Johnson, a 2019 sixth-rounder, was pushing for the final wide receiver slot on the Week 1 roster. Instead, he was leapfrogged by Andy Isabella, Greg Dortch, and Antoine Wesley. All three are still on the roster as of this writing, but nothing is guaranteed for any of them beyond tomorrow. Johnson, 25 in October, registered 15 catches for 173 yards in eight games last year.
Hilton suffered a mild hamstring injury while working out on his own earlier this summer, as Mike Wells of ESPN.com tweets. Per the rules of the Active/NFI list, Hilton can return to the roster at any point. The real decision for these players comes at the final roster cutdown date. A player on the NFI list does not count towards the 53-man roster max, but he also cannot play in the first eight games of the season. Given that this is a mild hamstring pull, Hilton probably will not be on the NFI list to start the season.
Meanwhile, the Colts have released running back Darius Jackson. Wide receiver Rodney Adams, defensive end Jegs Jegede, tackle Cedrick Lang, cornerback Picasso Nelson., tackle Travis Vornkahl, and linebacker Brandon Wellington were waived. Because Jackson was released outright, he’ll be free to hook on with any club immediately. The other six players will be subject to the waiver wire – if they are not claimed within the 24-hour window, they will be full-fledged free agents.
There’s one year left on Hilton’s deal, set to count for $14.5MM against the salary cap. Colts GM Chris Ballard, ideally, would like to nudge that number down with a reworked deal. We haven’t heard much on that front lately, but an extension still seems possible. That deal, Hilton says, will be his last in the NFL, regardless of length.
The signing of Joseph is somewhat notable, as Panthers kicker JoeySlye missed three field goals during his team’s three-point loss to the Saints yesterday. Joseph appeared in 10 games for the Browns last year, converting 17 of his 20 field goal attempts and 25 of his 29 extra point tries. Elsewhere, Nelson Jr. is in contention for one of the best first names in the league.