Stephen Anderson

Patriots Place TE Jacob Hollister On IR

In advance of their playoff opener, the Patriots placed one of their backup tight ends on injured reserve. Jacob Hollister‘s season will end early, per Jeff Howe of The Athletic (on Twitter).

The Patriots are promoting tight end Stephen Anderson from their practice squad to take Hollister’s place. Anderson played two seasons with the Texans, starting five games for last season’s Houston edition.

A hamstring injury has bothered Hollister for much of this season. The lingering problem cost him five games, including Weeks 1 and 17, while a chest injury also hindered Hollister this year. Anderson has not played in 2018.

New England has Rob Gronkowski, Dwayne Allen and now Anderson comprising its tight end group. Their non-Gronk tight end contingent has combined for seven receptions this year, with Hollister hauling in four of those.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/6/18

Today’s practice squad transactions:

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Workout Notes: Giants, Jets, Raiders, Colts

As Week 1 practices are underway, here’s the latest from the workout circuit:

  • The Giants appear to envy the Raiders’ roster depth. After adding Mario Edwards and cornerback Antonio Hamilton, Big Blue will work out Raiders 2017 fourth-round tackle David Sharpe, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets. Sharpe’s shed 30 pounds this offseason, per Gehlken. He played in five games and started two as a rookie. The Giants will also audition former Broncos cornerback Michael Hunter, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (on Twitter). These workouts will take place Tuesday.
  • Hunter was part of a four-cornerback contingent that auditioned for the Texans on Labor Day, with veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweeting Hunter, Breon Borders, Chris Campbell and Jalen Myrick took part in the Monday showcase. Of this quartet, only Myrick has NFL experience. He played five games as a Texan last season.
  • Dan Bailey appears to have a good chance to be the Jets‘ next kicker, but in the event the team doesn’t sign him, an insurance option is coming to the Big Apple for a workout. Matt McCrane will kick for Jets brass on Wednesday, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets. The Cardinals cut McCrane last week. Jason Myers currently sits as Gang Green’s kicker, but he may not have a good grip on the job.
  • Prior to the Raiders signing Brandon LaFell, they worked out one of their former wideouts. Brice Butler trekked back to Oakland for a Monday workout, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets. Although most of Reggie McKenzie‘s draft picks aren’t too popular with Jon Gruden right now, Butler joined the Raiders as a 2013 seventh-round and played sparingly in 2013 and ’14. The Raiders traded him to the Cowboys prior to the 2015 season. Butler did not impress the Cardinals in camp, despite signing a two-year deal this spring.
  • The Patriots worked out tight end Stephen Anderson, tackle Eric Smith and wide receiver Jace Billingsley on Monday, Balzer tweets. New England will sign Smith to its practice squad.
  • Thinner at wide receiver after losing Marqise Lee, the Jaguars will work out former Giants wideout Kalif Raymond on Tuesday, Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com tweets. The former UDFA mostly served as a Giants return man last season.
  • Multiyear Steelers backup Fitzgerald Toussaint visited the Colts on Monday, per Pro Football Talk (on Twitter). The Steelers cut the 28-year-old running back last week after what ended up being a three-year stay.
  • Linebacker Jonathan Celestin will work out for the Browns on Tuesday, per NFL Draft Diamonds (Twitter link). The Falcons axed Celestin after the preseason.
  • Lastly, the Chiefs auditioned tackle Pace Murphy on Monday, per Balzer.

Texans Finalize 53-Man Roster

With cuts due this afternoon, the Texans made theirs official. This includes all-time punter great Shane Lechler, which surfaced on Friday.

The Texans also released Joe Webb, thinning out their quarterback room to just Deshaun Watson and Brandon Weeden.

Houston will begin its season without the services of backup running back D’Onta Foreman as well. Still recovering from his season-ending injury sustained in November of last year, Foreman will begin the season on the Texans’ Reserve/PUP list. He won’t be eligible to play until after Week 6.

As for the rest of Houston’s Saturday roster decisions, here’s who will not appear on the 53-man group to start the season:

Released:

Waived:

Waived with an injury designation:

Released with injury settlements

Placed on Reserve/Non-Football Illness list

Texans Cut WR Braxton Miller

The Texans cut a boatload of players on Friday, allowing them to inch closer to the 53-man max. Here’s the rundown, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise:

Miller is the biggest name of the bunch, but his release does not come as a huge surprise. The former third-round pick out of Ohio State has posted a grand total of 34 catches for 261 yards and two scores over the last two years, and he failed to really stand out in the preseason.

Will Fuller, Bruce Ellington and fourth-round pick Keke Coutee seem likely to make the cut behind star receiver DeAndre Hopkins, and it remains to be seen whether Houston will carry five or six receivers in total.

Texans Sign 15 Undrafted Free Agents

The Texans issued a press release this afternoon, confirming three draft pick signings that had been previously reported. The team has yet to lock up its top three picks, but has secured fourth-round running back Tyler Ervin, fifth-round safety K.J. Dillon, and fifth-round defensive lineman D.J. Reader.

