The Vikings made a handful of roster moves today, and it sounds like they’re preparing to be without Alexander Mattison for next Monday’s game against the Bears. The team announced that they’ve placed their backup running back on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The team has claimed veteran Wayne Gallman off waivers to fill the roster spot.
Mattison has had a career season for the Vikings, thanks mostly to three productive starts where he filled in for starter Dalvin Cook. In 13 games this season, Mattison has collected 615 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns on 140 touches. He had more than 100 yards from scrimmage after starting Minnesota’s Week 13 loss, but he returned to a backup role last Thursday with Cook back in the lineup.
Gallman is an experienced option to turn to if Mattison misses time. The veteran finished 2020 with a career-high 682 rushing yards, and after getting signed (and cut) by the 49ers, he caught on with the Falcons in September. He proceeded to see time in six games for Atlanta this season, collecting 125 yards from scrimmage on 29 touches.The 27-year-old was cut by the Falcons on Saturday.
The Vikings made some additional moves, including placing wideout Dan Chisena on the reserve/COVID-19 list. The team also placed linebacker Ryan Connelly on injured reserve. The 26-year-old has seen time in 12 games this season, collecting three tackles. The Vikings also made a procedural move, activating Olabisi Johnson from the reserve/COVID-19 list. The wideout still remains on injured reserve.
Here are Sunday’s minor moves. The players who landed on injured reserve are eligible to come off teams’ respective lists after three weeks. For 2020, teams can also activate an unlimited number of IR players — as opposed to the two-man max of 2019.
The two quarterback cuts will leave Daniel Jones and Colt McCoy as the Giants’ only two quarterbacks to start their post-Eli Manning era, though Rush certainly would profile as a practice squad candidate. He played for new OC Jason Garrett in Dallas for three seasons.
Connelly’s cut is somewhat surprising, given the linebacker’s three starts last season. But an injury cut short his rookie season. The Giants can place 16 players on their practice squad this season. If Connelly clears waivers, it is likely he will be part of that group.
The Giants re-signed Halapio days ago. He has been Big Blue’s starting center in each of their past two Week 1 games, and the former Patriots draft pick started 15 games in 2019. The Giants did not tender Halapio as an RFA this offseason and kept Nick Gates, whom they extended this year, and Spencer Pulley on the roster over him.
September 30th, 2019 at 11:56am CST by Zachary Links
It’s official. Doctors have confirmed that Giants linebacker Ryan Connelly is done for the year after suffering a torn ACL.
The Giants will place Connelly on injured reserve, which will formally end his 2019 campaign and open up another spot on the 53-man roster. It’s a bad blow for the G-Men, who also have fellow ‘backers Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis dealing with injuries.
Connelly, a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft, notched his first career interception against the Bucs in the club’s Week 3 victory and doubled up with another pick against the Redskins on Sunday. He seemed ticketed for more big moments in the final 12 games of the season – instead, his rookie campaign will end after four games, 20 total tackles, two tackles for a loss, and one sack.
The Giants are riding high behind the play of rookie Daniel Jones, who has taken over for Eli Manning and has the club at 2-2. However, their two-game winning streak is now in jeopardy thanks to injuries to Connelly and other key defenders. They’ll try their luck against the Vikings at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.
September 29th, 2019 at 6:56pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
Ryan Connelly‘s promising time as a starter appears to have ended in devastating fashion. The Giants fear the rookie linebacker tore his ACL in their win over the Redskins, a source told Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.
It isn’t official yet but since field tests for ACL tears are extremely accurate, he almost certainly is out for the season. It’s a really tough blow for New York, as they’re already quite thin at linebacker. Alec Ogletree and Tae Davis both are dealing with injuries at the moment, which thrust Connelly into the starting role. Connelly was playing really well before going down, notching a sack and an interception.
He also had an interception in their win over the Buccaneers last week, and was looking like a potential key piece of the defense moving forward. The Giants drafted Connelly in the fifth round, 143rd overall, back in April. New York has been rejuvenated by the insertion of rookie quarterback Daniel Jones, and they now sit at 2-2. They’re right back in the thick of things, but the defense is now very banged up.
With Brandon Brooks going down with a torn Achilles in the second round of the playoffs, the Eagles face an issue regarding how their starting offensive line will look come Week 1. But five months later, Brooks revealed a bit about where his recovery process stands. The veteran guard shared a brief workout video (Twitter link) that shows him doing agility drills again. The fourth-year Eagle will almost certainly begin training camp on the active/PUP list, and it can’t be considered a lock he will be ready for the start of the season. But this represents an encouraging sign from the mammoth offensive lineman.
In the event Brooks is not ready to go in September, a contingency plan might involve a position switch. Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who replaced Jason Peters at left tackle as a rookie in 2017, has worked at guard at times this offseason. The Eagles appear to be preparing Vaitai to be their Brooks stopgap, in the event he needs more time, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles drafted Andre Dillard in Round 1 and have rugby convert Jordan Mailata at tackle as well, so Vaitai working at guard may be a way to stay on the roster. This is interesting given that Stefen Wisniewski (24 Eagles left guard starts from 2016-18) re-signed in May. It would stand to reason the experienced interior lineman would be the Brooks fill-in, but Doug Pederson mentioned a possible Vaitai-Lane Johnson right side recently.
Shifting to more NFC East position battles, here is the latest out of the division:
The Eagles’ Zach Brown addition figures to clear up uncertainty about their three-down linebacker sets, with Brown joining Nigel Bradham. And despite the return of Paul Worrilow and arrival of L.J. Fort, Zangaro notes Kamu Grugier-Hill remains the third linebacker in base sets and adds it would not be a surprise to see him gut into Brown’s work in nickel sets. Grugier-Hill played 32% of the Eagles’ 2018 defensive snaps. Brown, however, posted a top-10 Pro Football Focus coverage grade last season. Grugier-Hill did not grade nearly as well.
Once Janoris Jenkins returned to work this offseason, Deandre Baker remained a Giants first-stringer over Sam Beal this offseason. And UDFA Grant Haley resides as the favorite to replace B.W. Webb as the team’s slot corner, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com writes. While including Beal as a possible challenger for the slot job, along with fourth-round rookie Julian Love, Dunleavy notes the 2018 supplemental draft pick does not have slot experience. This would stand to make the Western Michigan product Big Blue’s CB4 to start the season.
Alec Ogletree has one Giants inside linebacker job locked up, and as of now, fourth-year man B.J. Goodson is the team’s base-set starter. Tae Davis remains the nickel replacement for Goodson, per Dunleavy, but rookie fifth-round pick Ryan Connelly is in the mix for this role. The fifth-rounder out of Wisconsin was viewed as one of this draft’s top coverage linebackers.
The Lions inked fourth-round defensive end Austin Bryant, sixth-round running back Ty Johnson, seventh-round tight end Isaac Nauta, and seventh-round defensive tackle P.J. Johnson. Bryant, a Clemson product, is a pass rush specialist who routinely used his length to get to the quarterback. He put himself on the map with 8.5 sacks as a junior and followed that up with another eight sacks as a senior. There are questions about whether his pass-rush ability is enough to offset his deficiencies against the run, but the Lions were more than happy to take a chance on him in the fourth round.
The Colts signed fourth-round safety Khari Willis and fifth-round defensive back Marvell Tell III. Willis was one of Michigan’s top high school players as a running back, but found his calling in the secondary at Michigan State. Tell, meanwhile, made three interceptions as USC’s starting free safety last year.