Trae Waynes

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/4/22-1/5/22

Here are Tuesday and Wednesday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: TE Jared Cook, LB Damon Lloyd (remains on IR)

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/18/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Bengals Activate CB Trae Waynes From IR

Trae Waynes is back. The Bengals activated their starting cornerback from injured reserve today, reports Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (via Twitter). Offensive lineman D’Ante Smith has also been activated from IR (per ESPN’s Ben Baby on Twitter).

The Bengals signed Waynes to a three-year, $42MM deal in March 2020, but the organization has only gotten two games out of their investment. Waynes missed all of 2020 because of a torn pec, and a hamstring injury forced him to miss the start of this season. The 29-year-old managed to get into Week 4 and Week 5, starting both games while collecting five tackles. However, he aggravated his hamstring injury in that latter game, and he hasn’t seen the field since.

Waynes is attached to an $8.4MM base salary this season; that number climbs to $10.4MM in 2022. The Bengals are on the hook for Waynes’ prorated signing bonus ($5MM) next year but could save $11MM by making the seven-year vet a cap casualty. The veteran’s performance down the stretch will likely determine his future with the organization.

Smith is a fourth-round rookie out of East Carolina. He didn’t see the field during the first month of the season, and he was stashed on IR with a knee injury in mid-October.

The Bengals made a handful of additional moves in anticipation of their game against the Broncos tomorrow, promoting linebacker Austin Calitro, wide receiver Trent Taylor, and linebacker Keandre Jones from the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/8/21

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Designated for return: G D’Ante Smith, CB Trae Waynes

Denver Broncos

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Washington Football Team

Trae Waynes Facing Lengthy Absence

Injuries have defined Trae Waynes‘ Cincinnati stay, and the veteran cornerback’s most recent issue stands to keep him out a while. Already on IR with a hamstring problem, Waynes is facing an extended absence.

Zac Taylor said Friday that Waynes will not need to undergo surgery for his troublesome hamstring, via The Athletic’s Paul Dehner Jr. (on Twitter), but the third-year Bengals HC does not expect the team’s top cornerback investment to be back after missing the minimum three games. An extended IR stay is likely for Waynes.

This is certainly not new ground for the former first-round pick. Waynes missed all of 2020 because of a torn pec. This year, a hamstring pull kept him out of the Bengals’ first three games. Waynes subsequently aggravated his hamstring in Week 5, leading to an IR trip.

The Bengals signed Waynes to a three-year, $42MM deal in March 2020. This price proved somewhat surprising at the time, given Waynes’ performance to that point, but the ex-Vikings starter had stayed mostly healthy in Minnesota. The 29-year-old cover man has played just two games with Cincinnati, however.

Since signing Waynes, the Bengals have been busy at corner. They added Chidobe Awuzie and slot defender Mike Hilton this offseason and recently claimed multiyear Seahawks starter Tre Flowers. The Bengals have made notable improvements defensively this season, after two bad years to start the Taylor regime. Cincinnati enters Week 7 fifth in scoring defense.

Waynes is attached to an $8.4MM base salary this season; that number climbs to $10.4MM in 2022. The Bengals are on the hook for Waynes’ prorated signing bonus ($5MM) next year but could save $11MM by making the seven-year vet a cap casualty.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Move CB Trae Waynes To IR

By October’s end, Trae Waynes will have played in just two of the Bengals’ past 24 games. The veteran cornerback is heading to IR with a hamstring injury, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Waynes aggravated the hamstring issue that previously forced him to miss Cincinnati’s first three games this season. The former Vikings cornerback missed all of last year.

The Bengals paid Waynes handsomely last year, signing the former first-round pick to a three-year, $42MM deal. That pact has not worked out to this point. Waynes missed the 2020 season due to a torn pectoral muscle suffered last August. He will now be down for the next three Bengals games. Waynes, 29, missed just six games over the course of his five-year Vikings tenure.

