Phillip Lindsay

Colts To Sign Phillip Lindsay

Running back Phillip Lindsay has found a new home. The veteran’s agent confirmed (on Twitter) Tuesday that he is signing with the Colts on a one-year deal. 

Lindsay, who will be 28 by the start of the season, burst onto the scene during his inaugural season in 2018. He topped 1,000 rushing yards and scored 10 total touchdowns as a rookie. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the second time the following campaign, becoming the first UDFA in league history to do so.

Things changed dramatically after that, however. Competing with Melvin Gordon in the Broncos’ backfield, Lindsay’s workload was significantly reduced. He totalled just 502 rushing yards, albeit at a respectable rate of 4.3 yards per carry. Given the team’s commitment to Gordon (and its decision to draft Javonte Williams), it wasn’t a surprise when they rescinded Lindsay’s RFA tender, allowing him to depart in free agency.

That led him to Houston on a one-year deal to rebuild his value. He joined a backfield crowded by veterans David Johnson and Mark Ingram, and failed to produce at the level he was expecting. Having received only 50 carries in 10 games with the Texans, he found himself on waivers after the trade deadline.

The Dolphins claimed him, attempting to boost their underwhelming run game. While he saw a small uptick in terms of snap percentage in Miami, Lindsay didn’t do enough to garner interest in him as a starter this offseason. Now, he will join a Colts team already set at the top of the RB depth chart with Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines. He is set to compete with Deon Jackson and a number of 2022 UDFAs for the No. 3 role.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Dolphins’ Phillip Lindsay Tests Positive For COVID-19

Dolphins running back Phillip Lindsay has tested positive for COVID-19 (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). That completes an unfortunate hat trick for Miami as all three of their running backs — Lindsay, Myles Gaskin, and Salvon Ahmed — have tested positive in advance of Sunday’s game against the Jets. 

All three players are vaccinated, according to Pelissero, giving them a chance to suit up on Sunday pending additional tests. If they’re unable to play, the Dolphins will likely turn to practice squad RBs Duke Johnson and Gerrid Doaks.

The Dolphins are still fighting for a playoff berth, albeit with slim odds. Stationed at 6-7, the Dolphins currently have a 10% chance at sneaking into a Wild Card spot, according to the stats at Five Thirty Eight. A win over the Jets would keep the ‘Fins afloat — a loss would effectively rule them out of the postseason.

Lindsay, 27, hooked on with the Dolphins earlier this month after being released by the Texans. In his Week 12 debut against the Panthers, the veteran ran for 42 yards off of 12 carries. Gaskin finished with more yards in a less efficient performance — 49 yards off of 16 totes.

Dolphins Claim RB Phillip Lindsay

Phillip Lindsay‘s one-year contract did not last long on the waiver wire. Near the top of the priority list, the Dolphins submitted a successful claim, according to the running back’s agent (on Twitter).

The Dolphins will take on what is left of the $3.25MM Lindsay signed for in March. This continues a complex year for the former Broncos starter, who will now aim to contribute in Miami ahead of a likely free agency bid in 2022. The Dolphins were the only team to submit a claim on Lindsay, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Houston waived Lindsay on Tuesday, but the fourth-year back did not make it far down the wire. At 4-7, the Dolphins moved to add to their backfield. Miami has used former seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin as its top back this season — one that has not featured a strong run game around Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins, who have continued to tinker with their offensive line, rank 31st in rushing.

Lindsay’s would-be free agency springboard season has not gone the way he’d hoped. The former UDFA success story is averaging a meager 2.6 yards per tote this season, which comes after an injury-plagued 2020. This has dinged Lindsay’s stock a bit, but the ex-Colorado Buffalo still attracted interest on the wire — likely due to his historic NFL entrance. Lindsay is the only UDFA to begin his career with consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

While Lindsay was expected to negotiate an extension with the Broncos after the 2019 slate, Denver hired a new OC in Pat Shurmur and signed Melvin Gordon to a two-year, $16MM deal. That created a logjam in the Broncos’ backfield and eventually led the team to rescind its original-round RFA tender on Lindsay in March, making him a free agent. The Texans signed him but also added Mark Ingram and Rex Burkhead to the mix. Although they traded Ingram to the Saints, the Texans used Burkhead and David Johnson as their top backs in Week 11.

Texans Cut RB Phillip Lindsay

The Texans are cutting running back Phillip Lindsay (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). As a post-trade-deadline cut, Lindsay will be subject to the waiver wire. 

[RELATED: Texans’ Jenkins To Miss Time]

The Texans shopped Lindsay before the trade deadline, but they didn’t find any deals to their liking. Through ten games, Lindsay has 50 carries for 130 yards and one rushing touchdown, plus three grabs for 37 yards and one receiving TD. Far less efficient than usual, he’s been used far less than expected in Houston.

Of course, this hasn’t been a banner year for anyone on the Texans, so it’s hard to say whether this is indicative of a sharp decline for Lindsay. Before joining up with Houston, Lindsay averaged 4.8 yards per tote across three Broncos seasons. And, between 2018 and 2019, he showcased his receiving ability by reeling in 70 catches for 437 yards.

Still only 27, Lindsay could be a difference-maker for a contender. Any team claiming Lindsay would be responsible for the balance of his one-year contract and the prorated portion of his $2.25MM base salary.

The league’s other 31 teams will have 24 hours to submit claims for Lindsay. If he’s not claimed between now and 4pm ET/3pm CT Wednesday, he’ll be eligible to sign with any club of his choosing.

Minor NFL Transactions:  11/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

  • Designated for return: WR Marquez Stevenson

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Texans Shopping Jordan Akins, Phillip Lindsay

Deshaun Watson isn’t the only Texans player that could be on the move. Tight end Jordan Akins, running back Phillip Lindsay, safety Lonnie Johnson, and linebacker Zach Cunningham are all expected to be available between now and the trade deadline (Twitter link via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com). 

[RELATED: Latest On Potential Deshaun Watson Trade]

The Texans already shipped out one of their veteran running backs, trading Mark Ingram to the Saints last week for a seventh-round pick. Apparently, that deal didn’t solidify Lindsay’s status in Houston.

Through eight games, Lindsay has 41 carries for 105 yards and four rushing touchdowns, plus three grabs for 37 yards and one receiving TD. He’s been far less efficient than usual, though that can’t be pinned squarely on his shoulders given the Texans’ myriad of issues. In his first three years with the Broncos, Lindsay averaged 4.8 yards per tote with quality pass-catching in 2018 and 2019.

Akins, a former third-round pick, is in his walk year. He enjoyed a breakout year in 2019 with 36 grabs for 418 yards and followed that up with 37/403/1 in 2020. He’s roughly on pace for the same type of year with 19 catches and 177 yards at the midway point. Now, he might be on the verge of spending the second half with a contender.

Deshaun Watson Would Not Be Placed On Exempt List If Traded

Multiple teams are still interested in trading for Texans QB Deshaun Watson, as Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports (video link). Critically, Rapoport says Watson would not be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list if he were to be dealt.

Of course, Watson has no interest in playing for the Texans, and the Texans have no interest in trying to force their best trade asset to suit up. So he has effectively been on paid leave all season, but we have heard all along that if another club were to trade for the three-time Pro Bowler, the league could step in and park him on the exempt list until his legal situation is resolved, thereby making a trade difficult to consummate.

Rapoport, citing the provision of the NFL’s personal conduct policy that states that a player can be placed on the exempt list if he has been charged with a felony or violent crime, says Watson — who has not been criminally charged at this point — should be eligible to play for any team that acquires him. And, RapSheet hears that a deal is expected to be completed prior to the November 2 deadline.

A recent report indicated that the Panthers and Eagles were no longer involved in the Watson sweepstakes and that the Dolphins were the only team left standing. However, Rapoport says the Dolphins are not alone in their pursuit, and that in addition to Carolina, Philadelphia, and the Broncos, there are other clubs sniffing around.

That report could have been leaked by the Texans in an effort to get Miami to increase its offer. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes that no team has been as motivated as the Dolphins to get a deal done, and Jay Glazer of FOX Sports reports that the Texans have told another club that they have to beat Miami’s offer (via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald on Twitter). Plus, it’s unclear if Watson will waive his no-trade clause for any team other than the Dolphins.

In addition to Watson, there are other Texans players that could be on the move in the next week or so. La Canfora hears that LT Laremy Tunsil could have been a trade candidate if he had not suffered a serious thumb injury earlier this month, and other players that GM Nick Caserio might seek to trade include QB Tyrod Taylor, RB Phillip Lindsay, LB Christian Kirksey, and CB Desmond King.

Mark Ingram Could Be ‘Odd Man Out’ W/ Texans RBs?

Mark Ingram signed a one-year deal worth “up to” $3MM with the Texans back in March, but he’s apparently not guaranteed to make the team.

Houston has been busy beefing up their running backs room, and they just signed Rex Burkhead last month. It’s now “unlikely” that the team will keep all of Ingram, Burkhead, David Johnson, and Phillip Lindsay, Sarah Barshop of ESPN.com writes. Since she notes the Texans just restructured Johnson’s contract this offseason which gave him more guaranteed money for 2021, Barshop says he’ll “probably make the team”

That could make Ingram the “odd man out.” Ingram got a $500K signing bonus from Houston, but it sounds like they might end up eating that. Lindsay is only 26 and has shown plenty of flashes with the Broncos, so his spot on a rebuilding team that needs younger guys should be assured.

That likely means Ingram and Burkhead will be battling it out for one roster spot, so either way it seems as if one well-known veteran will be getting the axe. Ingram will turn 32 in December and had a down year last season, but was a Pro Bowler as recently as 2019.

He spent the first eight years of his career with the Saints before ending up in Baltimore for the last two. Burkhead turned 31 last week and spent the past four seasons in a part-time role with the Patriots.

Texans To Sign RB Phillip Lindsay

A day after the Broncos rescinded Phillip Lindsay‘s RFA tender, the Pro Bowl running back will join another crowded backfield. The Texans are signing Lindsay to a one-year contract, according to his agent (on Twitter).

Lindsay will earn $3.25MM in 2021, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The deal could reach $3.75MM. This marks a bit of a bump for the productive back, who was previously tethered to a $2.13MM RFA tender salary. Lindsay will receive $1MM in guarantees, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

In Houston, Lindsay will link up with fellow former Pro Bowlers David Johnson and Mark Ingram. Had Lindsay played the 2021 season on his RFA tender, he would have been eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2022. This Texans contract would allow him to have a chance to rebuild his value in advance of another free agency bid next year.

Despite becoming the first UDFA in NFL history to open his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, Lindsay fell out of favor in Denver. The Broncos’ interesting decision to give Melvin Gordon a two-year, $16MM deal led to Lindsay splitting time with the ex-Chargers first-rounder and totaling just 502 rushing yards. The Colorado alum, however, made the Pro Bowl as a rookie and continued to excel in 2019 despite playing behind a middling Denver offensive line. Lindsay averaged 5.4 yards per carry and totaled 10 TDs as a rookie.

One of the NFL’s most explosive runners over his first two seasons, Lindsay is by far the youngest of the three notable backs in Houston. Johnson will turn 30 later this year; Ingram will be 32 by season’s end. The Texans, who released Duke Johnson earlier this year, also have Dontrell Hilliard on their roster.