In addition to signing those draftees, the Texans also announced that they’ve added 15 undrafted free agents to their 90-man roster, supplementing their modest six-man draft class. Here are the 15 UDFAs currently on Houston’s roster:

East Notes: Cowboys, Ramsey, Giants, Jets

The blockbuster trade that saw the Rams snag the Titans’ first overall pick in this year’s draft will have a significant impact on several other clubs around the NFL, and one of those teams is the Cowboys, who hold the No. 4 pick. If Carson Wentz, Jared Goff, and Laremy Tunsil are the top three picks in some order, it would give Dallas the opportunity to select any defensive prospect available, including Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey.

We’ve heard that the Cowboys like Ramsey, and Tom Pelissero of USA Today tweets that Dallas is one of four teams the ex-Seminole has visited since his pro day — Ramsey also made trips to Tennessee, Jacksonville, and Baltimore. While he no longer seems likely to land with the Titans, Ramsey could very well be snatched up by one of those other three teams, and the Cowboys would get the first chance of the three.

Here are a few more notes from around the NFL’s East divisions:

  • The Giants are taking a close look at plenty of safety prospects in this draft, according to Jordan Raanan of NJ.com, who writes that the team worked out Ohio State’s Tyvis Powell and has been “sniffing around” Boston College’s Justin Simmons for months.
  • Within his latest Jets mailbag, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News fields questions on the asking price in a Muhammad Wilkerson trade, the possibility of Ryan Fitzpatrick deciding to retire, and the chances of the Jets drafting a cornerback early.
  • Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle provides the details on the Bills‘ new one-year deal with safety Colt Anderson, tweeting that the minimum salary benefit contract features $580K in guarantees, including an $80K signing bonus.
  • Cal tight end Stephen Anderson has a visit scheduled with the Dolphins next week, Rand Getlin of NFL.com tweets. In total, Anderson has now logged ten workouts and/or visits with 10 different teams.
  • James Walker of ESPN.com examines four key Dolphins defenders who are entering contract years, and whom Miami will face decisions on within the next 11 months or so.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Rumors: Elliott, Ramsey, Nkemdiche

The Cowboys have added Alfred Morris this offseason to go along with incumbent running back Darren McFadden, but there’s still speculation that Dallas will add another back in the upcoming draft. The draft’s highest-rated runner, Ohio State’s Ezekiel Elliott, will fly to Texas tomorrow for a meeting with the Cowboys (having already been worked out by the club in Columbus), according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

The first round of this year’s draft gets underway in 26 days, so let’s take a look at the latest updates…

  • Florida State defensive back Jalen Ramsey, widely regarded as one of the five best available prospects, has visits planned with both the Jaguars and the Ravens, reports Rand Getlin of NFL.com (Twitter link). Ramsey, who can play both corner and safety, may not fall to the fifth or sixth selection, where Jacksonville and Baltimore respectively pick.
  • The Saints will work out California tight end Stephen Anderson on Monday, tweets Getlin, adding that Anderson’s workout with the Falcons went well. Anderson has also been linked to the Patriots, Titans, and Texans.
  • The Bears intend to meet with Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche and Southern Illinois quarterback Mark Iannotti in the next few weeks, writes John Mullin of CSNChicago.com. Nkemdiche is a first-round talent who may slip in the draft due to character concerns, while Iannotti is considered a late-round pick or UDFA.
  • Eastern Washington offensive linemen Clay Debord and Aaron Neary did “extensive white board” work with the Cardinals following their pro day, according to Tony Pauline of WalterFootball.com. 22 clubs were present at the EWU pro day.

Draft Notes: Hargreaves, Prescott, Cowboys

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves has visits lined up with eight clubs, including the Jaguars, Ravens, Cowboys, and Buccaneers, reports Rand Getlin of NFL.com (Twitter link). Hargreaves, considered one of the best defensive backs available in the draft, will probably garner interest from any team picking in the top 15.

Let’s take a look at some more draft news and notes…

  • The Cowboys have scheduled a private workout with Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post. Wilson says the meeting will take place today, while Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News (Twitter link) says the workout will occur on Monday, but regardless of the specifics, Prescott could make sense as a mid-round pick for the Cowboys. Prescott, who was arrested for DUI last week, has also met with the Panthers, Steelers, and Browns, per Wilson.
  • Prescott isn’t the only Mississippi State prospect to workout for the Cowboys, as Wilson reports (via Twitter) that receiver Robert Johnson will also audition for the club on Monday.
  • The Texans are doing their due diligence prior to the draft, as Wilson details in a story for the Houston Chronicle, reporting that the club worked out Maryland edge rusher Yannick Ngakoue.
  • Cal tight end Stephen Anderson has visits and/or workouts set up with the Patriots, Titans, Falcons, and Texans, tweets Getlin.
  • The Saints will work out Boston College safety Justin Simmons this week, a source tells Katherine Terrell of NOLA.com. Simmons has also drawn interest from the Lions.