Royce Freeman

Cowboys Sign RB Royce Freeman

After sitting out the initial phase of the running back carousel, the Cowboys have finally added to the position. According to ESPN’s Todd Archer, the Cowboys have signed veteran Royce Freeman. It’s a one-year deal for the running back.

The Cowboys have seen some massive turnover in their backfield over the past year. After moving on from Ezekiel Elliott last offseason, the Cowboys weren’t able to retain Tony Pollard this year. While a long list of free agent RBs switched teams, the Cowboys ended up sticking with a current grouping that’s led by Deuce Vaughn and Rico Dowdle.

While it’s no guarantee that Freeman will slide atop the depth chart in Dallas, the 28-year-old brings much more experience than his two newest teammates. Freeman has seen time in 79 career games, and while he hasn’t been able to replicate his early-career success in Denver, he’s still been serviceable in recent years. He most recently got into 14 games with the Rams last season, collecting 319 yards and two touchdowns on 77 carries.

While his 2023 performance was fine for a backup, the Cowboys will surely be seeking more upside from their running game. It shouldn’t be a huge surprise that Archer notes that today’s signing doesn’t take the Cowboys out of the running for an early-round rookie RB. Archer even says the Cowboys could look to add more depth via free agency.

Rams Reunite With Darrell Henderson, Add Myles Gaskin Off Vikings’ Practice Squad

4:05pm: Henderson’s path back to the Rams’ 53-man roster is no longer as smooth as it looked. In addition to moving Freeman up on a full-time basis, the Rams are signing Myles Gaskin off the Vikings’ practice squad, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets. A four-year Miami contributor, Gaskin caught on with the Vikings after an August Dolphins release. Gaskin, who led the Dolphins in rushing in 2019 and ’20, has played in one Vikings game this season.

2:35pm: Stung by running back injuries, the Rams will complete a reunion to help the cause. With Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers injured, Darrell Henderson is coming back to the Rams.

The Rams are adding Henderson to their practice squad. The former third-round pick, who played for the team from 2019-22, has not been on a roster since last season. In addition to bringing back Henderson, the Rams are signing Royce Freeman to their 53-man roster. Freeman had played in three Rams games this season, doing so as a practice squad elevation. Sean McVay said Monday both Williams and Rivers would miss time; Rivers is an IR candidate after suffering a PCL sprain.

Henderson worked as the Rams’ starter for much of their 2021 Super Bowl-winning season, but injuries and a COVID-19 contraction slowed his momentum and led to Sony Michel and then Cam Akers taking over the starting role. Henderson suffered a thigh injury late in the 2021 season, and after the COVID bout, he sustained an MCL sprain. While the Rams activated Henderson for Super Bowl LVI, he has not recaptured the momentum from the ’21 regular season.

With Akers and the Rams at odds early during the 2022 season, Henderson filled in as a seven-game starter. But the Rams encountered a number of offensive line injuries and were eventually playing without Matthew Stafford. Henderson finished his abbreviated 2022 with 283 rushing yards (4.0 per carry); the Rams waived him in late November. While the Jaguars stepped in with a claim, they moved on without using Henderson in a regular-season game. Summer workouts for the Patriots and Colts did not lead to a signing.

Henderson, 26, produced back-to-back 600-yard rushing seasons from 2020-21. Akers became the Rams’ go-to back down the stretch in 2020, but after he suffered an Achilles tear in July 2021, the eventual championship team rolled with a Henderson-Michel duo. Zach Evans came into Tuesday as the only healthy back on Los Angeles’ 53-man roster. Freeman will now join him, though Henderson certainly is familiar with McVay’s system and would make sense as a roster elevation for Week 7.

Freeman, 27, joined the Rams just after this year’s training camp. The former Broncos third-round pick, whom Phillip Lindsay displaced as a starter during each’s rookie year (2018), spent last season with the Texans. Houston re-signed Freeman, a 2021 waiver claim, but did not use him much on offense. Freeman has not eclipsed 200 rushing yards in a season since 2019. The Rams cut Freeman after this preseason slate but kept him on their practice squad, rolling with first- or second-year backs on their active roster following the September Akers trade. Evans has taken four handoffs this season; all of Freeman’s 2023 snaps have come on special teams.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/30/23

Saturday’s gameday elevations and other minor moves ahead of tomorrow’s slate of Week 4 games:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Walker’s elevation comes amidst a degree of uncertainty regarding Deshaun Watson‘s Sunday availability. The latter is dealing with a shoulder injury, but he has expressed confidence he will be able to suit up. In the event he is unable to play, though, Walker will provide insurance under center. NFL Network’s James Palmer reports Watson will be a game-time decision.

Chosen, formerly Robbie Anderson, made his Dolphins debut in Week 3, scoring a 68-yard touchdown on his only catch. His performance – along with other depth wideouts currently being sidelined for Miami – will give the 30-year-old a longer look with his new team.

Gore’s elevation will give him the chance to see regular season game action for the first time since 2021. The former UDFA recorded 361 scrimmage yards with the Chiefs that season, but a subsequent IR stint marked the end of his time in Kansas City. Gore has since spent time on the Saints’, and now Commanders’, taxi squads. Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post notes that fellow depth back Chris Rodriguez has bee ruled out with an illness, opening the door to Gore seeing limited snaps.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/25/23

Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Cincinnati Bengals

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Sinnett joined the Bengals’ practice squad late last week. This move preceded A.J. McCarron‘s return by one day. Joe Burrow is in uniform tonight, but the Bengals will take advantage of the emergency third QB rule by bumping Sinnett up to the active roster. Jake Browning is in place as Burrow’s backup.

After the Jets and Steelers waived Mann this year, he secured another chance in Philly. The team brought Mann onto its practice squad last week, moving their punter of the past two seasons — Arryn Siposs — off their roster. Mann is in his fourth NFL season; the former sixth-round pick served as the Jets’ punter from 2020-22.

With Quez Watkins inactive, Allen received his first opportunity to suit up for an NFL game. The two-time Olympian 110-meter hurdler has been on the Eagles’ practice squad for the past two seasons. A former wideout at Oregon, Allen devoted much of his 20s to track, becoming one of the best 110 hurdlers in U.S. history. Since landing on the Eagles’ 90-man offseason roster in 2022, Allen has worked as a two-sport athlete.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/23

Today’s callups and adjustments heading into Week 2:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC West

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 49ersCardinalsRams and Seahawks moves are noted below.

Arizona Cardinals

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Rams

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

San Francisco 49ers

Placed on IR:

Signed: 

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Seattle Seahawks

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad: 

Rams Cut Down To 53 Players

The Rams did a bit of work yesterday in moving towards the 53-man deadline. Here are the additional moves the team made today to get down to the max roster number to start the season:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

Released:

It appears that fourth-round rookie draft pick Stetson Bennett won out in the battle for the backup quarterback job, leading to the expendability of Rypien and Winn. Youth similarly won out at the running back spot as rookie Zach Evans and second year backs Kyren Williams and Ronnie Rivers beat out the veteran backup in Freeman. On defense, Copeland is bit of a surprise after starting nine games last year for the Rams.

The special teams room is quite intriguing for now. The room was looking to hold three rookies before the above waiver of the undrafted Oklahoma State kicker Brown. Seventh-round rookie punter Ethan Evans and undrafted rookie long snapper Alex Ward remain on the roster, but without Brown, the Rams will need to look into adding a new kicker out of the free agent market. Or they may attempt to follow the recent trends and trade for one.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/30/23

Here are the minor moves around the league to wrap up the weekend:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Igwebuike, the former safety-turned-running back, likely won’t have a role in a crowded running backs room that currently includes rookie top-ten pick Bijan Robinson, Tyler Allgeier, and Cordarrelle Patterson. He does have some experience on kick return, where he could compete with Patterson and Avery Williams for a role.

The Rams added some quality, experienced depth today in Freeman. While he’s failed to reach the success he found as a primary backup in his first two seasons, Freeman should have plenty of tread on the tires at only 27 years old with minimal usage over the past three years. Behind starter Cam Akers, Los Angeles only has second-year Kyren Williams and rookie sixth-rounder Zach Evans, so bringing in an experienced backup like Freeman should be beneficial.

The Giants add two depth pieces back to their beat-up receiving corps. Getting them back into the fold will be beneficial for training camp. Meanwhile, across the way, new Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers will get to work with his old teammate, Cobb, once again.

The retirement of Pottebaum comes as a bit of a shock so early into camp. The Iowa-product was a part of Pittsburgh’s small, seven-man undrafted free agent class this year. Not only that, but heading into camp, Pottebaum was also the only fullback listed on the roster. He was in attendance for the Steelers’ first week of training camp, as well, but now appears to be on his way out. This doesn’t leave Pittsburgh completely high and dry as the team was already exploring the option of utilizing tight end Connor Heyward in a role more similar to what he played in college. Heyward could earn a much larger role in his sophomore season by taking on a few more snaps at fullback.

Texans Place RB Dameon Pierce On IR

Dameon Pierce‘s season has come to an end. The Texans have placed the rookie running back on injured reserve, reports ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter).

Pierce suffered a high ankle sprain during Houston’s Week 14 loss to the Cowboys, although initial reports indicated that the injury was mild. It was believed that the rookie RB may only have to miss a game or two, which wouldn’t necessitate a move to IR. Instead, the Texans decided to shut down Pierce for the year.

The fourth-round rookie has quickly established himself as an offensive focal point in Houston. He’s started all 13 games for the Texans, and he leads all rookies with 939 rushing yards. In total, the Florida product has contributed 1,104 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns. With Pierce out for the final four games, the Texans will likely turn to Rex Burkhead and Dare Ogunbowale to lead their RB room. Royce Freeman will also be signed to the active roster, according to Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter).

Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. and defensive tackle Taylor Stallworth are also heading to IR, per Yates. Stingley, the third-overall pick in this year’s draft, hasn’t played since Week 10 while recovering from a hamstring injury. He started each of his nine appearances for the Texans this season, collecting 43 tackles and one interception. After starting the season in Kansas City, Stallworth got into one game for Houston in 2022.

There is some good news on the injury front. According to Wilson (on Twitter), the Texans have also activated defensive lineman Jon Greenard from IR. Greenard had eight sacks in 12 starts last season, and he started each of Houston’s first four games this year before landing on IR. To round out their moves, the Texans signed defensive back Jacobi Francis to the 53-man roster and have promoted defensive back Will Redmond and tight end Mason Schreck from the practice squad.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/12/22

Today’s practice squad moves from around the NFL:

Atlanta Falcons

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans