Zonovan Knight

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/14/23

Here are today’s minor transactions heading into the Week 6 weekend:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Dean took the starting role the Eagles had in store for him in Week 1, but a foot injury interrupted his second NFL campaign. The 22-year-old was poised to return ahead of Sunday’s game by returning to practice earlier this week, though, and a first-team role is expected to await him upon suiting up. Dean taking on a heavy workload will relegate Nicholas Morrow (who was promoted from the practice squad) to backup duty despite the latter’s strong performances so far.

Seattle has seen fellow corners Devon Witherspoon and Riq Woolen enjoy considerable success, but the team’s secondary will be shorthanded without Bryant. The latter will miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move as he recovers from a toe injury. The 2022 fourth-rounder, who has seen his defensive snap share jump from 65% to 77% this year, has not played since Week 2.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/20/23

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Detroit Lions

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Steelers placing Anthony McFarland on IR left them with two active-roster running backs. Igwebuike will step in as Pittsburgh’s third-stringer behind Najee Harris and Jaylen Warren. Because the Steelers signed Igwebuike off another team’s practice squad, they must keep him on their active roster for at least three weeks.

Coming back to the Saints after spending the offseason and training camp with the Broncos, Jones scored two touchdowns in New Orleans’ Monday-night win over Carolina. But the Saints had used a gameday elevation transaction to bump the veteran backup to the active roster. Wednesday’s move makes Jones an official part of the Saints’ 53-man unit.

Knight caught on with the Lions’ practice squad shortly after the Jets waived him. With David Montgomery likely to miss time, Knight will join Jahmyr Gibbs and Craig Reynolds as the backs on Detroit’s 53-man roster. A 2022 UDFA, Knight saw time following Breece Hall‘s ACL tear last season but could not stick on the Jets’ roster after the AFC East team’s Dalvin Cook addition.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 8/31/23

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

  • Signed: WR Kaden Davis, OL Marquis Hayes

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC North

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 BearsLionsPackers and Vikings moves are noted below.

Chicago Bears

Placed on IR:

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Detroit Lions

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Green Bay Packers

Claimed:

Released:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Minnesota Vikings

Placed on IR:

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Jets Set 53-Man Roster

The Jets have been in the limelight all offseason, and some of their lesser-known players have earned attention following the team’s participation in HBO’s Hard Knocks. The team had to move on from many of those unheralded players today, as the organization reduced their roster to 53 players:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on reserve/PUP:

Placed on IR:

Placed on reserve/suspended:

Zonovan Knight made a name for himself as an UDFA in 2022. The running back was thrust into the Jets starting lineup, and he ultimately started four of his seven appearances. The RB finished the season with 400 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown on 98 touches. With Dalvin Cook added to a deep RBs depth chart, Knight seemed like a long shot to make the final roster.

Tim Boyle has bounced around the NFL a bit, but his only starting experience came with the Lions in 2021. The quarterback spent the 2022 campaign in Chicago, completing two of his eight pass attempts. It was uncertain if the Jets would keep three QBs on the roster, but the team appears content with just Aaron Rodgers and Zach Wilson at the position.

Jets To Cut RB Zonovan Knight

The logjam in the Jets’ backfield has been cleared. New York is moving on from running back Zonovan Knight, reports NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

New York’s situation at the running back position was clouded by the Dalvin Cook signing. His addition, along with 2022 second-rounder Breece Hall, left the team with a highly-regarded tandem at the top of the depth chart. With those two in place, however, it seemed inevitable that only one of Knight or 2021 fourth-round pick Michael Carter would make the roster.

The latter, who has two years remaining on his rookie contract, will remain in the fold. The same is likely to hold true of fifth-round rookie Israel Abanikanda. That would come as little surprise, though Rapoport notes that Knight drew some interest on the trade front. It will therefore be interesting to see how many teams show a willingness to claim him on waivers. If that does not take place, he will be eligible to remain with the Jets via the practice squad.

Knight, 22, started last season on the taxi squad before Hall’s ACL tear opened the door to playing time. The former UDFA started four of his seven games, recording 300 rushing yards and one touchdown on 85 carries (good for an average of 3.5 yards per attempt). He showcased an ability to produce in the passing game as well, though, recording 100 yards on 13 receptions.

The NC State alum is one of many young backs who could find themselves in a new situation (one which could provide an increase in playing time) in the near future. Unless that happens, the Jets will presumably have a keen interest in again stashing him on the practice squad to begin the campaign.

AFC Notes: Raiders, Pats, Jets, Bengals

As we inch closer to the start of the regular season, the Raiders‘ eventual 53-man roster is starting to come into focus. Two players in particular appear to be securing their positions for the team’s lineup come Week 1, according to Tashan Reed of The Athletic.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter has definitely taken advantage of his opportunities throughout camp this preseason. In the team’s second preseason game, Carter started in the slot in place of Hunter Renfrow, who sat out for the game. He didn’t put up notable stats from the position, but he really shined in a special teams role. He had a strong opening kick return and was inches away from a punt return for a touchdown, as well. The coaches’ faith in him to start in place of Renfrow combined with his return ability has virtually cemented his spot on the roster, according to Reed.

