Ronnie Harrison

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/23

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Harrison was among the Colts’ final roster cuts in August, but he was immediately retained via the practice squad. Despite that move, the 26-year-old has yet to make an appearance in Indianapolis as a gameday elevation. He will now have the chance to make his Colts debut, having taken the 53-man roster spot of Shaquille Leonard after the latter’s surprise cut.

Muse will be required to miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move. The former Seahawk has played exclusively on special teams to date during his first season with the Chargers, logging a 73% snap share in that capacity. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports Muse could still play later this season, something which will give Los Angeles a boost in the third phase if they are still in playoff contention down the stretch.

Ahmed’s foot injury, coupled with a new round of uncertainty regarding the healthy of rookie sensation De’Von Achane, could leave Miami shorthanded in the backfield. While it remains to be seen if the latter will miss time after coming back from an IR stint, the former will not be available moving forward. Ahmed is out for the season, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The 24-year-old scored two total touchdowns on 38 touches this year, his fourth with the Dolphins. He is set to hit free agency this offseason, but the injury will no doubt hurt his market.

Wednesday NFL Transactions: AFC South

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 ColtsJaguarsTexans and Titans moves are noted below.

Houston Texans

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Indianapolis Colts

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad: 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Tennessee Titans

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Released:

Released from IR via injury settlement:

Colts To Add S Ronnie Harrison, DE Al-Quadin Muhammad To Practice Squad

Two of the veterans the Colts released Tuesday remain in the team’s plans. Ronnie Harrison and Al-Quadin Muhammad are staying with the team on practice squad agreements, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Each a vested veteran who avoided a crowded waiver wire, Harrison and Muhammad could be back on Indianapolis’ active roster soon. These agreements may represent preludes for the safety and defensive end, respectively, to rejoin Gus Bradley’s defense.

Teams can roster up to six vested vets on their 16-man P-squads, but since the league expanded its taxi squads in 2020, they have served as frequent way stations for veterans. Harrison would make sense as a ramp-up player, having only signed with the Colts in mid-August. A former Colts starting defensive end, Muhammad rejoined the team during the offseason.

Muhammad, 28, registered six sacks as a Colts starter in 2021. The team used first- and second-round picks on defensive ends that year — Kwity Paye, Dayo Odeyingbo — and needed veteran support after not re-signing Justin Houston. Muhammad parlayed that performance into a Bears agreement, rejoining Matt Eberflus. Chicago cut bait on that contract this offseason, however. Muhammad made nine starts with the Bears last year but totaled just one sack in 16 games.

Using three-safety sets frequently, the Browns deployed Harrison often. The five-year veteran made 23 starts in Cleveland, coming to Ohio after a 22-start run in Jacksonville. The Browns added Rodney McLeod this offseason, bringing over a 2022 Colts starter. Indy has Julian Blackmon going into a contract year and has 2022 draftees Nick Cross and Rodney Thomas as options to succeed McLeod.

Colts Move Roster To 53

Some higher-profile Colts news has overshadowed their roster construction, but the Jonathan Taylor drama factors into Indianapolis’ roster construction. Here is how the team moved down to 53:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Placed on reserve/PUP:

Placed on reserve/suspended list:

While Funk could be a practice squad candidate, Indianapolis’ 53-man roster includes three running backs: Deon Jackson, Zack Moss and fifth-round rookie Evan Hull. Moss is rehabbing a broken arm and looms as a candidate for in-season IR. The Colts released late-summer pickup Kenyan Drake recently. The Taylor move sidelines the disgruntled All-Pro for the first four games.

Smith, Rodgers, Strachan and Winfree moving off the roster leaves only four receivers (Michael Pittman, Alec Pierce, Josh Downs and Isaiah McKenzie) on the active. It seems likely another will be added before Week 1. Even with Brown gone, Indy’s 53-man roster houses five tight ends. Jelani Woods, Mo Alie-Cox, Kylen Granson, fifth-round rookie Will Mallory and Drew Ogletree, a second-year sixth-rounder, comprise that group. This would seem to be a place the Colts would be willing to cut into, should they be awarded any players on waivers before Wednesday’s 11am CT deadline.

The Colts added Harrison this offseason, signing the former Browns safety after the Browns brought in 2022 Colts cog Rodney McLeod. It should be expected Harrison, who is going into his sixth season, lands somewhere soon. Teams can keep up to six vested veterans on their respective practice squads, leaving the door ajar for Harrison — who only signed with the Colts on Aug. 14 — to stay. The 26-year-old defender has 45 starts on his resume.

