Sammy Watkins

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/20/21

A long list of players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. We listed the players who landed on the list today, as well as those who were activated off the list:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DE John Franklin-Myers, DB Sharrod Neasman

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL COVID List Updates

We are trying our best here at Pro Football Rumors to keep up with all of the updates throughout the league concerning players on the reserve/COVID-19 list. A lot of teams had high hopes during today’s testing as they were trying to get players activated in time for Sunday’s slate of games.

Here are updates as of 8:30 PM ET, Sat 12/18:

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DT Eddie Goldman
  • OC Bill Lazor, DC Sean Desai, STC Chris Tabor in COVID-19 protocols

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB P.J. Locke

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Four Coaches in COVID-19 protocols

New York Giants

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Ravens Activate Bateman, Phillips From IR

Ravens wide receiver Rashod Bateman will make his NFL debut this weekend in a heavily anticipated matchup between two exciting young QBs in Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson and the Chargers’ Justin Herbert. Head coach John Harbaugh apprised reporters of the news today (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic).

Baltimore activated both Bateman and guard Tyre Phillips from IR Saturday. Phillips has been out since Week 1 due to a knee injury that required cart transportation. He began the season as the Ravens’ starting left guard. This move comes shortly after the Ravens placed rookie fill-in Ben Cleveland, who has split time at left guard with Ben Powers, on IR. Baltimore promoted Le’Veon Bell and tackle Andre Smith from its practice squad as well.

The Ravens have managed a 4-1 record despite a rash of injured stars and key contributors, including their top two RBs — J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards — CB Marcus Peters, LT Ronnie Stanley, and many others besides. Bateman, the 27th-overall pick of this year’s draft, joined the club’s MASH unit after suffering a significant groin pull in training camp that ultimately required surgery. Baltimore put its rookie wideout on IR and designated him for return at the end of September.

The Ravens’ ground game, which was the club’s calling card over the past several years, has been subdued in 2021 thanks in large part to the aforementioned injuries to Dobbins and Edwards (and thanks to opposing defenses gearing up to stop the run). But Jackson has elevated his passing abilities and his receivers have played well, allowing Baltimore to sustain a productive aerial attack, which Bateman should further bolster.

Unfortunately (but not unsurprisingly), Bateman’s debut coincides with the loss of fellow wideout Sammy Watkins. Watkins signed a one-year contract with the Ravens this spring, and he had developed a strong rapport with Jackson, catching 18 passes for 292 yards (good for a 16.2 YPR mark, which would be the second-highest figure of his career). Watkins suffered a hamstring injury in Monday’s dramatic win over the Colts, and he has been ruled out for the Chargers game this week (Twitter link via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com). There is no definitive timetable for Watkins at this point, but it does not sound like the team will put him on IR just yet.

Meanwhile, Baltimore continues to be without TE Nick Boyle. Boyle is an effective ancillary receiving target in his own right, but his primary contribution has been as a blocker. He is regarded as one of the best blocking tight ends in the league, and his return could help the running game get back on track. As with Watkins, there is no definitive return date for Boyle, but Harbaugh said the Delaware product will come off of IR soon (Twitter link via Hensley).

Boyle has been recovering from a severe knee injury he suffered last November, which ended his 2020 season prematurely.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: 2014 NFL Draft

The first-round of the 2014 NFL Draft took place seven years ago today. While there was plenty of hype heading into the first day of the draft, surely no one expected the first round to produce so many accomplished players. Among the 32 individuals who heard their name called on May 8, 2014, 17 of those players eventually earned Pro Bowl nods. That’s not shabby.

From a transactions standpoint, there were five trades completed on that Thursday evening, with the Browns and Vikings starring in a handful of the deals. While there were whispers that the first-overall pick could get traded from Houston, the Texans ultimately kept the selection and drafted Jadeveon Clowney at No. 1.

The first trade of the evening was between the Browns and Bills. Cleveland wanted to move back to select a cornerback, so they sent No. 4 to Buffalo for No. 9, a future first, and a future fourth. The Bills ended up selecting wideout Sammy Watkins. As the first round continued to progress, the Browns apparently didn’t feel comfortable staying at No. 9. So, they packaged that selection and a future fifth-round pick to the Vikings for the No. 8 pick, and they proceeded to select cornerback Justin Gilbert. The Vikings selected linebacker Anthony Barr with their new selection.

The Saints later got into the action, acquiring the No. 20 pick from the Cardinals to select receiver Brandin Cooks. New Orleans sent Arizona No. 27 and No. 91, with the Cards selecting safety Deone Bucannon with that first-round selection.

The Browns made another trade later in the night, this time in pursuit of a quarterback. Cleveland traded No. 26 and No. 83 to Philly in exchange for No.22…and the Browns ultimately selected quarterback Johnny Manziel. Really, the writing was on the wall with that selection; the team had previously drafted two other QB busts (Brandon Weeden, Brady Quinn) at that same spot in the draft.

The last trade of the evening once again featured the Vikings. Minnesota acquired the No. 32 pick from the Seahawks for picks No. 40 and No. 108. The Vikings used their new selection on quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

It was surely an entertaining evening, with Cleveland serving as the star of the show. However, fast forward to today, and Browns fans are surely still shaking their head at how everything unfolded.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Sign WR Sammy Watkins

After making multiple offers to big-name wide receivers, the Ravens will soon have one under contract. Sammy Watkins agreed to terms with the Ravens on Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The former Bills, Rams and Chiefs wideout will sign a one-year deal worth $6MM, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com noting (via Twitter) the deal will include $5MM fully guaranteed. This will signal a major shift for Watkins, earnings- and scheme-wise.

Baltimore has been hunting high-profile wideouts for a bit now. The Ravens offered more money to JuJu Smith-Schuster and T.Y. Hilton, only to see those players opt to re-sign with the Steelers and Colts, respectively. Kenny Golladay also landed on the Ravens’ radar, but the ex-Lions target received a big-ticket offer from the Giants and committed to New York. The Ravens hosted Watkins on a visit, and the talented but injury-prone pass catcher will head to Baltimore to join an offense in need of aerial help.

Watkins will pair with Marquise Brown on the NFL’s run-heaviest offense. It will certainly represent a change for the former No. 4 overall pick, who operated as the No. 2 receiver on one of the most explosive passing attacks in NFL history. The Chiefs were interested in keeping Watkins, but it did not sound like re-signing him was a must for the two-time reigning AFC champions. Watkins signed a monster accord with the Chiefs in 2018 — a three-year, $48MM deal that affected the NFL’s wideout market — and delivered in spurts, even though he did not end up living up to that lofty contract.

The Chiefs received some crucial Watkins contributions in the playoffs, with the former Clemson star surpassing 75 receiving yards in four of the six postseason games he played with Kansas City. However, Watkins also missed time due to injury in each of his three seasons in Missouri, sitting out 14 regular-season games as a Chief. He missed two playoff games this past season as well and has not topped 700 receiving yards in a season since 2015, when he compiled a career-high 1,047 — in a Bills run-heavy offense featuring Tyrod Taylor.

Still, Watkins is only heading into his age-28 season and will provide a high-end talent for a Ravens offense that has been limited at receiver since Lamar Jackson took the reins in 2018. It should not be ruled out Baltimore will further address the position in the draft, but after the team struck out on acquiring veteran starters, Watkins will lessen the burden on the front office to land a proven receiver.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sammy Watkins To Visit Colts, Titans And Texans Interested

We heard earlier today that Sammy Watkins was on his way to visit the Ravens, but Baltimore is going to face competition for his services. Watkins will visit the Colts on Wednesday after the Ravens, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Additionally, Schefter reports that Watkins has drawn interest from the Titans and Texans. It’s a sudden flurry of attention for Watkins, who we hadn’t heard much about prior to today. There was reportedly some mutual interest between Watkins and the Chiefs in spending one more year together back in February, but then at the beginning of this month Kansas City GM Brett Veach indicated it’d be hard to work financially.

The Colts make plenty of sense as a destination, since right now it’s very uncertain whether free agent T.Y. Hilton will be back in 2021. Indy has youngsters Michael Pittman Jr. and Parris Campbell under contract, but the receiver room could use some help. The Titans just lost Corey Davis to the Jets, and need a new number two behind A.J. Brown.

The Texans just lost Will Fuller, so all of these teams are natural fits. Watkins has never quite lived up to his potential, but if he can stay healthy he can really help a team. He had 37 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns across ten games in a secondary role for the Chiefs last year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Sammy Watkins To Visit Ravens

The Ravens could be close to making a big addition to their receiving room. Sammy Watkins is on his way to Baltimore to visit with the team, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

We initially heard right before the Super Bowl that there was mutual interest between Watkins and the Chiefs on a new deal, but then a few weeks ago Kansas City GM Brett Veach made it sound like it’d be hard to work financially, and obviously nothing has materialized. Before this, we haven’t heard of much interest in Watkins since free agency opened as the receiver market was slow to develop initially.

Things appear to be picking up though, with Kenny Golladay and Will Fuller both signing in recent days, and Watkins could be the next domino to fall. As Rapoport points out, the Ravens have been looking to add a wideout in free agency as their group of pass-catchers for Lamar Jackson last year was a bit underwhelming.

Meanwhile, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic tweets that there are a couple of connections on Baltimore’s staff. Ravens pass game specialist Keith Williams has been Watkins’ personal receivers coach, and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman coached Watkins in Buffalo.

Baltimore reportedly offered JuJu Smith-Schuster more money, but he chose to re-sign with the Steelers instead. The fourth overall pick of the 2014 draft, Watkins has never quite lived up to his potential but he’s capable of being a very solid player when healthy. In a down year in 2020, he had 37 catches for 421 yards and two touchdowns across ten games. We’ll keep you posted as soon as we hear anything more.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs GM Brett Veach On Mahomes, OL, Watkins

The Chiefs are coming off a very disappointing Super Bowl loss, and although they’re coming off back to back AFC titles, they know they’ve got some work to do this offseason. GM Brett Veach met with the media on Monday, and dished on what lies ahead.

Perhaps most notably, Veach provided an update on Patrick Mahomes. Everything appears to have gone smoothly with Mahomes’ foot surgery, as the GM said he’ll definitely be ready for training camp and the team is hoping he can participate in mandatory minicamp in June. Mahomes was hobbled down the stretch, but it doesn’t sound like this is going to be an issue of much importance for 2021.

Kansas City’s offensive line (deservedly so) took a lot of blame for the Super Bowl loss, and Veach acknowledged it’s a priority. He highlighted the two COVID-19 opt-outs the team had on the O-line, as well as the loss of left tackle Eric Fisher in the AFC Championship Game, but made it clear the team wasn’t going to stand pat.

“From the offset here, the draft looks to be really talented on the offensive line. So I think it’ll be a combination of what we have in-house and blending that in with some new talent. Potentially in free agency and potentially in the draft,” Veach said, via Charles Goldman of the Chiefs Wire.

Speaking of the offensive line, Veach said that right tackle Mitchell Schwartz, who was limited to six games in 2020, had disk surgery on his back and the team is hopeful he’ll be ready for training camp as well. He said the same thing about Fisher, although that might be a bit of a reach considering he’s coming off a torn Achilles at 30.

Finally, Veach talked about the receiving corp and specifically Sammy Watkins. He said it would take more work than it did last year to bring Watkins back, which could be GM-speak for the team being likely to move on. Veach said the team feels good about Tyreek Hill, Mecole Hardman, and Byron Pringle and that “I can’t see us running out of the gates in the first week of free agency and signing a receiver,” via Sam McDowell of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link).

The last we heard was right before the Super Bowl, when there was apparently mutual interest between Watkins and the Chiefs in sticking together, but it sounds like it might be an uphill battle to get it to work financially. Watkins took a pay-cut last April to stay with the team for 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mutual Interest Between Sammy Watkins, Chiefs On New Contract

Sammy Watkins will be a free agent in March, with the former top-five pick’s current Chiefs agreement running through Super Bowl LV. While the veteran has struggled to stay healthy throughout his Kansas City tenure, he has emerged for some big performances in high-stakes spots.

The seventh-year wideout is on track to return for the Super Bowl after missing both prior Chiefs playoff games, but he could well head into free agency alongside receivers who have established more momentum and hit the market in a year in which the salary cap is expected to drop. Watkins agreed to a pay cut to stay with the Chiefs this season; the franchise’s success will impact his choice going forward.

I would say, let’s win this Super Bowl and see where my head will be at,” Watkins said, via ESPN.com’s Adam Teicher. “It would definitely be something to think about. It would definitely be something I would talk to my wife and my kids about, to think about coming back. Would I love a third ring? For sure. I would definitely not say no about it.”

One of Brett Veach‘s first big moves as GM was giving Watkins a surprising $16MM-per-year contract. While the former Bills draftee did not live up to that deal on a statistical basis, failing to top 700 receiving yards in any of his three Chiefs seasons, Watkins delivered in the 2018 and ’19 playoffs. The former Clemson star has surpassed 60 yards in each of his five Chiefs playoff games, going north of 75 in his past four. The 27-year-old No. 2 wideout missed six games this season, however, due to multiple injuries and only caught 37 passes for 421 yards.

The Chiefs reached high-profile extensions with Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones and Travis Kelce last year, which will make big-ticket free agency acquisitions sparser going forward. But Watkins will almost certainly command far less than he did in 2018. If the sides can likely agree on a lower number, Veach is interested in bringing Watkins back.

Sammy is a big part of this offense. When he’s healthy, we’re better,” Veach said, via Teicher (on Twitter). “If there’s a way we can make it work again, we’ll certainly try to do that. I love having him around.”

Before any roster cuts, extensions or franchise tags commence, Watkins would be off the top tier of free agent receivers. Chris Godwin, Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson, Will Fuller, Marvin Jones, Curtis Samuel, Antonio Brown, T.Y. Hilton and A.J. Green are also set for free agency. Not all be available come March, but this depth — and recent drafts producing several quick-study wideouts on rookie deals — stands to create a buyer’s market.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.