Tyler Higbee

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/24/21

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

Baltimore Ravens

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: S Chuck Clark, C Trystan Colon
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Nate McCrary
  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: QB Chris Streveler

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: DB Jordan Fuller, TE Tyler Higbee
  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Cole Williamson

Miami Dolphins

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: RB Gerrid Doaks

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Travis Homer
  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: OL Pier-Olivier Lestage

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/17/21

Today’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Rams

New Orleans Saints

  • Activated from Reserve/COVID-19 List: RB Mark Ingram

New York Giants

Washington Football Team

Rams Place Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Higbee On COVID-19 List

The Rams have placed cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Dont’e Deayon , along with tight end Tyler Higbee on the COVID-19 reserve list, per a club announcement. As well, Robert Rochell has been placed on Injured Reserve. With that, all four players will be ineligible for tonight’s marquee matchup against the Cardinals. 

The Cardinals can effectively lock up the NFC West crown with a win tonight, leaving the Rams to jockey for Wild Card placement. If Arizona was to complete the season sweep of L.A., they would remain atop the NFC at 11-2, while the loss would drop the Rams to 8-5.

Ramsey’s absence is a huge loss for a secondary that will be facing a Cardinals attack which has recently gotten back to full strength with a healthy Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins. Ramsey has 59 tackles and three interception in 2021. Without him, Darious Williams will be forced into an even heavier workload, as will David Long Jr., as the Rams’ cornerback room is suddenly dangerously thin.

Offensively, the loss of Higbee will be felt in the Rams’ passing attack. He had produced 44 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns so far this year. Already without wide receiver Robert Woods for the remainder of 2021, even more snaps and targets will likely be coming the way of recently-acquired Odell Beckham Jr. along with sophomore Van Jefferson.

The Cardinals won the first matchup of the season, 37-20, in Week 4. Even more than initially thought, Beckham along with Von Miller – both of whom were acquired after that game – will be counted on for the Rams.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Rumors: Hicks, Higbee, 49ers

One of two Cardinals linebackers mentioned in trade rumors this offseason, Jordan Hicks will join Chandler Jones in being with the team when it begins its season Sunday. The Cardinals gave Hicks permission to seek a trade in May, after drafting Zaven Collins in Round 1 and anointing him the starter alongside Isaiah Simmons. But nothing materialized. GM Steve Keim said Hicks, despite his demotion, will play “a strong role” on this year’s Arizona defense, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. Citing Simmons’ positional flexibility, Keim said there will be times when Simmons, Collins and Hicks line up together. The Cards have devoted considerable resources to their off-ball linebacker spots, drafting Simmons and Collins in the first round — after taking Haason Reddick in the 2017 first round and slotting him off the ball for most of his run — and signing Hicks to a four-year, $36MM deal in 2019. Hicks accepted a $3MM salary cut in March, and the 32-game Cardinal starter’s workload will certainly be reduced from the 100% and 92% defensive snap rates of the past two seasons.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Rams still reside near the bottom of the NFL in cap space, but they created some breathing room by restructuring Tyler Higbee‘s deal. The team added $1.65MM in space by moving some of Higbee’s base salary into a signing bonus, Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com tweets. Prior to this move, the franchise held less than $1MM in cap room. Higbee signed a four-year, $31MM extension in 2019. This week’s move dropped his 2021 base salary to just more than $1MM.
  • Josh Norman is set to play a 10th NFL season and do so with a fourth team, having signed with the 49ers this week. However, Norman’s camp and the 49ers discussed a deal for months, the veteran cornerback said Friday (via KNBR). Norman, 33, has played with Carolina, Washington and Buffalo. He will join a 49ers team that was already thin at cornerback before listing Emmanuel Moseley as doubtful for Week 1. San Francisco has injury-prone Jason Verrett stationed as its other top outside corner. Norman, who has not returned to a Pro Bowl since his standout 2015 contract year, played 344 defensive snaps with the Bills last season.
  • The 49ers will begin their season without one of their assistant coaches. Linebackers coach Johnny Holland recently stepped away from the team due to a battle with multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells, Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com notes. This is the second time Holland has left the 49ers because of his cancer battle; he did so in 2019 after initially being diagnosed. The fifth-year 49ers assistant began treatment this week. Holland, 56, has been an NFL assistant for more than 20 years, beginning in 1995 with the Packers, for whom he played linebacker in the late 1980s and early ’90s. Holland has worked with Kyle Shanahan dating back to their days as Texans assistants in the 2000s.

