Walt Powell

Bills Release WR Walt Powell

The Bills announced that they have release wide receiver Walt Powell. Powell was set to come back from suspension after serving a four-game ban to start the year. Walt Powell (vertical)

[RELATED: Bills’ Jordan Matthews To Have Thumb Surgery]

The release is not a great endorsement of Powell’s skill set, particularly since Jordan Matthews is dealing with a thumb injury that will keep him sidelined for at least one month. With Powell out of the picture, Buffalo may look to bump either Malachi Dupre or Brandon Reilly from the taxi squad to fill the void.

Powell first entered the league as a sixth round pick of the Cardinals in 2014. Since then, he has bounced around the league quite a bit including stints with the Jets, Raiders, and Bills (twice). Powell was hoping to bounce back in 2017 after last year’s campaign was cut short by a November ankle injury. He’ll have try and make that happen somewhere else, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Brissett, Ajayi, Bills

We heard last week that Jacoby Brissett‘s place on the Patriots‘ roster may not be safe, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe doubled down on that report this week. Volin reiterated that Brissett’s performance in the spring and in training camp has left much to be desired, and he says it is fair to wonder whether the Patriots refused to deal Jimmy Garoppolo because they believe Garoppolo represents their future, or because they have no faith in Brissett should Tom Brady be forced to miss time (in truth, it is surely some combination of the two). In any event, Volin opines that New England may have to keep Garoppolo next year, even if that means putting the franchise tag on him (at an estimated $25-26MM cost). After all, the team will still be loaded with talent and should be a championship contender in 2018, but a Brady injury could waste all of that talent if the No. 2 QB cannot adequately replace him.

Now for more from the AFC East:

  • Dolphins RB Jay Ajayi is still in concussion protocol, but he did practice today and the team is excited about his progress, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald tweets. Ajayai left practice early with a trainer, but that was due to a hydration issue, Jackson notes.
  • Dolphins second-round draft choice Raekwon McMillan, who was expected to see significant time at middle linebacker this season, tore his ACL while playing on the punt coverage team in Miami’s first preseason tilt Thursday night. He will now miss his entire rookie season, and head coach Adam Gase has been predictably criticized for using a player of McMillan’s importance on special teams. Roy Cummings of Florida Football Insiders believes such criticism is unwarranted, writing that a head coach cannot field kickoff, kickoff return, punt coverage, and punt return teams without playing first- or second-year guys. Likewise, you cannot expect those players to perform well on special teams in the regular season if they do not see live action in the preseason.
  • Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News offers his take on which wide receivers will make the Bills‘ roster after the team dealt Sammy Watkins and acquired Jordan Matthews. Skurski says Matthews, Zay Jones, and Anquan Boldin will make the club, which is a given, and he adds that Rod Streater is likely to earn a spot due to his excellent camp. Skurski says he currently projects Andre Holmes and Brandon Tate to round out the WR corps, but the fact that cutting Holmes could help the team land a high compensatory draft choice next season certainly works against him. If Holmes should be cut, Walter Powell could find himself on the 53-man come Week 1.
  • Christian Hackenberg played fairly well in the Jets‘ first preseason game last night, thereby creating more fodder for Gang Green’s starting QB discussion. But as Laura Albanese of Newsday writes, there are other competitions worth watching. For instance, the battle for the team’s starting center position is tighter than originally anticipated, as Jonotthan Harrison is putting pressure on presumed starter Wesley Johnson. Likewise, Albanese writes that Brent Qvale and Brandon Shell appear to be neck-and-neck in their race for the Jets’ right tackle job.

Bills WR Walter Powell Hit With Suspension

Bills wide receiver/kick returner Walter Powell suspended for the first four games of the season, according to a team announcement. Powell has violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing substances. Walter Powell (vertical)

Powell, 25, first entered the league as a sixth round pick of the Cardinals in 2014. Since then, he has bounced around the league quite a bit including stints with the Jets, Raiders, and Bills (twice). Powell was hoping to bounce back in 2017 after last year’s campaign was cut short by a November ankle injury.

The Bills are looking a bit thin at wide receiver, particularly when considering how injury prone top receiver Sammy Watkins is, but Powell still didn’t figure to be a major contributor this season. Although Powell had a chance at making the 53-man roster due to his return acumen, it’s not likely that he’ll make the final cut now. The Bills have several other receivers under contract, including free agent additions Corey Brown, Andre Holmes, Rod Streater, and Jeremy Butler.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/22/15

Tuesdays are typically busy days for roster changes during the NFL regular season, and even with the holidays around the corner, this week is no different. Here are the latest minor transactions from around the league:

  • The Packers announced that they’ve placed long snapper Brett Goode on injured reserve, signing fellow snapper Rick Lovato to take his place. Per Wes Hodkiewicz of PackersNews.com (Twitter link), Goode tore his ACL during Sunday’s game against the Raiders.
  • The Bears announced (via Twitter) that they’ve promoted defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith from the practice squad, waiving running back Antone Smith to create a roster spot. D’Anthony has spent time with the Jaguars, Lions, and Seahawks, while Antone had seen just one carry for Chicago this year.
  • With Marcus Mariota ailing, the Titans have signed quarterback Alex Tanney off the Colts’ practice squad, reports Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com (Twitter link). Tanney, known for his “trick-shot” Youtube videos, will back up Zach Mettenberger on Sunday. Tennessee placed defensive tackle Mike Martin on injured reserve to create a roster spot.

Earlier updates:

  • The 49ers have signed running back DuJuan Harris from off the Ravens‘ practice squad, cutting running back Travaris Cadet to make room, tweets Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com noted this afternoon (via Twitter) that the knee injury sustained by Shaun Draughn didn’t appear to be serious, but the club wanted to add some insurance just in case. San Francisco may get some added insurance in the form of Mike Davis, who is currently on the IR-DTR list, and will begin practicing this week, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link).
  • After somehow playing through a fractured fibula for three quarters on Sunday, safety David Bruton will head to injured reserve, officially ending his season, the Broncos confirmed today in a press release. Safety Shaun Prater will take the open spot on the roster, with Bruton expected to require four to six weeks to recover from his injury.
  • As expected, the Browns formally placed starting right guard John Greco on injured reserve today, per a team release. Cleveland has re-signed wide receiver Darius Jennings to the roster, after waiving him last week.
  • The Buccaneers have filled the opening on their 53-man roster by promoting wide receiver Evan Spencer from their practice squad, the team announced today in a press release. Spencer was selected in the sixth round of this year’s draft by Washington.
  • The Bills are elevating wide receiver Walter Powell to their active roster from the practice squad, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Powell figures to replace Robert Woods, who is expected to land on IR.
  • Giants fullback Nikita Whitlock is headed to the injured reserve list, reports Jordan Raanan of NJ.com. Whitlock suffered a knee injury that isn’t expected to be a long-term issue, but it will keep him sidelined for the club’s last couple games of the season.

Bills Announce Several Roster Changes

It has been a busy day of transactions for the Bills, who are turning over four spots on their 53-man roster today. Here’s a breakdown of Tuesday’s moves by Buffalo, via a team release:

Signed:

Promoted from practice squad:

Waived:

Placed on injured reserve:

Placed on reserve/non-football illness list:

The Bills’ receiving corps has undergone a significant overhaul, with three of the new additions to the roster coming at that position, while Woods heads to IR and Thigpen lands on waivers.

Among the most noteworthy moves today for the Bills is Henderson being placed on the reserve/NFI list — a report last week suggested that the team’s starting right tackle had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel condition, though the club has yet to confirm that.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/6/15

Here are Friday’s practice squad signings and cuts from around the NFL, updated throughout the day:

Buffalo Bills

Pittsburgh Steelers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/3/15

Here are Tuesday’s minor signings, cuts, and other non-trade transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Raiders cut wide receiver/kick returner Walter Powell, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets.
  • The Saints signed wide receiver T.J. Graham while cutting fullback Austin Johnson and safety Akeem Davis, according to Evan Woodbery of The Times-Picayune (Twitter links).

Earlier Updates:

  • The Chargers, once again dealing with a banged-up offensive line, are re-signing veteran center J.D. Walton, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Chris Watt, who had seen some time at center, was among San Diego’s offensive linemen who left Sunday’s game against the Ravens due to an injury.
  • With Keenan Allen headed to the injured reserve list, the Chargers will also be signing wide receiver Javontee Herndon, who had been on the club’s practice squad, per Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). Herndon certainly won’t be counted on to emulate Allen’s production, but he’ll provide some depth for San Diego’s receiving corps.
  • The Texans are signing former Chiefs sixth-round pick Eric Kush to their 53-man roster, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). The 26-year-old interior offensive lineman will join the Houston roster in the wake of a knee injury to C/G Greg Mancz, who has been placed on IR, Wilson observes (via Twitter).
  • Former Jaguars linebacker James-Michael Johnson is signing with the Lions, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. While Johnson didn’t see much action for either the Jags or Bucs this season, he earned 18 starts for the Browns and Chiefs from 2012 to 2014.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/17/15

Here are Saturday’s minor moves from around the NFL. We’ll keep the list updated throughout the day…

  • The Raiders added wide receiver and kick returner Walt Powell to their 53-man roster and signed strong safety Keenan Lambert to their practice squad, according to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). A Cardinals sixth-round pick in 2014, Powell played in 14 games for the Jets as a rookie. Oakland waived Lambert, who began the year in training camp with the Seahawks, two days ago, and the defender cleared waivers to enable a practice squad signing.
  • The Chargers placed rookie sixth-round pick Darius Philon on IR-DTR and promoted guard/tackle Michael Ola from their practice squad, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (on Twitter). With the Bolts still struggling with offensive line injuries, a need for Ola emerged. A former UDFA, Ola started 12 games with the Bears in 2014. Philon, a defensive end who’s been backing up Kendall Reyes, been active in each of the Chargers’ five contests thus far this season but now will miss most of the regular season’s remainder with a hip malady. Week 14 represents Philon’s earliest return date.
  • The Titans signed Justin Staples to their active roster and placed Deiontrez Mount on IR, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (via Twitter). Mount, a rookie sixth-round defensive end, suffered a torn ACL. A third-year linebacker, Staples played six games with the Titans in 2014 after entering the league as a UDFA.
  • Hard Knocks fan favorite cornerback Charles James received notice of being cut by the Ravens, with the team signing running back Terrance Magee, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun reports (on Twitter). The Ravens placed Lorenzo Taliaferro on IR this week, creating a spot for Magee. Zreibec also notes (on Twitter) this may be a depth move to protect the team in case Justin Forsett, who is questionable for Sunday’s game against the 49ers with an ankle ailment, doesn’t play this week. A rookie undrafted free agent out of LSU, Magee signed with the Ravens initially in May. Prior to being waived by the Texans in September, James played in 13 games with the Giants in 2013.
  • The Broncos have promoted running back Kapri Bibbs from the practice squad, reports Mike Klis of 9News in Denver (via Twitter). The team also released tight end Richard Gordon, who was just added to the roster earlier this week.

Earlier updates:

  • The Colts have released kick returner Marcus Thigpen and called up linebacker Amarlo Herrera to take his roster spot, reports Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). With Jerrell Freeman and Nate Irving both struggling with injuries, the Colts were clearly looking for some reinforcement on defense. Thigpen previously saw time with the Bills this season, returning 12 combined punts and kickoffs.
  • The Bears have signed nose tackle Bruce Gaston from the Packers practice squad, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times. The second-year player had made a pair of appearances with Green Bay this season. He’s expected to provide the Bears with some depth on the defensive line, where Ego Ferguson, Will Sutton and Jeremiah Ratliff are all banged up.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/16/15

Friday’s minor transactions from around the NFL:

  • The Jaguars cut linebacker John Lotulelei from injured reserve with an injury settlement, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter). The 23-year-old had been a member of the Jacksonville organization since 2013, though he didn’t appear in any games with the team. He played in two games as a Seahawk in 2013 and made three tackles.
  • The Raiders signed wide receiver/return man Walter Powell off Buffalo’s practice squad, according to ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). Powell appeared in four games for the Jets in 2014 and logged 20 returns (eight kicks, 12 punts).