Tyler Ervin

Latest On Saquon Barkley, Giants RBs

Saquon Barkley refuses to reveal his availability for the start of next season, and the Pro Bowl running back continued that trend today. Speaking to reporters, Barkley said he’s unsure if he’ll be good to go for Week 1.

“I don’t know. We’ll see,” Barkley said (via ESPN’s Jordan Raanan). “Taking it day by day. Just listening to my body. Whenever I’m able to get out there, just make sure I’m 110 percent. Not just for … my well-being, but just so I go out there and compete at a high level and show the world who Saquon is.”

The former second-overall pick has continued to rehab from his ACL injury, and previous reports indicated that he’ll be limited at the start of training camp. Barkley told reporters that he’s yet to talk with head coach Joe Judge about their August game plan, but the team isn’t expected to make him a full participant until at least halfway through the month.

The Giants are set to open the regular season against the Broncos on September 12, which will be nearly a year since Barkley suffered his torn ACL. It makes sense for both sides to be cautious as they manage the injury, but it’s not unrealistic to expect the running back on the field come Week 1.

Meanwhile, the Giants could be looking to add some extra depth as they prepare for a potential Barkley absence. The team worked out running backs Tyler Ervin and Mike Weber earlier today, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (via Twitter). The team also auditioned defensive back Jordyn Peters.

Bills Host Sean Davis, Tyler Ervin On Visits

Two members of the 2016 draft class visited the Bills on Friday. The team brought in veteran safety Sean Davis and longtime return man Tyler Ervin.

Davis spent 2020 with two teams, signing with Washington but returning to Pittsburgh after his WFT free agency deal ended with a post-training camp release. The Steelers re-signed Davis and used him as a depth piece. A Texans fourth-round pick, Ervin spent the 2020 season with the Packers.

Davis is best known for his run as a Steelers starter, a role he held from 2016-18. The former second-round pick delivered inconsistent work as a first-stringer and saw injuries — ankle and shoulder maladies — cost him 15 games in 2019. Soon after Davis went down, the Steelers traded for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Davis played in 16 games behind starters Fitzpatrick and Terrell Edmunds last season. The Bills have two entrenched starters at safety, with the Jordan PoyerMicah Hyde tandem going into its fifth season.

Primarily a return man as a pro, Ervin has extensive experience returning kicks and punts. He served as a kick returner with the Texans, Jaguars and Packers. The San Jose State product would make sense as a replacement for Andre Roberts, who agreed to terms with the Texans shortly after the legal tampering period began. Roberts made the Pro Bowl in both of his Buffalo seasons.

Packers Expected To Place Tyler Ervin On IR

The Packers are expected to place return specialist Tyler Ervin on IR, per Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network (via Twitter). Ervin, who had been dealing with wrist and rib injuries, sustained a foot injury in the team’s win over the Eagles on Sunday. Although surgery won’t be required, Ervin is expected to miss at least a month, so his season could be over.

Green Bay claimed the San Jose State product off waivers from Jacksonville last December, and the club re-signed him to a one-year, $1MM contract this offseason. Ervin, a running back by trade, saw his most extensive action on the offensive side of the ball in a Week 9 victory over the 49ers, picking up eight carries for 24 yards and four catches for 48 yards. By and large, though, he has been a return man, taking back five punts for 20 yards and 10 kickoffs for 196 yards in 2020.

In Ervin’s absence, Tavon Austin could get a shot at return duties. Austin, who spent the last two seasons with the Cowboys, has yet to suit up for a game this season. He signed with the 49ers back in August but was placed on injured reserve before the season started. He was released from IR last month, and he has been a free agent ever since.

NFC North Notes: Golladay, Bears, Vikings

With Golden Tate long gone and Marvin Jones entering the final year of his contract, Kenny Golladay figures to be a high priority for the Lions this offseason. Because Golladay was a third-round pick, his fourth season doubles as a contract year. The Lions would like to extend him, and Golladay has expressed interest in a long-term Detroit stay, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets. However, no extension talks have commenced yet. Despite Matthew Stafford missing much of the season, Golladay established career-high marks in receiving yardage (1,190) and touchdowns (11). With the floor for No. 1 wide receivers being around $16MM per year now, Golladay will not come cheap after back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC North, shifting first to some more receiving situations:

  • Anthony Miller dealt with as many as five shoulder dislocations as a rookie in 2018, leading to a 2019 surgery. The Bears wide receiver’s shoulder troubles are not over. He underwent another shoulder operation recently, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com notes. Miller missed time during the 2019 offseason but did not miss a game last season. That seemingly won’t be an issue this year, with COVID-19 making it highly unlikely any teams will conduct any offseason workouts. The former second-round pick came on down the stretch last season, finishing 2019 with 52 catches for 656 yards.
  • The retooling Panthers did not pick up Jarius Wright‘s 2020 option, sending the veteran wideout into free agency. Although the Vikings shed Stefon Diggs‘ contract, do not expect Wright to return to Minnesota. The longtime Vikings slot receiver has a slim chance of returning to the team for which he played six seasons, Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets. The Vikings released Wright in 2018; the 30-year-old wideout played the past two seasons with the Panthers.
  • The Packers‘ agreement with free agent running back/return man Tyler Ervin is a one-year, $1MM pact, Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com notes. Ervin will collect a $910K base salary. The Packers claimed Ervin off waivers from the Jaguars last year and used him on kick and punt returns.

Packers Claim Tyler Ervin

On Monday, the Packers announced that they have claimed former Jaguars running back Tyler Ervin. In a related move, the Packers dropped kick returner kick and punt returner Tremon Smith.

Smith, a 2018 sixth-round pick, broke onto the scene early on with the Chiefs and earned NFL All-Rookie Team honors as a return man. He ultimately finished the 2018 season with 33 kick returns for 886 yards (26.8-yard average). He played sparingly on defense, despite being formally listed as a cornerback, compiling only five tackles and one pass defended in 14 games. The Chiefs also briefly experimented with him at running back on the practice field and in preseason. This year, he appeared in seven games for Green Bay and returned 13 kicks for 303 yards, good for a 23.3 yard average.

After their latest special teams shuffle, the Packers will return to action on Sunday to take on the Redskins at Lambeau Field. At 9-3, they have a 93% chance of reaching the playoffs, per FiveThirtyEight.

Jaguars Activate LB Jake Ryan From NFI List

Out of game action for nearly two full seasons, Jake Ryan appears set to return to the field. The Jaguars activated the veteran linebacker from their NFI list Saturday, clearing the way for Ryan’s first game since the Packers’ 2017 regular-season finale.

The former Green Bay starter tore an ACL during the 2018 offseason and entered free agency on the heels of a lost season. Although the Jaguars expected Ryan to be ready for Week 1, an August setback shelved him for nearly three more months.

A fourth-round pick out of Michigan, Ryan started 27 games with the Packers. The ACL tear damaged his stock going into free agency, but the Jaguars — who hired ex-Packers DC Dom Capers this offseason — opted to take a chance on him via two-year, $8MM deal. Ryan’s injury likely prompted the Jags to guarantee him just $1MM and include a $5.5MM option bonus — due on the 22nd day of the 2020 league year — in the event he can display his old form.

On a Jaguars team that lost Telvin Smith in the offseason, Ryan will have a chance to convince the Jaguars to pick up that option. He combined for 160 tackles between the 2016-17 seasons, during which he served as a primary Green Bay starter at inside linebacker.

To make room on the 53-man roster, the Jags placed running back Tyler Ervin on IR.

Sunday NFL Transactions: AFC South

Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four AFC South teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Colts, Jaguars, Texans and Titans are noted below.

Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.

Here are Sunday’s AFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Tennessee Titans

Ravens Move Down To 53

The Ravens minced their roster to 53 players, parting ways with UDFA Gerald Willis to get there. Baltimore also placed Tavon Young and Kenneth Dixon on IR.

Young suffered a neck injury recently and will miss a full season for the second time in three years. While Baltimore boasts a deep cornerback corps, losing its slot man again will not help the high-end defense’s cause. Dixon will head back to IR. The Ravens placed him on IR in September 2018 but used an IR-return slot on him. That will not be an option this year, which doubles as the running back’s contract slate.

Character concerns caused Willis, viewed as a high-Day 3-type prospect out of Miami, to go undrafted. He is now on the waiver wire.

Here are Baltimore’s cuts:

Placed on IR:

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/8/19

Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2019 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

  • WR Duke Williams

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

  • LB Sam Eguavoen

New England Patriots

  • C Jake Eldrenkamp

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Houston Texans

Philadelphia Eagles

  • LB Alex Singleton

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • K Matt McCrane

Seattle Seahawks