The Bears will have a pair of veteran running backs in for workouts. ESPN’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter) that Spencer Ware and Rod Smith are set to audition for the team.
Chicago doesn’t necessarily need any help at running back. Following a slow start to the season, David Montgomery has really picked it up recently; the 23-year-old has 288 rushing yards, 121 receiving yards, and four touchdowns over his past three games. Veteran Cordarrelle Patterson has also been a solid backup, as he’s hauled in 20 receptions through 13 games.
Still, the Bears are presumably looking for a replacement for Lamar Miller, who joined the team’s practice squad in early October. The former Pro Bowler was poached by Washington yesterday, and Chicago clearly doesn’t have an issue giving that practice-squad spot to a veteran.
So, in comes Ware and Smith for workouts. Ware has the most starting experience of the duo, mostly via a 2016 campaign when he rushed for 921 yards and three scores in 14 starts. After missing the entire 2017 season due to injury, Ware returned to (mostly) a backup role in 2018. He had a brief stint with Indy in 2019 before rejoining the Chiefs. After ending the 2019 season on IR, the 29-year-old hasn’t been able to find a new gig in 2020.
Smith spent most of his first four seasons in the NFL as Ezekiel Elliott‘s backup in Dallas. Following a 2018 campaign where he averaged only 2.9 yards per carry, Smith didn’t get any carries in six games last season with the Titans and Raiders. He joined the Giants practice squad earlier this season but was released a few weeks later.
September 29th, 2020 at 5:11pm CST by Sam Robinson
Alfred Morris has resurfaced on the NFL radar. The eight-year veteran running back agreed to join the Giants’ practice squad, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
The Giants added Morris and quarterback Clayton Thorson to its taxi squad. Morris has been out of the NFL since the Cardinals released him in November 2019. To make room on their 16-man P-squad, the Giants cut running back Rod Smith and quarterback Cooper Rush.
This will bring a former Jason Garrett charge to New York. The Giants OC coached the former Pro Bowler in two seasons in Dallas. Morris served as Ezekiel Elliott‘s backup/suspension fill-in from 2016-17 but is certainly best known for his time in Washington.
Morris, now 31, strung together three straight 1,000-yard seasons with Washington and made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and ’14. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry with the 2017 Cowboys and gained 428 yards as a 49er in 2018. He played in one Cardinals game.
Smith, 28, is a vested veteran and will return to free agency. He is best known for his years backing up Ezekiel Elliott in Dallas but has been on three teams — the Giants, Titans and Raiders — since 2019.
Las Vegas also re-signed Devey this offseason, bringing back the former 49ers and Chiefs lineman in April. However, the Raiders drafted guard John Simpson in the draft a few weeks later. They still have starters Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito, with Simpson and Denzelle Good supplying depth. A six-year veteran, Devey played in four Raiders games last season before heading to IR with a torn pectoral muscle.
They also placed rookie tight end Foster Moreau on injured reserve, which was expected. Oakland has given up at least 40 points in back to back weeks, and Gruden made it clear he isn’t happy with the defensive effort. Brown, an inside linebacker, had been with the Bengals for most of this season and was starting for them before he was scooped up by the Raiders prior to this week’s loss to the Titans. Brown started almost every game for the Bills from 2014-17, but he lasted only one game with Oakland. McClain started the season with Kansas City before latching on with the Raiders for the last few games.
Swearinger was picked up by Oakland after the Cardinals cut him earlier this season, and he started three of his four games with the Raiders including their most recent loss to Tennessee. He’ll get a shot elsewhere in 2020 if not sooner. Smith is a former Cowboys backup running back, and his signing could indicate that workhorse back Josh Jacobs won’t be ready to return this week.
The shakeup comes as the Raiders’ playoff hopes have been all but dashed. Just a few weeks ago they were looking good at 6-4, but they collapsed in epic fashion. Gruden promised there would be changes following their most recent loss, and he delivered by sending almost all of their recently added guys packing.
Rod Smith‘s stint with the Titans has come to an end. Jim Wyatt of the team’s website reports (via Twitter) that the team has waived the veteran running back. The Titans promoted offensive lineman DanielMunyer from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.
The 2015 undrafted free agent out of Ohio State quickly found a home in Dallas, as he spent three-plus years with the Cowboys. Smith saw some extended work during Ezekiel Elliott‘s six-game suspension in 2017. Playing behind AlfredMorris, Smith ran for 232 yards and four touchdowns on 55 carries. He also added 19 catches for 202 yards and one score.
However, with Zeke back in the fold for the 2018 campaign, Smith didn’t see nearly as many opportunities on offense. The running back finished the campaign with 187 total yards, although he did finish with a career-high nine special teams tackles.
Smith signed with the Giants this offseason, but after landing on injured reserve in late August, he was released with an injury settlement. The 27-year-old caught on with the Titans in early October, appearing in three games with his new squad.
Munyer, 27, has bounced around the NFL since going undrafted out of Colorado in 2015. The lineman appeared in a career-high 14 games for the Cardinals last season. He’s spent most of the season on the Titans practice squad.