Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Bears, Lions, Packers and Vikings moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC North transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
September 6th, 2020 at 2:36pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Teams are starting to announce their full expanded practice squads, and we’ll be bringing you recaps all day. Just in is the Chicago Bears, who announced a full slate of 16 players:
QB Tyler Bray
RB Artavis Pierce
WR Reggie Davis
S Stephen Denmark
WR Thomas Ives
WR Rodney Adams
TE Jesper Horsted
OL Sam Mustipher
OL Jamon Brown
OL Lachavious Simmons
OL Badara Traore
DT Abdullah Anderson
DE LaCale London
LB Rashad Smith
S Xavier Crawford
K Cairo Santos
Bray has bounced between the practice squad and active roster the past couple of years now, and will serve as the third quarterback behind Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles. Santos is a veteran kicker with a good amount of experience. Right after he was cut we heard the Bears might be planning on him kicking Week 1 against the Lions if Eddy Pineiro still isn’t ready to come back from his groin injury.
Everybody on this list was with the Bears for camp except Brown, who was cut by the Falcons last month. He signed a three-year $18.75MM deal last March, and started nine games for Atlanta last season.
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.
Adams was parked on the reserve/retired list in April of 2018, months after signing a futures deal with the Colts. He’s yet to see live action, despite spending some time on the Vikings’ active roster and practice squad as a rookie in 2017.
Adams, 26 in September, put himself on the NFL radar after transferring from Toledo to South Florida. As a junior, he caught 44 passes for 816 yards and nine scores. Then, he wrapped his collegiate career with a 67/822/5 stat line. His speed and proficiency in the run game put him on the radar for several teams on Day 3 of the ’17 draft and the Vikings pulled the trigger. Even though he didn’t stick in Minnesota, the Colts were curious enough to give him a spot on their 90-man roster.