Phillip Lindsay

Broncos Rumors: Lindsay, Harris, DiNucci

Seattle Sea Dragons running back Phillip Lindsay has been grinding away in the XFL this year as his team fell just one game shy of the league’s championship game last Sunday. According to Chris Tomasson of The Denver Gazette, Lindsay viewed his time with the Sea Dragons as an audition to return to the NFL, where he would like to play at least two more seasons.

Lindsay got to stay local after a college career at Colorado, signing as an undrafted free agent to the Broncos in 2018. He made an immediate impact rushing for over 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons. Injuries and the reemergence of Melvin Gordon resulted in a down 2020 season for Lindsay. The Broncos rescinded their initial restricted free agent tender on Lindsay after the season ended, and he bounced from the Texans to the Dolphins to the Colts without ever finding the success he had found in Denver.

Despite being essentially let go by the Broncos, Lindsay has Denver at the top of his list for his hopeful return to the big leagues. He sees an opportunity, as well, with starter Javonte Williams dealing with a rocky return from his ACL tear. His agent reportedly reached out to Denver and was told that the team wanted to see how the draft panned out before addressing Lindsay. The Broncos didn’t draft any running backs and haven’t announced official undrafted free agent signings yet.

The team signed former Bengals running back Samaje Perine and former Saint Tony Jones this offseason, and they return Damarea Crockett, Tyler Badie, and Tyreik McAllister from last year. Crockett, Badie, and McAllister don’t account for much with a combined four career carries for seven yards. Perine and Jones provide solid backup options behind Williams with Perine likely to start if Williams is unable to early in the season.

So, the possibility remains for a Lindsay return, if the team is looking for a bit more experienced depth during a potentially lengthy Williams recovery. He put together some film for Denver to consider as he helped the Sea Dragons qualify for the XFL playoffs, and he’ll await his opportunities in the meantime.

Here are a few more potential NFL returns out of the XFL to Denver:

  • One player the Broncos have reported interest in is Houston Roughnecks outside linebacker Trent Harris, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network. Harris led the XFL in sacks this season with 9.5 over eight starts. Harris went undrafted in 2018 after collecting 8.5 sacks and 10.5 tackles for loss in his final year with the Hurricanes down in South Beach. In 2019, he landed with the Dolphins and totaled 1.5 sacks, 22 tackles (one for loss), two quarterback hits, and a forced fumble in 11 appearances (three starts). He started two games for the Bills the next year and sort of bounced out of the league after short stints with the Ravens and Raiders in 2022. His resurgent year in the XFL has shown that Harris still has plenty of gas left in the tank and plenty of NFL potential. Harris should have a decent opportunity in Denver, as well, where Dre’Mont Jones led the team with 6.5 sacks in 2022 as Bradley Chubb and Randy Gregory dealt with injuries. Harris could provide some solid depth in case the position continues to deal with absences or lack of production. While the Broncos invited him to their rookie minicamp, several other teams have reportedly shown interest, as well.
  • Lastly, the Broncos also invited Sea Dragons quarterback Ben DiNucci to their rookie minicamp, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. DiNucci, the former Cowboys passer, was another strong factor that led Seattle to the playoffs. With a completion percentage of nearly 65, DiNucci led the XFL in passing yards with 2,671 while tossing 20 touchdowns to 13 interceptions in 10 starts. A transfer from Pitt after losing his starting job to then-true freshman Kenny Pickett, DiNucci was drafted out of James Madison in the seventh round by Dallas in 2020. He played and started in relief of Andy Dalton to discouraging results and was eventually waived by the team. The Broncos appear to be very secure in the quarterbacks room with Jarrett Stidham and Jarrett Guarantano backing up Russell Wilson, but DiNucci will attempt to show that he still has an NFL-caliber arm this spring in Denver.

RB Phillip Lindsay Lands In XFL

Phillip Lindsay has made a few million since the Broncos rescinded his RFA tender in 2021, but the former UDFA success story has not been able to catch on since the successful start to his career. His latest move will be a showcase opportunity in one of this year’s two spring leagues.

The XFL’s Seattle Sea Dragons are signing Lindsay, Tom Pelissero of tweets. Lindsay, 28, last played for the Colts in the NFL, but the team released the veteran running back from its practice squad in November of last year.

It has been rather surprising to see Lindsay unable to carve out much of a role outside of Denver. The Broncos scrapped their plans at running upon seeing the hometown product’s form during his 2018 rookie season. Lindsay finished his first year with 1,037 rushing yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 5.4 yards per carry. In 2019, the Colorado alum crossed the 1,000-yard barrier again to become the only UDFA in NFL history to amass back-to-back 1,000-yard years in his first two seasons.

The Broncos’ decision to give Melvin Gordon a two-year, $16MM deal in 2020 altered Lindsay’s path. After being rumored to be on Denver’s extension radar, Lindsay struggled through an injury-plagued 2020 slate and was a free agent in 2021. The Texans gave Lindsay a one-year, $3.25MM deal shortly after the Broncos rescinded his tender, but the diminutive back only averaged 2.6 yards per carry (50 totes) that year — one he finished with the Dolphins after the Texans waived him. Lindsay totaled 15 carries for the Colts last season.

Three weeks remain in the XFL’s third regular season. This one is on track to finish, after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the league’s second effort three years ago, and Lindsay will join ex-NFLers Josh Gordon, Ben DiNucci and others attempting to stand out on the June Jones-coached Sea Dragons in the season’s final weeks.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/10/22

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/5/22

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

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

  • Promoted: OT Kion Smith

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Colts RB Jonathan Taylor Ruled Out, Expected To Avoid IR

For the third time this season, Colts star running back Jonathan Taylor will be held out of action for the weekend, according to Mike Chappell of Fox59. The absence of Taylor will pave the way for Deon Jackson to make his second start of the season.

After an awe-inducing sophomore season in which he led the NFL in rushing yards and touchdowns, Taylor’s third year in the league has not gone according to plan. He started off hot with a 161-yard day in the team’s season-opening tie with the Texans but quickly cooled off as the offense dealt with growing pains and he dealt with an ankle injury.

Th ankle injury would force Taylor to miss two straight games in October. In his second game back from the injury absence, Taylor aggravated the right ankle during a loss to the Commanders. The injury that has already caused him to miss two games already could continue to hurt the Colts. Despite ruling Taylor out for this game, head coach Frank Reich has no plans to place him on injured reserve, according to Zak Keefer of The Athletic. The injury appears to be a week-to-week issue that the Colts want flexibility in dealing with for now.

With Taylor out, Jackson will get another chance to lead the Colts’ rushing attack. In two weeks without Taylor so far this year, Jackson has earned a combined 104 rushing yards and a touchdown, adding 14 catches for 108 yards through the air. The offense stands to look a bit different with Sam Ehlinger playing quarterback in place of Matt Ryan, but Jackson still figures to earn the lion’s share of the carries.

Although the Colts were able to acquire former Bills running back Zack Moss when trading away Nyheim Hines, Moss has only been with the team a couple of days and likely won’t have a very good grasp of the offense. Indianapolis is expected to elevate practice squad running back Phillip Lindsay for Sunday’s matchup in Foxborough, as they did the previous two games without Taylor. Lindsay contributed in his Colts debut with 11 carries for 40 yards but was relegated to a lesser role the following week, only carrying the ball three times for seven yards.

Giving Moss more time to practice and learn the offense may eventually dull the need for Lindsay, but for now, the Colts’ rushing offense will rely on the legs of Jackson and Lindsay as long as Taylor is out. As long as Taylor remains a week-to-week case, this will continue to be the gameplan.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/15/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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 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:



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.