Cincinnati was busy at cornerback this year, adding outside cover man Chidobe Awuzie and slot man Mike Hilton in free agency. Neither’s deal is in Waynes’ ballpark, however, with Awuzie signing for $7.25MM per year and Hilton leaving Pittsburgh for $6MM on average. The Bengals let William Jackson walk in free agency rather than use its franchise tag to retain him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Jets, Chargers, Ekeler, Bengals, Waynes

Another week, more drama with the Jets. While tanking is often talked about in the NFL in terms of roster construction and letting young guys play, it’s very rare for a team to be accused of actively trying to lose games. But that’s exactly what’s happening in New York, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News writes. The latest dustup surrounds starting cornerback Bless Austin, and a neck injury that just landed him on injured reserve. Head coach Adam Gase had previously expressed optimism that Austin would play this past Sunday, then suddenly pivoted and said the team’s doctors told him Austin didn’t feel good.

Mehta writes that Jets employees “vehemently disagreed with the head coach’s characterization of the situation.” He reports that Austin told teammates the neck issue would only require a couple of days of rest, and that the medical staff shared that opinion. After that, “people at all levels of the organization have started to wonder whether Jets brass actually care about winning any of their remaining games.” Mehta says some within the building have concluded “the powers that be want to tank for Trevor Lawrence.” The Jets just cut starting cornerback Pierre Desir and placed fellow corner Brian Poole on injured reserve, making Austin’s absence all the more significant in their now extremely young secondary. It’s not unusual for a team to strip down its roster of veterans, but it would be unusual for a team to purposely sideline a healthy player in order to field a less competitive product. This will be an interesting situation to keep an eye on as the season winds down.

Here’s more from a couple of the AFC’s other divisions:

  • The Chargers are in the midst of yet another injury-plagued season, but reinforcements may be on the way. The team will designate star running back Austin Ekeler to return from injured reserve and he’ll practice this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets. Pelissero adds that it’s not clear yet if he’ll be able to be active for this weekend’s game against the Bills, but either way it sounds like he’ll be back on the field very soon. He’s been one of the league’s most productive running backs the past two years, both as a runner and receiver. Ekeler hasn’t played since Week 4 due to a serious hamstring injury he suffered against the Buccaneers. He was averaging over five yards per carry with 17 receptions through only a little over three games.
  • While Ekeler will be back any week now, things are a lot less certain for Bengals cornerback Trae Waynes. Waynes signed a three-year, $42MM deal with Cincy this offseason, but hasn’t played in a game yet after tearing a pec in August. Waynes finally popped up on the rehab field at a Bengals practice this past week, Paul Dehner Jr. of The Athletic writes, but a return this season is still in question. “Still unsure at this point, honestly,” Waynes said. “I’m trying to work as hard and as fast and as smart as I can to get back out there without risk of jeopardizing my body to another injury. Unfortunately, it’s not up to me to decide if I can get cleared. So, I’m just doing my part to make that happen as soon as possible.” Waynes expressed frustration with what looks like a lost year, adding that the COVID-19 restrictions have made it hard for him to get acclimated to his new team without being able to practice or play. “Very frustrating, boring,” the former first-round pick of the Vikings said. “I’m not used to it. It’s my first major injury through college and the NFL. I’m not used to just sitting out the whole season and doing absolutely nothing but rehabbing.”
  • In case you missed it, crucial Titans linebacker Jayon Brown is out for the season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from IR: OL Phil Haynes
  • Placed on IR: CB Neiko Thorpe

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/6/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Bengals Place Trae Waynes On IR

The Bengals have placed Trae Waynes on injured reserve, per a club announcement. To fill his place on the roster, they’ve re-signed fellow cornerback Torry McTyer.

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Waynes has not been completely ruled out for the year, though he is expected to be out for a “sizable portion” of the season. Rather than clogging up a roster spot, the Bengals will park the star CB on IR to preserve their flexibility. By waiting until Monday to make the move, the Bengals will technically reserve the right to activate Waynes after as just three games. However, his pectoral tear will almost certainly keep him out of action for a longer stretch.

The Bengals signed Waynes to a three-year, $42MM deal earlier this year, one that pays $20MM in 2020. Former fifth-round pick Darius Phillips will move into the starting lineup to fill-in for him, while McTyer offers some CB support in reserve. McTyer, entering his fourth pro season, has history with defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo dating back to their time together in Miami.

The Bengals, sans Waynes, will kick off their season at home on Sunday against the Chargers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.