackson or Deion Sanders.

Here’s more from around the league as we officially turn our attention toward the offseason:

  • David Njoku had a rocky season with the Browns, even as the team had their most success in decades. The drafting of Harrison Bryant and signing of Austin Hooper reduced his role on offense, and Njoku demanded to be traded this past summer, then changed his mind on that demand, then apparently changed his mind once again and wanted to be traded in October. Obviously Cleveland didn’t want to deal him, and it looked like everything had more or less been worked out, but Njoku fanned the flames again this past week. “That’s a good question,” Njoku said recently on the Jim Rome Show when asked if he’s in the right spot, per Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal. “I’m not going to answer that right now. I have no comment towards that at this moment,” Njoku said cryptically. The 29th overall pick of the 2017 draft added that everything would work itself out in the “near future.” Thanks to his fifth-year option the tight end is under contract for 2021 at a hair over $6MM, although that’s not guaranteed. If they choose to keep him at that number, it sounds like another trade request could be in the cards.
  • Reserve/futures deals are non-guaranteed pacts to keep unheralded players a part of a team’s offseason 90-man roster, so they usually don’t come with any bonuses or guaranteed money. When they do, that makes them a lot more notable, and Field Yates of ESPN.com recently tweeted out this cycle’s biggest. Cornerback Grant Haley got $35.7K from the Saints, safety Marqui Christian and cornerback Xavier Crawford got $35K and $31.3K respectively from the Bears, long snapper Dan Godsil got $27.4K from the Bengals, and tight end Tyree Jackson got $25.2K from the Eagles while punter Arryn Siposs got $25K from Philly. All these guys would seem to have a better than normal chance of cracking next year’s 53. Haley saw a lot of run his first two years in the league with the Giants, and was up and down from New Orleans’ practice squad in 2020. If Cincy is giving a reserve/futures long snapper $25K, you’ve gotta figure they think there’s a good chance he’s their guy next year. Jackson is a notable name since he’s the former University of Buffalo star quarterback who has since transitioned to tight end.
  • Speaking of relatively minor contracts, Yates also tweeted the details for the recent extensions for Raiders quarterback Nathan Peterman and 49ers long snapper Taybor Pepper. Peterman got a guaranteed $1MM base salary on his one-year deal, a $25K workout bonus, and a max value of $2.775MM with incentives. Pepper got two-years, $2.08MM with an $80K signing bonus and $220K of his $920K salary for 2021 guaranteed. It’s pretty eyebrow-raising to see Peterman get his $1MM guaranteed considering he’s thrown all of five passes the past two seasons, but Jon Gruden clearly loves the guy. This would suggest he’s got a good shot to hold the clipboard for Derek Carr, or whoever is the Raiders’ starter next year.

Raiders Extend QB Nathan Peterman

While the annual questions exist around Derek Carr‘s status with the Raiders, the franchise now has two of his backups under contract for 2021.

The Raiders announced Thursday they have agreed to terms with Nathan Peterman on a one-year deal. The deal could pay Peterman up to $2.775MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com notes.

Peterman being back on Las Vegas’ 53-man roster in 2021 would mark a fourth season in silver and black for the former Bills draftee. The Raiders initially added Peterman to their practice squad late in the 2018 season. Being a 2017 draftee, Peterman was eligible for unrestricted free agency in March.

Despite Peterman’s Bills performances prompting constant criticism, he has found a home with the Raiders. The team reworked his rookie deal last summer and now will have him entering the 2021 offseason on the roster behind Carr and Marcus Mariota. The latter is signed through the ’21 season.

A former fifth-round pick, Peterman has played in one game as a Raider. He completed 3 of 5 passes in the Raiders’ blowout loss to the Falcons in November. Overall, Peterman’s numbers are ghastly. He has thrown three touchdown passes and 12 interceptions — five of those picks coming in a disastrous start against the Chargers as a rookie — and has averaged just 4.2 yards per attempt. But while the Raiders have employed Mike Glennon and DeShone Kizer since acquiring Peterman, Jon Gruden kept Peterman around over those former starters. This relationship is now set for a fourth season.

Raiders Place Marcus Mariota On IR, Add DeShone Kizer To P-Squad

The Raiders have placed quarterback Marcus Mariota on injured reserve, per a club announcement. For added insurance, the club has added one-time Notre Dame star DeShone Kizer to the Raiders’ practice squad. 

Mariota’s strained pectoral muscle will keep him out for at least three weeks, per the league’s modified rules for 2020. Without him, the Raiders are rolling with two QBs on the active roster – Derek Carr and Nathan Peterman. Mariota’s temporary absence may take a little bit of pressure off of Derek Carr, who has certainly heard the footsteps. Mariota, who was leapfrogged by Ryan Tannehill in Tennessee, finished the year with a career-low 59.4% completion rate and just 1,203 yards.

Kizer has been on the workout trail ever since he was cut by the club in May, but those tryouts didn’t land him a deal. Now, the 2017 second-round pick will stick around in Las Vegas as he waits for his next opportunity. Kizer, 24, has made 18 appearances over the course of his NFL career, most of which came during the Browns’ winless season. All in all, he’s got eleven touchdowns against 24 interceptions.

Here’s the full rundown of the Raiders’ practice squad after Monday’s move: