Minor NFL Transactions: 10/20/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Denver Broncos

  • Signed off Jets’ practice squad: C Nico Falah
  • Placed on IR: G Ronald Leary

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Cardinals Sign S Eddie Pleasant

Eddie Pleasant worked out for four teams in the past month. The Cardinals weren’t one of the franchises that brought the veteran safety in for an audition, but they’re signing him nonetheless.

The Cards and Pleasant agreed on terms Saturday, Field Yates of reports (on Twitter). Pleasant spent camp with the Patriots but was released in late August.

Prior to spending barely a month in New England, Pleasant played six seasons in Houston. The Texans used the 29-year-old veteran as a backup safety during those six years. Pleasant played in 78 games for the Texans from 2013-17. Despite not starting any games, Pleasant made a career-high 49 tackles last season, the second of a two-year deal he agreed to in 2016 to stay in Houston.

Pleasant worked out for the Packers this week, and since the start of the season traveled to Atlanta, San Francisco and Seattle for workouts that did not lead to signings. The Cardinals were without Tre Boston in a loss to the Broncos on Thursday but now have six safeties on their active roster, although Budda Baker functions as Arizona’s slot cornerback.

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Texans Activate S Andre Hal

With his cancer in remission, Andre Hal was cleared to practice this week. There’s a decent chance the Texans safety will make his season debut on Sunday.

The Texans announced they’ve activated Hal from the reserve/non-football illness list in advance of their Week 7 game against the Jaguars. The team had three weeks to activate Hal after he returned to practice on Wednesday. Being activated three days into a three-week window represents another conquest for a safety that’s overcome plenty this year.

Hal was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in June. By late September, the cancer was in remission. This is a remarkable recovery for the 26-year-old safety, who had already beaten long odds in his career by emerging as a regular starter from a seventh-round draft position.

Hal started 38 games for the Texans over the past three seasons, including all 16 last season. He may not return to a starting role immediately, but with Tyrann Mathieu and converted cornerback Kareem Jackson in place at safety, Houston could soon be deep on its defensive back line.

The Texans made room on their roster by waiving edge defender Daeshon Hall, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets.

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49ers Cut Tom Savage

Tom Savage‘s San Francisco stay may end up being brief. The 49ers announced Saturday they’ve waived the former Texans quarterback.

The team brought in Savage on Tuesday and does not have a veteran presence on its roster, with second-year man C.J. Beathard starting and rookie Nick Mullens backing him up. But the 49ers will move on without Savage for now and promote defensive back Tyvis Powell.

This is the second time Savage has been cut this year. The Saints parted ways with him prior to the season, acquiring Teddy Bridgewater to back up Drew Brees and keeping versatile QB Taysom Hill as well.

This separation may not last long, though. Savage looks to have a chance to return to the team soon, with NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco tweeting the 49ers will probably bring him back in the coming days. A need for DB depth resulted in this transaction, but should that situation clear up in the near future, Savage may return. Still, his stock’s taken a noticeable dive since being named Houston’s Week 1 starter last season.

Powell has bounced on and off the 49ers’ active roster this year. He’s up with the 53-man unit now because of injuries. Jimmie Ward is doubtful to play Sunday against the Rams, and Richard Sherman, K’Waun Williams and Ahkello Witherspoon are questionable.

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Jets Release WR Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor‘s tenure with the Jets has ended… for now.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the organization is releasing the veteran receiver. Pryor has a tear in his groin and is expected to be out for the next two weeks. Schefter notes that the organization would be interested in bringing Pryor back, but they’ll likely face competition from other teams.

Pryor is a vested veteran, and at this point on the NFL calendar, such players do not have to pass through waivers before hitting free agency. While select other teams may eye Pryor as a possible depth piece once he returns to full health, his stock has dropped since his breakout Browns year.

The well-traveled quarterback-turned-wideout battled ankle injuries in 2017 and this offseason, and the Jets weren’t using him too much earlier this year. Pryor complained about his role at the beginning of the season but stood to make a bigger impact while Quincy Enunwa is out with a high ankle sprain. With both Enunwa and Pryor out of the picture, the Jets’ once-deep wide receiver group is depleted going into Sunday’s game against the Vikings.

Gang Green will turn to 2017 starters Robby Anderson and Jermaine Kearse as its top targets in Week 7. Pryor’s release means, as of right now, only four wideouts — the aforementioned duo, Andre Roberts and Charone Peake — are on the Jets’ active roster.

While Pryor has not returned to his Browns form, he could have helped the Enunwa-less Jets. He’d caught touchdown passes in each of the past two games, hauling in five passes for 57 yards in the Jets’ Week 6 win over the Colts. For the season, Pryor has 14 receptions for 235 yards.

The former Ohio State quarterback standout was an in-demand free agent in 2017 after breaking out for 1,000-plus yards with the ’16 Browns but settled for a one-year deal with the Redskins. A lack of production and an ankle malady made him a less coveted target this offseason, but the Jets did battle other suitors in signing Pryor to a one-year, $4.5MM deal. They could have to do so again if they want to bring him back.

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Jaguars Place OT Will Richardson On IR

Another day, another Jaguars offensive tackle heading to injured reserve. Tom Pelissero of tweets that Jacksonville is placing rookie lineman Will Richardson on the IR. The move was made to make room for running back Carlos Hyde, who passed his physical and is now officially on the Jaguars’ 53-man roster.

