Jennings will be back with the 49ers in 2023. As an ERFA, the former seventh-round pick had limited options. Jennings, who caught 35 passes for 416 yards last season, entered the league as a 2020 draftee but did not play that season. The 49ers will have the option of keeping the young wide receiver through the 2024 campaign; Jennings will be eligible for restricted free agency next year.
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.
Ellefson came off IR just last week and did not play in the Vikings’ matchup against the Jets. A nagging groin injury will send the third-year tight end back to IR. Although the new IR rules allow for players to be activated twice from IR, Minnesota’s injury-return math may come into play by the time Ellefson’s second activation window opens (Week 18).
In Darden, Browns snagged the NFL’s punt-return yards leader. The 2021 Bucs fourth-rounder has not seen much action on offense, with Tampa Bay oozing experience at the receiver position. But he has been Tampa Bay’s primary punt returner. Darden has totaled 330 punt-return yards this season. A 2021 third-round pick, Schwartz sustained a concussion that has sent him to IR. Ragland has spent the past month on the Raiders’ taxi squad. The Browns are the former second-round pick’s fifth team in four seasons; the ex-Jets draftee was with the Chiefs, Lions and Giants from 2019-21. After losing Anthony Walker and Jacob Phillips earlier this year, the Browns moved Sione Takitaki to IR with an ACL tear this week.
A rotational cog for the Saints, Colts and Chiefs during his five-year career, Stallworth played only 14% of Kansas City’s defensive snaps this season. He committed a third-down roughing-the-passer penalty during a Bengals touchdown drive in Week 13. The Texans had already used one of their injury activations on Dwumfour; the 1-10-1 team has three remaining. Greenard, who led the 2021 Texans with eight sacks, has been on the shelf since going down with a calf injury in an October practice.
Prior to waiving Stevenson, the Bills activated the second-year wide receiver from IR, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The procedural move would allow Stevenson — should he clear waivers — to return to Buffalo on a practice squad agreement. This will still count toward Buffalo’s eight injury activations, but the team still has six remaining. A 2021 sixth-round pick, Stevenson combined for 21 punt- and kick-return reps as a rookie.
The Eagles placed Robert Quinnon IR on Tuesday but will have a reinforcement in Robinson, a 2021 Vikings fourth-round pick. The Eagles signed Robinson off the Vikings’ practice squad in mid-September. He has yet to play in an NFL game.
A former franchise-tagged player, Harris was unable to carve out much of a role in Denver. The ex-Vikings and Eagles starter only played in three games for the Broncos, who signed him just before the season. Despite having a six-INT season on his resume, the 31-year-old defender did not play a defensive snap with the Broncos.
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 Broncos, Chargers, Chiefs and Raiders moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s AFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
In addition to their cuts of Josh Gordon and Danny Shelton, the Chiefs jettisoned a few vested veterans and a host of rookie-contract players. Here is how the defending AFC West champs moved their roster to 53:
Carter came to Kansas City after starting all 17 Carolina games last season. The four-year Panther contributor signed a fully guaranteed one-year, $1.77MM deal, but was unlikely to have the same role he enjoyed in Charlotte. The Chiefs roster second-round linebackers Nick Bolton and Willie Gay, and they used a third-round pick on Leo Chenalat the position this year.
The starter for the Super Bowl-winning 2019 Chiefs team, Reiter returned after spending 2021 with the Saints and Dolphins. Things have changed at the center spot since Reiter was last in Missouri; the Chiefs have Creed Humphrey in place for what could be a long run as their starter. Reiter was with the Chiefs from 2018-20.
A former first-round pick, Coleman appears to be running out of time. The ex-Baylor standout has not played in a regular-season game since the 2018 season. Prior to signing with the Chiefs, Coleman was out of football for nearly 18 months.
Nontendered as a restricted free agent last month, Taylor Stallworth found a new home Tuesday. The Chiefs are signing the young defensive tackle, according to his agent (on Twitter).
Stallworth agreed to terms on a one-year deal with Kansas City, which will be his third NFL team. Beginning his career with the Saints in 2018, the 26-year-old defensive lineman spent the past two seasons as a rotational D-lineman with the Colts.
While Stallworth made just two starts for Indianapolis, he worked as a consistent part of the team’s D-line group. The South Carolina product missed just one game as a Colt and played at least 25% of the team’s defensive snaps in each season. Last season, Stallworth finished with a 33% defensive snap rate and tallied a career-high three sacks. The 12 quarterback hits Stallworth accumulated in 2021 were 10 more than he’d compiled in his career to that point.
The Chiefs have questions on the edge, but their defensive tackle situation features more known commodities. All-Pro Chris Jones and nose tackle starter Derrick Nnadi return, with the latter being re-signed last month. The Chiefs also roster backup D-tackle Khalen Saunders, who played 31% of the team’s defensive snaps last season. The AFC West champs lost Jarran Reed in free agency; Reed is now a Packer.