The Saints will be down a running back for the new few weeks, so the team is bringing in reinforcement. New Orleans has signed running back Devine Ozigbo off the Jaguars’ practice squad, reports Aaron Wilson (via Twitter).
This is a bit of a homecoming for Ozigbo, as the Nebraska product joined the Saints as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He eventually moved on to Jacksonville, and he spent the next two-plus seasons with the Jaguars organization. He ultimately saw time in 18 games for the team, collecting 93 yards from scrimmage on 22 touches. The 25-year-old has also spent a significant amount of time on special teams.
The Saints needed some running back depth following news that Tony Jones Jr. would miss the next three to four weeks (per ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter). The 23-year-old has seen time in all four games this season, collecting 87 yards from scrimmage on 23 carries. Other than Ozigbo and starter Alvin Kamara, the team’s only other healthy RB is Dwayne Washington (plus versatile wideout Ty Montgomery).
Smith has the most experience among the four, seeing time in 35 games in three seasons with the Falcons. This included a 2020 campaign where he finished with 343 yards from scrimmage and one touchdown. The 26-year-old caught on with the Vikings this offseason but was let go before the regular season.
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. Hilliard, 26, saw time in 30 games for the Browns in two-plus seasons with the organization.
September 20th, 2021 at 3:55pm CST by Zachary Links
Here’s a look at some of today’s more notable auditions, courtesy of NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (Twitter link):
The Giants worked out punters J.K. Scott, Kaare Vedvik, and Brandon Wright. For now, that job is held by Riley Dixon, though the Giants could just be keeping their emergency list up to date. Dixon, a former draft pick of Denver, is under contract through 2022 thanks to his three-year, $8.7MM deal.
The Washington Football Team auditioned running backs D’Onta Foreman and Ryquell Armstead. Foreman, recently released from Atlanta’s practice squad, also showed his stuff for the Raiders earlier this month. Foreman is best known for his rookie year with the Texans but hasn’t been the same since tearing his Achilles midway through that season.
The Packers are meeting with defensive ends Taco Charlton and R.J. McIntosh. Charlton, once a highly-touted first-round pick of the Cowboys, flamed out quickly in Dallas. His best work to date came with the Dolphins when he notched five sacks in ten games. Still, he had a decent 2020 with the Chiefs, up until his November leg fracture. In that shortened KC run, Charlton recorded two sacks, four quarterback hits, and a forced fumble.
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.
Ryquell Armstead‘s stint in New York has ended. The Giants have waived the running back, according to Dan Salomone of the team’s website (and later passed along by the organization on Twitter).
The Temple product entered the NFL as a fifth-round pick by the Jaguars in 2019. During his rookie season, Armstead served as Leonard Fournette‘s primary backup, collecting 252 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He got a start for Jacksonville in their 2019 season finale, finishing the game with more than 50 receiving yards and a score.
Armstead had several stints on the COVID list in 2020, and he reportedly had a pair of hospital visits while dealing with respiratory issues. As a result, the running back ended up missing the entire season, and he was waived by the Jaguars back in May.
After seeing COVID-19 wipe out his 2020 season, Ryquell Armstead will have a chance to resume his career. The Giants submitted a successful waiver claim for the running back Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
A 2019 fifth-round pick, Armstead saw action behind Leonard Fournette as a rookie in Jacksonville. Going into his second season, however, Armstead encountered perhaps the NFL’s most severe coronavirus case and needed to be hospitalized twice for significant respiratory issues. The Jaguars cut Armstead on Monday.
The Giants already handed out a notable backup running back contract, giving Devontae Booker a two-year deal worth $6MM. They also selected Gary Brightwellin the sixth round and signed Corey Clement over the weekend. The team did lose top 2020 rusher Wayne Gallman, however. Armstead, 24, will join the mix of players vying for a spot behind Saquon Barkley.
The Jags drafted Armstead 140th overall out of Temple. A Matt Rhule-era Owls recruit, Armstead played a key role for the American Athletic Conference program in his final three seasons. In 2018, he amassed 1,098 rushing yards and totaled 13 touchdowns. Armstead did not opt out in 2020, so two seasons remain on his rookie contract.
Ryquell Armstead will have to bounce back from his tough 2020 with a different team. The Jaguars announced they waived the running back on Monday.
A fifth-round pick out of Temple in 2019, Armstead garnered headlines last season as one of the pro athletes to be most effected by COVID-19. The young rusher spent the entire 2020 campaign on the COVID list. It was a scary situation, as Armstead reportedly dealt with serious respiratory issues and had to be hospitalized twice.
Fortunately most NFL players who tested positive were able to return to play relatively quickly, but Armstead wasn’t as lucky. Now with the Jags drafting Travis Etitenne in the first-round and the presence of breakout 2020 rookie James Robinson, the running backs room had gotten a bit crowded.
Armstead was able to make a real impact as a rookie in 2019, and got a start in Week 17. Overall he finished his only pro season to date carrying the ball 35 times for 108 yards and adding another 14 receptions for 144 yards and two touchdowns. Here’s to hoping he’s made a full recovery and is able to sign with somebody for 2021.