Injury Roundup: Hilton, Lions, Bolts, Rams

It’s looking like the Colts‘ passing attack will have to operate without its top weapon Sunday. T.Y. Hilton drew a doubtful designation on Indianapolis’ Friday injury report. He did not practice all week. The eighth-year wideout left the Colts’ Week 3 win with a quadriceps injury, and although the Raiders enter Week 4 ranked 30th in pass defense DVOA, the Colts went 0-2 without Hilton last season. They are already down previous starter Devin Funchess, who sits on IR. The Colts also ruled Darius Leonard out for a second straight week. The All-Pro linebacker remains in concussion protocol.

Here is the latest from the Week 4 injury front:

  • Matthew Stafford popped up on the Lions‘ injury report Friday; he’s listed as questionable with a hip malady. While Stafford should be expected to play, given that he’s played through injuries in recent years and holds the league’s third-longest active start streak among QBs with 131, this is a less-than-ideal scenario going into a key inter-conference matchup with the Chiefs. Rookie UDFA David Blough has been Stafford’s backup this season, though Jeff Driskel is now on Detroit’s 53-man roster.
  • That matchup will not include Chiefs starting running back Damien Williams, who will miss a second straight game with a knee ailment. LeSean McCoy put together two full practices this week and will likely team up with Darrel Williams, as he did last week, in Detroit.
  • Good news for the Rams‘ offense. Sean McVay said both Austin Blythe and Tyler Higbee will be available against the Buccaneers on Sunday, per Lindsey Thiry of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Blythe missed Los Angeles’ Week 3 game with a sprained ankle, while Higbee has been sidelined with a lung contusion.
  • Another Chargers game will unfold without their primary kicker option. The Bolts ruled out Michael Badgley for a fourth straight contest. Punter Ty Long‘s multipurpose afternoons will continue. Long made both of his field goal tries last week after missing two in Week 2.
  • Additionally for the Bolts, they will be without Mike Williams. He’s been declared out with a back injury. Travis Benjamin will head to Miami as doubtful to play, meaning Dontrelle Inman and Geremy Davis stand as the Chargers’ only two healthy auxiliary wideouts. This marks Williams’ second injury of the season. A knee problem plagued the third-year target earlier this month but did not force him to miss any time.
  • The Vikings‘ No. 2-ranked rushing attack will be tested in Chicago this week, and right guard starter Josh Kline will not play a part in the NFC North contest. The free agent acquisition will miss Sunday’s game with a concussion that kept him out of practice this week. This will end Kline’s 49-start streak. Veteran Dakota Dozier will start, per Mark Craig of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Dozier has started eight games in his six-season career, which included a Week 2 start in place of Pat Elflein.

Rams, Tyler Higbee Agree To Extension

Another day, another extension for the Rams. On Thursday morning, they reached agreement on a new four-year deal with tight end Tyler Higbee (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter). 

[RELATED: Rams, Jared Goff Agree To Extension]

After Tuesday’s massive deal for Jared Goff, the Rams managed to lock up one of the quarterback’s favorite targets. The new pact will keep Higbee’s 2019 agreement in tact while locking him up through the 2023 season.

The 26-year-old is one of the game’s most promising young TEs, and the new deal pays him accordingly – he’s cracked the top ten at the position for average yearly compensation. The deal has a base value of $31.025MM, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter) hears. He’s guaranteed $15.5MM and, with incentives, he could earn up to $36MM.

The fourth-year pro shares L.A’s tight end spotlight with Gerald Everett, though Everett is utilized more as a receiver. Last year, Higbee finished out with 24 catches for 292 yards and two scores.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2019 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $2MM in 2019. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Vikings, Rams Discussed TE Tyler Higbee

Kyle Rudolph has been the Vikings’ top tight end for nearly the entire decade, but the team was eyeing a complementary weapon.

The Vikings discussed acquiring Rams tight end Tyler Higbee last year, Ben Goessling of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports (on Twitter). The teams did exchange offers, the Rams wanting a sixth-round pick but the Vikings offering a seventh, per Goessling, adding the talks broke off shortly after.

A three-year Rams supporting-cast cog, Higbee was a 2016 fourth-round pick. He and rookie second-rounder Gerald Everett comprise Los Angeles’ tight end corps, with Everett being used more as a receiver. Higbee finished this regular season with 24 receptions for 292 yards and two touchdowns.

Minnesota has Rudolph signed through the 2019 season, but no guaranteed money (and a $7.25MM base salary) remain on the 29-year-old pass-catcher’s contract. No Vikings backup tight end caught more than 11 passes this season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams TE Tyler Higbee Pleads Guilty To Assault

Los Angeles Ram tight end Tyler Higbee has pleaded guilty to an assault charge stemming from a 2016 confrontation, according to the Associated Press. The 24-year-old will be required to perform 250 hours worth of community service and pay the victim an undisclosed amount of money. As a result of him pleading guilty to second-degree “assault under extreme emotional disturbance,” he will avoid jail time.

Tyler Higbee (vertical)Back in 2016, the tight end had pleaded not guilty to the charges, claiming that the other man initiated the fight when he placed his hands on Higbee’s girlfriend. Bowling Green Police say the NFL player punched the victim, Nawaf Alsaleh, causing a concussion.

“We feel like it’s a fair resolution to what was an unfortunate incident,” attorney Brian Lowder told Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times.

The confrontation took place shortly before the 2016 draft, but the Rams still selected the Western Kentucky product in the fourth round. Higbee appeared in all 16 games during his rookie campaign, hauling in 11 receptions for 85 yards and one touchdown. The 6-foot-6 weapon also collected a pair of tackles on special teams.

The Rams selected Gerald Everett in the second round of this past year’s draft, meaning Higbee will presumably be competing with Cory Harkey and Temarrick Hemingway for second-team reps.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams Sign Entire Draft Class

The Rams announced that they have signed their entire 2016 draft class. It was long expected that the Rams would all sign their rookies on the same day in June, as the team has done in recent years. Rams Helmet (Featured)

This morning, word leaked out that the Rams and No. 1 overall pick Jared Goff had agreed to terms on his contract. Of course, thanks to the rookie slotting in the latest CBA, contract negotiations are, by and large, pretty painless. The only exception to that is in the third round where there is a little more wiggle room between players and teams, but the Rams did not have any third-round picks in this year’s draft thanks to the massive haul of picks they sent to the Titans in order to select Goff.

After Goff, the Rams’ next highest draft pick was Western Kentucky tight end Tyler Higbee. In the weeks leading up to the draft, Higbee made headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was charged with second-degree assault. One scout expressed concern about Higbee shortly after he was selected by L.A.:

“He is a major partier,” said the anonymous scout. “That was his big problem, despite the arrests. He has a lot of maturing to do, and I’m not sure he can mature fast enough.”

The 23-year-old was considered a potential third-round talent, but the charges predictably impacted his stock. Higbee caught 48 passes for 563 yards and eight touchdowns last season but missed five games due to a knee injury. When asked about the injury at his pro day, the WKU product told reporters he was 75-80% recovered.

Here is the complete rundown of the Rams’ entire 2016 draft class:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.