Colts Sign S Ronnie Harrison

5:07pm: Harrison has a deal in place with the Colts, according to the team. The sixth-year vet will return to the AFC South to help Indianapolis’ Blackmon-led safety corps.

8:56am: The Colts could be nearing a depth addition to their secondary. Veteran safety Ronnie Harrison is set to visit Indianapolis today, reports Jordan Schultz of the Score (Twitter link).

Harrison was a third-round pick of the Jaguars in 2018, but he only spent two seasons with the team. After playing 28 games (including 22 starts) in Jacksonville, he was dealt to Cleveland just before the 2020 campaign. That began a three-year Browns stint in which Harrison was a key contributor on the backend.

The 26-year-old started 23 contests in Cleveland, seeing the most playing time in 2021. Harrison logged a 75% snap share that season, and his play earned him a one-year re-up last April. That pact came in spite of the continued presence of Grant Delpit and John Johnson at the safety spot, and that pair ate into Harrison’s role. The latter saw a higher usage rate on special teams than defense in 2022.

Harrison has 223 tackles, five interceptions and 5.5 sacks to his name. With the exception of 2021 (where he surrendered six touchdowns as the nearest defender), the Alabama product has also generally posted strong coverage statistics. That would make him at least a solid rotational option for a Colts team which lost Rodney McLeod to the Browns in free agency.

Indianapolis has Julian Blackmon in place as a safety starter, and McLeod’s departure should open the door to 2022 third-rounder Nick Cross taking on a larger workload. Harrison would give the Colts a young trio at the position if his visit were to produce a deal, but his experience could help land him another short-team deal with the upside to be an effective addition for the team. Indianapolis currently has just over $19MM in cap space, so they could comfortably afford to take a flier on Harrison.

Browns To Re-Sign S Ronnie Harrison

Although the Browns have highly paid safety John Johnson and former second-round pick Grant Delpit under contract through 2023, they are re-signing another key member of this position group.

Ronnie Harrison is rejoining the team on a one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. This will be Harrison’s third year in Cleveland. The Browns initially acquired Harrison in a 2020 trade with the Jaguars and have used him steadily since doing so.

Even with Johnson added in free agency and Delpit back after a rookie-year-nullifying injury, Harrison saw his snap rate increase in 2021. The Alabama alum played 75% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps last season, bettering Delpit’s snap rate alongside Johnson. The Browns used their three top safeties frequently, and it appears that will be the plan again in 2022.

Harrison made 58 tackles and intercepted a pass in his second Browns season. The former third-round pick missed five games in 2021. Harrison’s passer rating when targeted did balloon from 81.2 in 2020 to 113.0 last season, and he was charged with giving up a whopping six touchdowns — five more than he ceded in any previous season. Pro Football Focus graded Delpit as the slightly superior defender in 2021, but Harrison certainly brings considerable experience and is only entering his age-25 season.

Browns Place RB Kareem Hunt, Seven Others On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Browns have placed more players on the reserve/COVID-19 list, including running back Kareem Hunt. The team announced that the following players have landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list:

In his third season with the Browns, Hunt has totalled 386 rushing yards and five touchdowns, along with an additional 174 yards on 22 catches in eight games. The 26-year-old has been a key member of the Browns’ backfield alongside Nick Chubb, helping the team average 143.5 rushing yards per game, ranking fourth in the NFL.

The team also announced that offensive assistant coach T.C. McCartney has tested positive for COVID-19. We learned earlier today that the NFL was pushing Saturday’s game between the Browns and Raiders to Monday.

Meanwhile, Cleveland activated linebacker Anthony Walker Jr. from the reserve/COVID-19 list, and they’ve signed quarterback Kyle Lauletta to the active roster off the Jaguars practice squad. Lauletta, 26, has appeared in just two NFL games. Both were with the Giants in 2018, where he went 0-for-five with one interception. He has since spent time on the Eagles’, Falcons’ and Browns’ practice squads, only going to Jacksonville’s after being waived at the end of August.

Grant Delpit Week 1 Status In Doubt

After missing his rookie season, Grant Delpit is set to be a key Browns defender this year. But the 2020 second-round pick is behind in his pursuit of making his NFL debut in Week 1.

The final steps of Delpit’s Achilles rehab delayed his training camp start, and Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer adds that the second-year safety has run into a hamstring problem that may well keep him out of the Browns’ Week 1 game against the Chiefs. After suffering the hamstring injury during camp, Delpit has encountered a significant setback in his recovery from that ailment, per Cabot.

This will leave Delpit battling uphill in his quest to play a major role for the Browns early this season, given the reps he will stand to miss in the leadup to Week 1. Delpit, who suffered the Achilles’ tendon rupture in late August of last year, was sprinting by May and expecting full clearance come camp. This latest malady has interfered with the former Thorpe Award winner’s comeback.

The Browns are uniquely equipped to withstand a Delpit absence to start the season. They have returning starter Ronnie Harrison and veteran acquisition John Johnson at safety. However, Harrison has not practiced in two weeks because of his own hamstring injury. Cleveland’s potential three-safety setup set for deployment in sub-packages is down to just Johnson, who is teaming with backups Jovante Mofatt and Richard LeCounte III presently.

Denzel Ward To Miss Wild-Card Game

The Browns’ uphill battle in their first playoff game in 18 years became steeper Saturday. The team announced it will be without top cornerback Denzel Ward in Pittsburgh.

Ward will remain on the Browns’ reserve/COVID-19 list. So will fellow starting cornerback Kevin Johnson, who also tested positive last week. Both missing last week limited a Browns secondary in a game when Mason Rudolph threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns.

Based on his timeline, coronavirus protocols would have allowed Ward to suit up against the Steelers. But this would have required Ward being asymptomatic and passing the necessary tests. The third-year corner has not hit the necessary checkpoints, which will leave the Browns shorthanded Sunday night. The NFL found some COVID-19 spread within the Browns but did not move to postpone the AFC North playoff matchup.

However, the Browns will have some players back for their Steelers tilt. The team activated safety Ronnie Harrison, linebacker Malcolm Smith and tight end Harrison Bryant from its virus list. Harrison tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, but the NFL deemed it a false positive, Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports. Browns corner Terrance Mitchell was held out of practice Friday after testing positive, per Cabot, but that has also since been deemed a false positive.

The returns of Harrison, Smith and Bryant leave Ward, Johnson, Joel Bitonio and KhaDarel Hodge on Cleveland’s COVID list. Several coaches, however, will miss the game. Kevin Stefanski, offensive line coach Bill Callahan, assistant O-line coach Scott Peters, tight ends coach Drew Petzing and DBs coach Jeff Howard are out Sunday night. After coaching the Browns’ wide receivers last week, first-year Cleveland assistant Callie Brownson will coach tight ends this week, Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com tweets.

NFL Finds COVID-19 Spread Within Browns

Jan. 8: There is finally some good news to report on the Browns’ COVID-19 situation. Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets that the only new positive test today was assistant offensive line coach Scott Peters, who had already been identified as a high risk close contact. Hopefully, this means that the spread has been contained.

The wildcard game against the Steelers remains scheduled for Sunday night.

Jan. 7: The Browns learned Thursday they will be without another starter against the Steelers. Ronnie Harrison tested positive for COVID-19, the Browns announced. The team will have another starting safety — Andrew Sendejo — back for its playoff opener, but the NFL has determined some coronavirus spread has occurred within the Browns.

NFL chief medical officer Dr. Allen Sills said “there was some spread from one individual to another,” via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). Previously, the league deemed the Browns’ virus issue as having resulted from a spread within the Cleveland-area community.

Despite the Browns being down head coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and others, the game remains on schedule for Sunday night, Pelissero tweets. However, contact tracing is ongoing and intra-team spreads have triggered postponements this season.

The Steelers saw multiple games — against the Titans and Ravens — postponed because of COVID-19 spreading within those teams’ facilities. The NFL could face a decision soon. It is not out of the question the AFC North matchup is postponed, per the Washington Post’s Mark Maske, but a “bigger bump” in spread would need to happen (Twitter link).

Even in the event of a postponement of a day or two, the Browns would not have Stefanski or Bitonio back due to their positive tests occurring earlier this week. Cleveland also has key contributors Denzel Ward, Kevin Johnson, KhaDarel Hodge, Malcolm Smith and Harrison Bryant on its reserve/COVID-19 list. Ward could be activated in time for Sunday’s game but only if he has not encountered symptoms.

The Browns also placed linebacker Montrel Meander on the practice squad reserve/COVID-19 list but moved linebacker B.J. Goodson back onto their active roster after his stay on the COVID list. Harrison just returned to action, playing in Week 17 after missing several late-season games due to a shoulder injury.