The Jaguars have struggled with injuries up and down their roster, and Richardson will now join fellow offensive tackles Josh Wells and Cam Robinson on the injured reserve. The injuries have forced the team to rely on Josh Walker and Jermey Parnell as their starters, and the duo have underwhelmed so far this season. The move will also leave the Jaguars with only a pair of reserve offensive lineman in Ereck Flowers and Chris Reed.

Following a standout career at NC State, the Jaguars selected Richardson in the fourth round (#129) of this past year’s draft. While the rookie was active for last weekend’s game, he didn’t see the field for a regular season contest. Richardson had been dealing with a knee injury for much of the season, and the ailment has now landed him on the IR.

With Leonard Fournette continuing to deal with a hamstring injury, the Jaguars acquired Hyde from the Browns yesterday.

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NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/19/18

Here are today’s practice squad moves, with a trio of wide receivers on the move:

Buffalo Bills

Cincinatti Bengals 

  • Signed: WR Auden Tate

Indianapolis Colts

Browns Trade Carlos Hyde To Jaguars

The Browns have agreed to trade running back Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars in exchange for a 2019 fifth-round draft pick, Adam Schefter of tweets. It’s a blockbuster deal that gives the Jaguars a proven tailback in the absence of starter Leonard Fournette

Just eight months ago, Hyde signed a three-year, $15MM free agent deal with the Browns to become their No. 1 running back. But, with a pair of talented options behind him on the depth chart, the Browns pounced on the opportunity to build on their draft capital while taking a significant salary off the books.

Through six games this year, Hyde hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. He’s averaged just 3.4 yards per carry this year – a career low – though he does have five rushing touchdowns on his stat line.

Prior to joining the Browns, Hyde spent the first four years of his career with the 49ers and served as the starting running back for the final three. All in all, he averaged a solid 4.2 yards per carry in SF and a strong 4.6 yards per attempt in 2016. Hyde also offers capable hands, as evidenced by his 59 catches for 350 yards last season.

In conjunction with T.J. Yeldon, Hyde should provide the Jaguars with a competent rushing game for however long Fournette is sidelined. However, Hyde can hardly be expected to be a panacea for what ails Jacksonville. Blake Bortles‘ inconsistency is clearly costing the Jags as they’re 1-3 in their last four games. In those contests, Bortles has thrown just four touchdown passes against six picks. He’s also been sacked 13 times, so the Jags’ offensive line will have to do better in order to keep defenses honest and open holes for their new running back.

With Hyde out of the picture, the Browns should be able to increase rookie Nick Chubb‘s workload. Browns fans have good reason to be excited about the Georgia product after he amassed 105 yards and two touchdowns off of just two carries in Week 4 against the Raiders. Pass-catching wizard Duke Johnson also figures to get more touches in the team’s revamped backfield.

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Cardinals Fire OC Mike McCoy

After a disastrous 45-10 loss to the Broncos on Thursday night, the Cardinals fired offensive coordinator Mike McCoy. To replace him, the Cardinals promoted quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich

McCoy’s job security has been a topic of discussion for weeks. Through seven games, the Cardinals have averaged just 13.1 points per game, which ranks 31st in the NFL. They’re also dead last in total yards per game, third-down conversion percentage, time of possession, and rushing yards. Something had to give, and the embarrassing loss to Denver was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It’s an ironic end to McCoy’s tenure in Arizona since the Broncos fired McCoy in the midst of the 2017 season. Denver started off strong with a 3-1 start last year, but the team lost patience after a six-game losing streak knocked them out of playoff contention. This year, the Cardinals had enough after a 1-5 start and an embarrassing primetime loss in which Josh Rosen lobbed his third, fourth, and fifth interceptions of the year.

Leftwich, the Jaguars’ longtime quarterback, was brought in by former coach Bruce Arians as a coaching intern in 2016. Last year, he was hired as the team’s quarterbacks coach. Leftwich doesn’t have previous OC experience, but he did call plays in a couple of 2017 exhibition games.

I’m a pretty confident guy, but I had never done it, and I had never practiced it,” Leftwich said of his OC audition. “That’s the tough part. Knowing B.A., B.A. ain’t going to give you two weeks in practice to prepare. He gave me a 10-play period to call them. The first time I ever called plays was in the game. I wish I would have done a few things here and there better, but that’s the exciting part of growing in this business. That helped my growth.”

Leftwich will make his OC debut on Sunday, Oct. 28 against the 49ers. After that, the Cardinals have a Week 9 bye.

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Eagles Release WR Kamar Aiken

The Eagles released wide receiver Kamar Aiken, per a club announcement. Aiken’s release will make room for defensive tackle Bruce Hector, who has been promoted from the practice squad. 

Aiken is best known for his 2015 season in which he put up nearly 1,000 yards with the Ravens. The former undrafted free agent hasn’t done much lately, however. In 2017, he was in line to be the Colts’ No. 2 wide receiver, but he finished out with just 15 receptions for 133 yards.

Philadelphia originally inked Aiken to a pact this summer, but dropped him during final cutdowns. Then, prior to Week 2, he was re-signed. In five games this year (one start), Aiken had six catches and 53 yards for the Eagles.

Hector, 24, joined the Eagles as a UDFA in May. He was on the roster for four games this year before being stashed on the practice squad, and he’ll look to record his first official statistic in this go ’round.

Haloti Ngata hasn’t played since Week 4 and is questionable for this week’s game against the Panthers, so Hector will be on hand for additional depth. If Ngata can’t go, Hector could see time behind Fletcher Cox and Treyvon Hester.

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