Phillip Lindsay

Colts To Promote RB Phillip Lindsay

Jonathan Taylor‘s Week 5 absence will leave a gaping void on the Colts’ offense. Ahead of the team’s Broncos clash, the Colts will elevate a veteran presence to help fill it.

Former Broncos 1,000-yard rusher Phillip Lindsay will make his Colts debut Thursday night, with Tom Pelissero of NFL.com noting (via Twitter) the veteran running back will be elevated from Indianapolis’ practice squad. This will be Lindsay’s first matchup against his hometown team since the Broncos rescinded his RFA tender in 2021.

The Colts signed Lindsay this offseason, continuing the former Broncos starter’s post-Denver AFC tour, but released him as they cut their roster down to 53. The team kept Lindsay on its practice squad.

Lindsay played for the Texans and Dolphins last season, but his performance was well off the pace he set during his time in Denver. Lindsay is the NFL’s only UDFA to begin a career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, but the Broncos opted not to extend him and instead paid up to replace the ex-Colorado Buffalo.

The player the Broncos brought in to effectively replace Lindsay, Melvin Gordon, is expected to take over for Javonte Williams as a starter Thursday. Williams is out for the season with ACL and LCL tears. Gordon signed a two-year, $16MM deal with the Broncos in 2020 and re-signed on a one-year, $2.5MM accord this offseason. The former first-round pick, however, leads all running backs with 11 fumbles since that 2020 season. Gordon’s lost fumble in Week 4 proved incredibly costly in the Broncos’ loss to the Raiders, putting the eighth-year back on thin ice with his current team.

As for the Colts, they have passing-down back Nyheim Hines likely set for a bigger role. Hines is not exactly a one-for-one Taylor replacement — as if that were easy to find — and backup Deon Jackson has logged 15 career carries (for 28 yards) since joining the Colts as a 2021 UDFA. Lindsay, 28, figures to complement Hines in his Denver return tonight. This will be Taylor’s first missed game due to injury dating back to his high school days, though he did miss a 2020 Colts game after landing on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

Lindsay quickly became a starter in Denver and earned Pro Bowl acclaim as a rookie. He followed that 1,037-yard season up with a 1,011-yard 2019 slate, but the Broncos’ Pat Shurmur OC hire led to the Gordon agreement. Gordon’s deal scuttled Lindsay extension talks, which were rumored early that offseason. Lindsay did not fare as well in 2020, losing time to Gordon and missing games due to injury. The Broncos gave Lindsay the low-end RFA tender in 2021, but a mutual separation soon ensued. Lindsay did not stand out with the Texans or Dolphins, averaging just 2.8 yards per carry on 88 totes last year.

Colts Bring Back RB Phillip Lindsay

Phillip Lindsay was not part of the Colts’ initial 53-man roster, but the team still has the former 1,000-yard rusher in its plans. The veteran back returned to the team on a practice squad deal Tuesday.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the NFL to expand its taxi squads to 16 players (up to six vested veterans), vets have increasingly been added as stashes. Lindsay, a Colts cut last week, is the latest accomplished performer to land on a P-squad. He gives the Colts an option behind Jonathan Taylor, Nyheim Hines and Deon Jackson.

Indianapolis cutting Jackson, a 2021 UDFA, would have exposed him to waivers. Lindsay has sufficient service time to pass to free agency. Signed midway through the offseason, Lindsay is on his fourth NFL team. The former Broncos UDFA addition spent the 2021 season with the Texans and Dolphins.

Going into his age-28 season, Lindsay has seen his value dip since his Denver days. The only UDFA in NFL history to begin his career with back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Lindsay went from 2020 Broncos extension talks to being moved out of his starting role once the team gave Melvin Gordon an $8MM-per-year deal in March of that year. The Broncos then rescinded a Lindsay low-end RFA tender in 2021, leading him to Houston.

Lindsay rushed for just 249 yards with the Texans and Dolphins last season (2.8 per carry), though neither team’s offensive line was particularly good in 2021. The Colts would seemingly offer a better setup, but the fifth-year veteran will not be in an immediate position to contribute. The Colts now have two running backs on their P-squad; Lindsay joins rookie UDFA D’Vonte Price.

Colts Cut Roster Down To 53

Indianapolis has made a couple headline moves, but, most notably, succeeded in trimming their roster down to 53 players today. Here are the moves that helped them get down to the limit today:

Activated from active/physically unable to perform:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

The biggest stories of the day for the Colts come in the linebacking corps. In addition to adding star linebacker Leonard off the PUP, Indianapolis acquired second-year player Grant Stuard in a trade with Tampa Bay today. Stuard was primarily a special teamer with the Buccaneers last year, playing in every game as a rookie. He’ll go from one stacked linebacker room to another, likely backing up Leonard upon his arrival.

The Colts have quite an interesting rookie class. A sixth-round defensive tackle, Brooks is the only drafted rookie not to make the final roster besides sixth-round tight end Andrew Ogletree who will start his NFL career on injured reserve. None of this is spectacular, though. The interesting part is that Indianapolis will roster four undrafted rookies to start the 2022 NFL season.

Former SMU safety Trevor Denbow finds his way onto the initial 53 after leading the NFL this preseason with five special teams tackles. Cornerback Dallis Flowers can also thank his special teams value as his athleticism was supplemented by a 53-yard kickoff return to help him make the team out of Pitt State. Former Cornhusker JoJo Domann joins Leonard and Stuard in the linebackers room. And the French-Fries offensive line combination stays alive as Wesley French makes the final roster out of Western Michigan.

There were a number of other players who have special teams’ ability to thank for their roster spot in addition to Denbow and Flowers. Running back Deon Jackson played on all punt/kick return/coverage units for the Colts last year, earning him a tightly contested roster spot over Lindsay and Williams. Cornerback Tony Brown was the team’s highest-graded special teams player in the preseason, according to Pro Football Focus, and safety Rodney Thomas II played the third-most special teams snaps on the team.

Finally, the biggest performer of the Colts’ preseason was likely quarterback Sam Ehlinger whose stellar preseason led Indianapolis to roster three quarterbacks going into the season. The former-Longhorn’s impressive preseason play helped him earn a spot on the initial roster despite the Colts already rostering starter Matt Ryan and one of the league’s top backup quarterbacks in Nick Foles.

The Colts will have the opportunity tomorrow to announce any moves to form their 16-man practice squad. Players cut today who have not vested will have to clear waivers before returning to the team.

Colts To Release RB Phillip Lindsay

Phillip Lindsay faced a crowded running back room in Indianapolis, and will now look to find a home elsewhere. The Colts are releasing the veteran, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

The 28-year-old enjoyed an historic start to his career with the Broncos. With back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons, he was in line to make the ascent from UDFA to unquestioned lead back. Things changed starting in 2020, however, and Lindsay found himself in Houston by the start of last season.

The Colorado alum started just one of 10 games with the Texans before being waived by the rebuilding team. He was claimed by the Dolphins, as Miami looked for veteran options to improve their struggling ground game. In four games in South Beach, Lindsay averaged just 3.1 yards per carry, leading to his modest one-year deal with the Colts.

Even at the time of that signing, it was clear that he would face tough competition for snaps. Indianapolis boats one of the league’s premier workhorses in Jonathan Tayloralong with a backup in Nyheim Hines who is in line for a significant pass-catching role. With Lindsay out of the picture, Deon Jackson figures to occupy the No. 3 spot that the pair were competing for.

The move will save the Colts $970K in cap space, though the team was in better shape than most from a financial perspective entering today. Lindsay will now hit free agency, and look to navigate the market for another opportunity to serve a rotational role, and in turn, rebuild his value.

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