Smith is an undrafted rookie out of Baylor who converted from linebacker to running back in 2020. The Texans got a look at him some weeks ago when he played against them as a member of the Saints in the preseason. He led the Saints that day with 30 rushing yards on seven carries. Smith also worked out for the Seahawks yesterday, likely a result of Seattle placing running back Travis Homer on injured reserve.
Williams is a former Raven who came into the league after going undrafted in 2020. He spent much of his time on the practice squad but got the opportunity to start for Baltimore when injuries landed J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, and Justice Hill all on injured reserve. He eventually was supplanted by free agent additions such as Le’Veon Bell and Latavius Murray.
The hope for Texans fans is that the workouts are solely precautionary measures that don’t speak to the injury status of Pierce, who had a strong outing last week.
Here are a few other workouts from around the league:
The Ravens reportedly worked out offensive tackleTy Nsekhe yesterday, according to Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus. Nsekhe has been a long-time backup tackle in the league, spending time with St. Louis, Washington, Buffalo, and Dallas since going undrafted back in 2009. The 36-year-old tackle has appeared in 93 games over his career and started 17. He has never served as a full-time starter and all but one of his starts came in Washington. The Ravens are getting desperate at tackle, once again. Star blindside blocker Ronnie Stanley still has not returned from an injury sustained in November 2020. The player meant to fill in until his return, Ja’Wuan James, had their season ended with a torn Achilles in the season opener. They replaced James with their sixth-man of the offensive line, utility lineman Patrick Mekari, but he left last week’s game against the Patriots with a low ankle sprain. Mekari may be able to recover quickly, but, in the meantime, the Ravens have two healthy tackles on the depth chart: free agent addition Morgan Moses and rookie fourth-round pick Daniel Faalele. If Nsekhe can earn a contract, he’ll be a much needed depth addition at tackle.
Former Colts kicker Rodrigo Blankenshipworked out with a team yesterday for the first time since he was waived by Indianapolis, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. He and veteran kicker Sam Ficken worked out for the Jaguars, who currently roster second-year kicker Riley Patterson. After two full seasons with the Colts that turned out middling results, Blankenship was waived after he kicked two kickoffs out of bounds and missed a potential game-winner in overtime of the team’s season-opening tie. Patterson, on the other hand, hasn’t given Jacksonville any reason to search for his replacement yet. In three games with the team, Patterson has converted seven of eight field goal attempts, including a 52-yarder, and all seven extra point attempts. He’s showing continued success from his rookie season, in which he played seven games for the Lions and made 13 of his 14 field goal attempts and all 16 extra points.
September 11th, 2021 at 3:14pm CST by Sam Robinson
Like the Texans, the Titans will need their recently added practice squad kicker to contribute immediately. Tennessee placed Sam Ficken on IR on Saturday and promoted Michael Badgley.
The Titans signed Badgley to their practice squad Friday. The former Chargers specialist will suit up against the Cardinals in Week 1. Ficken will not be eligible to begin his season until Week 4. The Titans added their top kicker to their injury report Friday; a groin injury will sideline Ficken to start the year.
This move complicates the Titans’ kicker situation yet again. After a Ryan Succop injury led to a host of kickers suiting up for the Titans in 2019, leading to a historically bad 8-for-18 collective make rate, the Titans signed Stephen Gostkowski last year. The ex-Patriot made just 69% of his field goal tries. The Titans also added Randy Bullock, who worked out for the team Friday, to their practice squad. The Lions cut Bullock, a longtime Bengals kicker, last month.
Badgley kicked in 34 Chargers games over the past three years but could not beat out a younger competitor, Tristan Vizcaino, in training camp. The Texans promoted recent P-squad addition Joey Slye to their active roster Saturday as well, with Ka’imi Fairbairn also on IR with a groin ailment. Badgley auditioned for the Texans, but they went with Slye.
Additionally, the Titans promoted Bradley McDougald and MyCole Pruitt to their active roster. Tennessee signed McDougald earlier this summer but demoted the veteran safety to its P-squad earlier this week. Pruitt is back with the Titans after the 49ers released him on cutdown day.
August 1st, 2021 at 4:48pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
It didn’t take long for Sam Ficken to find a new home. Just a day after getting cut by the Jets, the kicker has been claimed by the Titans, the team announced Sunday.
Tennessee cut fellow kicker Blake Haubeil in a corresponding roster move, and also announced they’ve placed tight end Briley Moore on injured reserve. A Penn State product, Ficken went undrafted in 2015. He didn’t even sign his first NFL contract until 2016, and didn’t make a regular season roster until December of 2017 with the Rams. He kicked in a few games with Los Angeles between 2017-18, both times as a fill-in for an injured Greg Zuerlein.
After quick stints with the Seahawks and Packers, Ficken eventually landed with the Jets in September of 2019, where he found his first real home. He’s been New York’s kicker for most of the last two seasons, with mixed results. Injuries limited him to only nine games last year, in which he made 13 of 15 field goals and 12 of 15 extra points.
In 2019 he was shakier, making only 19 of 27 field goal attempts across 15 games. He’ll now battle it out with Tucker McCann to be the Titans’ next permanent kicker after they elected not to re-sign Stephen Gostkowski this offseason.
Haubeil is an undrafted rookie from Ohio State. Moore is an undrafted rookie from Kansas State who suffered a knee injury.
Claimed off waivers from Dolphins: OL Ross Reynolds
Hundley is the biggest signing on this list. The Colts adding him is a pretty good sign they expect Carson Wentz to miss some significant time. Assuming Wentz misses games, Hundley will battle it out with second-year pro Jacob Eason.
A couple of kickers who have started a bunch of games both found themselves sent packing in Ficken and Rosas. Mannion latched on with the Seahawks. He’s familiar with new Seattle OC Shane Waldron from their time together with the Rams, explaining why the Seahawks added him as an option behind Russell Wilson.
The Jets recently signed kicker Chris Naggar as part of a 12-man UDFA class, and head coach Robert Saleh said Naggar has a real chance to win the team’s kicking competition (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of The Athletic). Special teams coordinator Brant Boyer is said to be particularly excited about Naggar’s potential.
New York used three kickers last season: Sam Ficken, Sergio Castillo, and Chase McLaughlin. Ficken opened the 2020 season with the kicking job, but he missed six games due to injury. Castillo, Ficken’s first replacement, ended up converting just eight of 13 FG attempts, and the Jets turned to McLaughlin for the final game of the year. But, as a result of the Naggar addition, the club recently waived McLaughlin.
Ficken was retained for the 2021 campaign via a reserve/futures contract, but it sounds like he will need to beat out a rookie to keep his job. The Penn State product was not very good for Gang Green in 2019, connecting on 70.4% of his FG tries, but he was much better in his nine contests last year. He sank 13 of 15 tries (86.4%), though he did miss three PATs in 15 attempts.
Naggar, who started his collegiate career at Texas before transferring to SMU, hit 17 of 21 field goal attempts (81%) and 43 of 46 PATs (93.5%) in 2020.
November 24th, 2020 at 3:48pm CST by Andrew Ortenberg
The Jets are sending a couple of important players to injured reserve, they announced Tuesday. Kicker Sam Ficken and running back La’Mical Perine will both be hitting the shelf for at least the next three games.
Ficken opened the year as the team’s kicker but got hurt during Week 6 and missed the next handful of games. He just returned this past week but seems to have rushed himself back, as he missed two of his four extra point attempts against the Chargers and apparently re-aggravated his groin injury. Sergio Castillo, who filled in recently, will now take over the kicking duties once again. Ficken is a Penn State product who spent parts of 2017-18 with the Rams before landing the Jets’ job last season.
Perine is a promising rookie who many Jets fans were hoping would blossom into the running back of the future after the Le’Veon Bell saga. He suffered a high ankle sprain against Los Angeles that will knock him out, but hopefully the fourth-rounder from Florida will be able to return for the last couple games to make his case.
For now ageless wonder Frank Gore will take on an even more prominent role, and the team already signed former Eagles running back Josh Adams off the practice squad to replace Perine. They also announced they were signing tight end Ross Travis off the practice squad to take Ficken’s place.