The Browns have one of the best running back pairings in the NFL, but that didn’t stop the team from auditioning some backs this week. According to Aaron Wilson (via Twitter), the Browns worked out running backs Brian Hill, Ryquell Armstead, and Artavis Pierce. That trio was joined by five other players, including linebacker Reuben Foster.
Hill, 25, has the most experience among that grouping of running backs. The veteran had spent most of his career in Atlanta, and he finished his stint with the Falcons by having a career year. Hill finished the 2020 campaign having collected a career-high 664 yards from scrimmage to go along with one touchdown. Hill signed with the Titans this past offseason but landed on IR before the conclusion of the preseason. He was released from IR earlier this month.
Armstead got into 16 games as a rookie with the Jaguars in 2019, finishing with 252 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He sat out the 2020 season while dealing with issues from COVID-19, and after getting claimed by the Giants in May, he was waived by his new team in June. Pierce, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of Oregon State, saw time in five games with the Bears last season, rushing for 34 yards and one touchdown on six carries.
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 moves for the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
The Falcons are down to 53. With several hours to go before the 4pm ET/3pm CT deadline, the Falcons have released 27 players to meet the new max.
Some of these players will re-appear on the Falcons’ 16-man practice squad, if they’re not scooped up by another team. None of the cuts are particularly surprising, though D’Onta Foreman‘s name stands out on this list. The former UT star is still looking to reprise his rookie year with the Texans when he notched 327 rushing yards and two scores in ten games. However, he’ll have to do it somewhere else.
For now, the Falcons are keeping both of their backup quarterbacks. That means Feleipe Franksand Josh Rosen could be on the roster for the season opener, backstopping Matt Ryan.
The Patriots had a number of players in for workouts and/or visits today, including veteran defensive tackle Akeem Spence, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter).
The 2013 fourth-round pick spent the first four seasons of his career with the Buccaneers, where he compiled 195 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and four fumble recoveries in 56 games (30 starts). He’s bounced around the league a bit since, including a 2018 campaign where he had two sacks in 16 starts for the Dolphins.
The 28-year-old started the 2019 campaign with the Eagles, but he was released after compiling only seven tackles in six games. He signed with the Jaguars soon after, and he compiled 11 tackles in nine games with Jacksonville. Spence worked out for the Bills back in August, but it’s otherwise been quiet for the veteran.
The Patriots also auditioned offensive linemen Zack Bailey, Sam Jones, Timon Parris, Ross Reynolds, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). Jones has the most NFL experience, having appeared in five games for the Broncos in 2018. The 24-year-old started the 2020 campaign with the Cardinals.