Spencer Ware

Chiefs Sign RB Spencer Ware

The Chiefs are banged up at running back, so they’re turning to a familiar face for reinforcement. The team has signed veteran running back Spencer Ware, reports Herbie Teope of The Kansas City Star (via Twitter). In a corresponding move, the Chiefs cut wideout Gehrig Dieter.

Starting running back Damien Williams missed the Chiefs’ blowout over the Raiders with a rib injury, and Darrell Williams suffered a hamstring injury during the contest. That left Kansas City with only two healthy running backs heading into this Sunday’s matchup against the Patriots: 31-year-old LeSean McCoy and sixth-round rookie Darwin Thompson.

So in comes Ware, who spent four years with the Chiefs between 2015 and 2018. The LSU product had his best season in 2016, when he ran for 921 yards and three scores on 214 carries. He also added another 33 receptions for 447 yards and two touchdowns that season. Ware sat out the 2017 campaign recovering from a torn PCL and knee damage, and he saw a reduced role for the Chiefs in 13 games last year.

Ware signed with the Colts back in April, but he was placed on the PUP list after after undergoing ankle surgery. He was ultimately cut by Indy in late September. He hasn’t seen the field for the 2019 campaign, but he has auditioned for the Cardinals, Raiders, and Buccaneers.

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Buccaneers Audition RB Spencer Ware

The Buccaneers were busy this afternoon, as SiriusXM’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the team worked out eight players. Among that grouping was a trio of offensive weapons: wide receiver Maurice Harris, wide receiver J.J. Nelson, and running back Spencer Ware.

The Buccaneers receiver depth chart is topped by Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but the team could be looking for a veteran to fill out the squad. The coaching staff could also be hunting for a return man, as they’ve had to use punt returner T.J. Logan in double duty following the release of Bobo Wilson.

Neither Harris nor Nelson have much experience in the return game, but the two have plenty of experience on offense. Nelson, 27, was a 500-yard receiver as recently as 2017, but he’s fallen off over the past two seasons. He hauled in four catches in two games for the Raiders before getting released in early October. Harris, 26, had his first productive NFL season in 2018, but he hasn’t had a gig since getting cut by the Patriots back in August.

Similar to the Bucs’ receivers, the team’s running backs corps are pretty much set. In fact, earlier this week, coach Bruce Arians revealed that Ronald Jones had secured the starting running back gig, with Peyton Barber, T.J.Logan and Dare Ogunbowale also contributing to the running game. Ware would provide a veteran option, although the soon-to-be 28-year-old hasn’t seen the field in 2019. He had ankle surgery back in August, so it’s encouraging that he’s already working out for teams. The veteran had 470 yards on offense in 13 games for the Chiefs last season.

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NFL Workout Updates: 11/1/19

The latest from the workout circuit around the league:

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Jacksonville Jaguars

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Cardinals To Work Out Jay Ajayi

The Cardinals will meet with running back Jay Ajayi, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The running back will take a physical and audition for the club on Monday and Tuesday.

Before his injury-shortened 2018, Ajayi posted two strong seasons. In 2016, he earned his first career Pro Bowl nod as he averaged 4.9 yards per carry for the Dolphins. In 2017, a midseason trade sent him to the Eagles, where he averaged 5.8 yards per tote off of 70 tries and captured his first ever Super Bowl ring.

Unfortunately, that career progress was halted by a torn ACL, but Ajayi is now healthy and ready to show the NFL what he can do. For the Cardinals, he could be a useful fill-in amidst multiple injuries at the position. D.J. Foster was ruled out against the Giants and star David Johnson is pushing through an ankle injury of his own.

The advanced metrics indicate that Ajayi is among the league’s better running backs when healthy, so he could provide a major midseason boost to the Cards or any team in need of backfield help. After Sunday’s win over the Giants, the Cardinals are 3-3-1 as they get ready for a Sunday showdown with the Saints. When they take on New Orleans, they might have one of the league’s more intriguing RB talents in uniform, behind Johnson.

The Cardinals are also taking a look at Spencer Ware and Benny Cunningham, Rapoport hears (Twitter links). Ware was initially set to play for the Colts this year, but wound up on PUP with a toe injury. Ware disagreed with the team’s decision and was ultimately released in September. The Jaguars cut the former Rams and Bears back midway through training camp, and his in-season workouts thus far have not led to any contract agreements.

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Colts Release Spencer Ware

The Colts have released Spencer Ware, who was previously placed on injured reserve, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com relays, adding that Ware will be free to sign with any team next week.

Ware tore a ligament in his knee this past offseason and while the Colts placed him on the PUP list, the running back was not thrilled with that decision. “I am NOT done for [the] season,” Ware tweeted at the time (via Yahoo Sports). “When things happen you have to adjust and treat accordingly. I’m going to play THIS YEAR, so there are things that need to be done before that happens that’ll put me in the best case scenario. MINOR, MINOR, MINOR setback because of timing.”

It was reported last month, that Ware and the Colts were planning on reaching an injury settlement. Apparently, that has happened and the former Chiefs running back will attempt to play this season.

Spencer Ware Still Plans To Play In 2019, Wants Injury Settlement

It initially looked like Spencer Ware‘s season was over, but it turns out that might not be the case. Ware was moved by Indianapolis from the active/PUP list to the reserve/PUP list yesterday, which means he’s ineligible to play for the Colts in 2019. 

However, he can still play for another team if he is able to come to an agreement with Indy. To that end, Ware plans on seeking an injury settlement that will allow him to play for a different team this season, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). Rapsheet also has additional details on Ware’s injury. Originally the Colts expected it to be a very minor issue, but obviously it turned out to be something more serious. Rapoport writes that the LSU product is having ankle surgery that will sideline him for the next 5-6 weeks.

For what it’s worth, Ware himself tweeted the following: “I am NOT done for season! When things happen you have to adjust and treat accordingly.I’m going to play THIS YEAR,so there are things that need to be done before that happens that’ll put me in the best case scenario.MINOR,MINOR, MINOR setback because of timing.”

Ware had a breakout 2016 campaign when he became the Chiefs’ starting running back, rushing for 921 yards and adding another 447 through the air. He was slated to again carry the load in 2017, but missed the entire season due to a knee injury he suffered in the preseason. When he returned last year he wasn’t used nearly as much, although he remained pretty effective. In 13 games for Kansas City last season, he carried the ball 51 times for 246 yards (4.8 YPC), and had 20 receptions for another 224 yards. Even with his injury history, Ware should be able to resurface with another team when he’s fully healthy.

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Colts Place RB Spencer Ware On Reserve/PUP

Spencer Ware isn’t going to be suiting up for the Colts this season. Ware is being moved from the active/PUP list to the reserve/PUP list, the team announced Friday. 

The Colts signed the veteran running back in April, and he’s been dealing with a mysterious foot injury recently. Beat writers had described the injury as not that big of a deal at first and head coach Frank Reich initially said he would only miss a couple of weeks, but obviously it turned out to be more serious than originally thought. Indy worked out former Bills and Patriots running back Mike Gillislee earlier today, and now we know why.

As a result of being moved to the reserve list, Ware will now be forced to miss the entire season. If placed on the reserve/PUP list at the end of camp a player only has to miss the first six weeks of the season, but since he was moved there in the middle of camp he’ll have to sit out the entire year. Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time Ware has had some terrible injury luck.

Back in 2017 he was slated to be the Chiefs’ starting running back, but a knee injury in the preseason ended his year before it ever began. Kareem Hunt then took the reigns and ran with them, and Ware was used sparingly when he returned last year. As the Chiefs’ starting running back in 2016, Ware rushed for 921 yards and added another 447 receiving.

Still only 27, hopefully this isn’t the end of the line for the LSU product. The Colts still have a relatively deep backfield, with Marlon Mack, Nyheim Hines, and Jordan Wilkins all in tow. Look for them to possibly add a veteran back in the next couple of days.

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Colts Sign RB Spencer Ware

The Colts have signed running back Spencer Ware, according to a team announcement. Ware, the former Chiefs tailback, will give the Colts support at the position after they declined to address it in the draft. 

Ware, 28 in November, first made noise in 2015 when he ran for 403 yards with the Chiefs and averaged 5.6 yards per carry in a limited sample. In 2016, he was the Chiefs’ starter and amassed 921 yards with a 4.3 yards-per-tote average. His usage fluctuated over the course of three healthy years in KC, but his career 4.6 YPC shows promise.

The veteran joins former Chiefs teammate Justin Houston in Indianapolis and will push to be a top reserve behind Marlon Mack. 2018 draft picks Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines are also under contract, so he’ll have his work cut out for him.

In related moves, the Colts released safety Isaiah Johnson, defensive tackle DeShawn Williams, and wide receiver James Wright (with an injury designation).

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Jets Meet With Ware, Montgomery

The Jets met with running back Spencer Ware on Wednesday, according to Rich Cimini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Then, on Thursday, the club will host fellow free agent running back Ty Montgomery, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets

Ware previously met with the Colts and Lions, but left town without signing with either club. Ware first made noise in 2015 when he ran for 403 yards with the Chiefs and averaged 5.6 yards per carry in a limited sample. In 2016, he was the Chiefs’ starter and amassed 921 yards with a 4.3 yards-per-tote average. His usage fluctuated over the course of three healthy years in KC, but the 27-year-old’s career 4.7 YPC shows promise.

Ware could be a solid backup for Le’Veon Bell and the same goes for Montgomery, who came out of nowhere in 2016 to average 5.9 yards per carry for the Packers. Montgomery’s production, understandably, dropped after that, and the Packers dropped him from the roster with an October trade last year after his late game fumble cost them a chance at beating the Rams.

Either veteran could back up Bell, but the Jets could also find supporting RBs in this month’s draft.

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Colts Host Spencer Ware

The Colts hosted free agent running back Spencer Ware, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Indianapolis has a young and talented RB tandem, with Marlon Mack and 2018 fourth-rounder Nyheim Hines — an excellent receiver out of the backfield — at the top of the depth chart.

Jordan Wilkins, another 2018 draft choice, averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 60 totes in his rookie campaign, so the Colts do not really need to add a free agent back. But Ware would provide a solid veteran presence in the rotation if the clubs elects to carry four RBs, and he could theoretically push Wilkins for playing time while serving as insurance should one of the top backs get hurt.

Ware first made noise in 2015 when he ran for 403 yards with the Chiefs and averaged 5.6 yards per carry in a limited sample. In 2016, he was the Chiefs’ starter and amassed 921 yards with a 4.3 yards-per-tote average. His usage fluctuated over the course of three healthy years in KC, but the 27-year-old’s career 4.7 YPC shows promise.

He appeared to be primed for stardom after that ’16 season, but a torn PCL cost him the 2017 campaign. Last year, he had an opportunity to shine again after Kareem Hunt was cut, but a hamstring injury took him out of the running for the final stretch. He returned for the AFC title game, but didn’t have a major role in the loss to the Pats.

Ware visited the Lions last month.

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