Another player on the rise is veteran guard Greg Van Roten, who seems to have surpassed Alex Bars for the starting job at right guard. Van Roten started the team’s most recent preseason game at right guard for a single series before being replaced by Bars, signifying the changing of the guard, pun not intended. Bars, who started most of last season for the team at right guard, may be in danger of failing to make the 53-man roster if he keeps sliding down the depth chart.

Here are a few more roster rumors from around the league as the preseason begins its close:

  • The Patriots have struggled as of late with drafting wide receivers. They’re looking to buck that trend this season. In a room that was originally looking weak when the team missed out on free agent De’Andre Hopkins, New England is newly flushed with possibilities. The team lacks elite top end talent, but behind JuJu Smith-Schuster and DeVante Parker, the Patriots have a surprising number of options. Kendrick Bourne has seemingly secured a role as the team’s third wideout with a great camp, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe, and behind Bourne, rookie sixth-round picks Demario Douglas and Kayshon Boutte have made strong cases for roster spots themselves with impressive camps. Even undrafted rookie quarterback Malik Cunningham has reportedly shown enough versatility and promise on offense and special teams to make a case for a roster spot.
  • With the recent acquisition of free agent Dalvin Cook, the Jets top-two running backs are clear as day, but in the process, the extra body has made things a bit crowded in the position room. Brian Costello of the New York Post believes that rookie fifth-round pick Israel Abanikanda is likely safe, leading to a battle for the likely last roster spot between Michael Carter and Zonovan Knight. Seemingly, Carter is safe. He’s got more starting experience on the team than Knight and didn’t suit up for the Jets’ most recent preseason game, a likely indication that the coaches have seen what they need to see. Knight played last week and fumbled. He’s had good moments throughout training camp, but his future may lie on the practice squad this season.
  • The Bengals have a clear TE1 and a likely TE2 coming into the end of the preseason in Irv Smith Jr. and Drew Sample, but there’s a chance that TE3 isn’t on the roster, according to The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. Last season’s TE3 Mitchell Wilcox has a decent shot at a roster spot, as does the undersized Tanner Hudson, who has impressed with some nice hands throughout camp. Devin Asiasi, Nick Bowers, and Christian Trahan remain as options, as well, but don’t have the strongest chances at a roster spot. Dehner predicts that Cincinnati may take to the open market after cut day, aiming to pull in any of several experienced tight ends that may find themselves on the roster bubble.

Jets Set To Hold RB2 Battle

The Jets are working with a deep, young running backs room, forcing each back to prove his mettle early and often. Michael Carter answered that call as a fourth-round rookie in 2021. Last year was supposed to be the takeover of rookie second-round pick Breece Hall, but a torn ACL ended his season after only seven weeks. Hall should return to the starting role, but with their No. 1 coming back from a serious injury, the RB2 spot becomes that much more important.

Despite falling off a bit in production last season after a strong rookie year, Carter is currently in line to enter training camp as the No. 2 back, according to Brian Costello of the New York Post. Carter started 11 games in his rookie year, racking up 639 rushing yards and four touchdowns, along with 325 yards receiving. He had seized a lead-back role, and many expected him to take a step forward in his sophomore season. This led to a bit of a surprise when New York took Hall 36th overall in last year’s draft.

Carter started off the 2022 season splitting carries with Hall but taking the majority of the workload. Eventually, Hall took the reins and became a bell-cow back for the four remaining healthy games of his season. Hall’s injury opened the door for Carter to return to the spotlight. Instead, Carter’s usage stayed stagnant as backs like James Robinson and Ty Johnson were given opportunities to split the load with him. Eventually, undrafted rookie Zonovan Knight was elevated from the practice squad and took the majority of the carriers for the final seven weeks of the season.

Knight should be one of Carter’s competitors for the primary backup role. Knight came in last year and, over his first four games, ran the ball 59 times for 253 yards, ending his season with 300 total rushing yards and a touchdown. Costello posits that Carter’s confidence was shaken a bit when the team traded for Robinson and then turned to Knight. Regardless, Knight outperformed Carter in that final stretch of the season, and if that’s any indication of how the position battle will go, Carter has his work cut out for him.

The other name competing for the spot is a newcomer. The Jets selected Pittsburgh running back Israel Abanikanda in the fifth-round of the draft this year. Abanikanda declared for the draft after a breakout junior year in which he rushed for 1,431 yards for an incredible 20 rushing touchdowns for the Panthers. He’ll be green to the game at the professional level, but he’s got plenty of tread left on the tires after only starting 17 games in his college career.

Carter should have a bit of a leg up on Knight and Abanikanda. He has more experience than Knight and Abanikanda to begin with. He also offers a bit more to his game. Throughout their careers, both college and NFL for Knight, the two younger backs have not had near the success receiving out of the backfield as Carter has. Carter’s ability to catch the ball may have pigeon-holed him into a third-down back role only in some situations, but combined with his early success rushing the football in New York, it should set him up nicely for a solid chance to regain his footing as the team’s No. 2 back.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/25/22

Today’s minor transactions:

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/7/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Houston Texans

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers