Redskins Rumors

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/5/22

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

  • Signed: OT Sebastian Gutierrez

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/5/22

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

A number of players who were placed on IR after the preseason and prior to the regular season returned to practice today. These players will have a three-week practice window until they have to be activated to the active roster. Otherwise, they’ll be ineligible to return this season.

One of the most surprising returns is Cardinals cornerback Antonio Hamilton. The former undrafted free agent rode a strong preseason to a potential starting gig, but he was sidelined with second-degree burns after spilling hot oil on his legs and feet. Kliff Kingsbury previously said an early-October return may be a “little aggressive” (per ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss on Twitter), but the cornerback ended up working his way back to practice.

WR Notes: Lions, Burks, Broncos, Giants

The Lions are leading the NFL in scoring, having hit 35 points in three of their four games. They did so Sunday without Amon-Ra St. Brown and D’Andre Swift and have been playing without their No. 12 overall draft choice all season. As expected, Jameson Williams will not return to practice when first eligible. Dan Campbell confirmed the first-round pick is improving but added “several weeks” remain before practices enter the equation, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Detroit has a Week 6 bye. Campbell said it will be “a good time after” that point before the team considers Williams practicing.

An Ohio State recruit who broke through after transferring to Alabama in 2021, Williams is rehabbing the ACL tear he sustained in the national championship game. The previously mentioned midseason return, which would give Williams nearly 10 months of rehab, may not quite cover it. But the Lions are understandably playing the long game here. They are not exactly primed to contend in 2022 and could have Williams under team control through 2026, via the fifth-year option. Once Williams’ practice window is opened, the Lions have 21 days to activate him from their reserve/NFI list.

Here is the latest from the receiver scene:

  • Turf toe will pause Treylon Burks‘ rookie season. While Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes the Titans receiver is not set to undergo surgery, he will miss time (Twitter link). This absence is expected to extend beyond a couple of weeks, per Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed. That would open the door to an IR stint. Turf toe can be a nagging issue, and this ailment has cropped up after Burks cleared some offseason hurdles to put together a somewhat promising start. Burks bounced on and off the field during the offseason for the Titans, with an asthma issue contributing to his missing minicamp. Despite the first-round pick not starting Tennessee’s opener, he caught seven passes for 102 yards over his team’s first two games. The Arkansas alum will look to build on that upon return.
  • Staying with the 2022 receiver draft class, the Commanders are set to be without their first-round pick for a stretch. A hamstring injury will likely sideline Jahan Dotson for at least two games, Ron Rivera said. Dotson has proven to be a solid contributor early, catching three touchdown passes in four weeks.
  • The Broncos, who have now lost two skill-position starters to season-ending ACL tears, are planning to elevate K.J. Hamler‘s role. Nathaniel Hackett said the 2020 second-round pick is a player the team must involve more in its game plans, via the Denver Post’s Parker Gabriel (on Twitter). Although Hamler caught a well-placed 55-yard pass in Week 4 to set up a Denver touchdown, he played four snaps in Las Vegas. Considering the Broncos are without Tim Patrick for the season, Hamler not seeing much action surprises. But the Penn State-developed speedster suffered an ACL tear and a hip injury — one the Broncos feared was a Bo Jackson-type malady — in Week 3 last season. With the team holding him out in Week 2 because of his previous injury, Hamler is still attempting to surmount that setback. During this process, the Broncos have used Kendall Hinton as their No. 3 wideout.
  • Sterling Shepard confirmed (via The Athletic’s Dan Duggan, on Twitter) he did not suffer any damage beyond his ACL tear, though the seventh-year Giants wideout estimated his tear actually occurred two plays before he went down. Shepard, who will undergo surgery this month, agreed to a pay cut to stay this offseason — which followed a 2021 Achilles tear. This latest injury could put the former second-round pick’s career in jeopardy.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/4/22

Today’s practice squad moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Commanders Activate RB Brian Robinson

OCTOBER 3: As expected, the team is indeed opening the three-week window for Robinson’s return to practice, head coach Ron Rivera confirmed on Monday.

OCTOBER 2: The Commanders are expected to activate running back Brian Robinson from the reserve/NFI list this week, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. While Robinson has been trending in the right direction, this news is nonetheless a welcome development given that he suffered multiple gunshot wounds in an attempted carjacking at the end of August.

Robinson, a third-round rookie, was impressive in spring work and in training camp, leading to reports that he could be in line for the RB1 role, ahead of 2020-21 starter Antonio Gibson. Robinson took on a larger offensive workload in the early stages of the preseason, whereas Gibson was used as a kick returner for the first time in his pro career. Then, in the preseason finale, Robinson sat out, another sign that he was poised to work with the starting offense.

Shortly after the shooting, it was reported that Robinson was eyeing a return to the field this season, and in the middle of September, we learned that the Alabama product was already doing footwork and agility drills, which suggested that he was getting closer to game action. Rapoport cautions that Robinson is not necessarily assured of playing in Washington’s Week 5 matchup against the Titans; his activation would simply open a three-week window for him to practice before he either has to play or else be shut down for the remainder of the year.

John Keim of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that Robinson will have his right leg reexamined today (the gunshots hit his hip and knee, though there was no serious damage to his ligaments, tendons, or bones). Assuming the examination goes well, he would be activated Monday and practice on Wednesday. In his absence, Gibson and J.D. McKissic have split reps in the offensive backfield, with Gibson taking most of the handoffs and McKissic being used in more of a receiver role. Gibson has rushed 40 times for 124 yards, good for a meager 3.1 YPC average. Washington is ranked in the bottom-eight in the league in terms of rushing offense, so the club is doubtlessly eager to get Robinson going.

In other injury news, defensive end Chase Young, who is recovering from an ACL tear, is continuing to target a midseason return. That is consistent with what we heard in August. Center Tyler Larsen, meanwhile, will come off the PUP list this coming week and will be evaluated in practice (Twitter link via Keim). Larsen, who started three games for the Commanders last year, is dealing with an Achilles injury.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/1/22

Today’s minor moves around the league, including practice squad elevations for tomorrow’s action:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

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

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Commanders Place OL Wes Schweitzer On IR

The Commanders have been dealt another blow on the offensive front. Veteran interior lineman Wes Schweitzer has been placed on IR, per a team announcement. The news comes after he was held out of practice this week with a concussion, and guarantees that he will miss at least the next four games. 

The 29-year-old played every snap in the team’s Week 3 loss to the Eagles, after missing the previous contest and leaving the season opener early. He began the year as the starting right guard, but changes were required after center Chase Roullier suffered a major knee injury. That shifted Schweitzer to the middle, though he did nothing to help his PFF rating for the year. With a pass protection grade of 21.6, the San Jose State product has given up six pressures in limited action this year.

As a result, Washington will likely turn to Nick Martin on Sunday. The veteran signed just over one week ago as an insurance option in the wake of Roullier’s injury. The former Texans second-rounder was a full-time starter during his time in Houston, but he was relegated to backup duties last year with the Raiders. The absence of both Roullier and Schweitzer could clear the way for him to once again take on first-team duties.

Elsewhere on the o-line, left tackle Charles Leno is dealing with a shoulder injury, though he is expected to play on Sunday. Still, with Schweitzer joining Roullier and reserve linemen Willie Beavers on IR, the unit will be one to watch as the Commanders look to move to 2-2 against the Cowboys.

2022 NFL Cap Space, By Team

As we exit September, trade rumors will become a steady NFL topic. This year’s deadline falls on Nov. 1. That will return cap-space discussions to the forefront. Here is how every team stacks up financially going into October, via Over The Cap.

  1. Cleveland Browns: $35.94MM
  2. Philadelphia Eagles: $10.89MM
  3. Denver Broncos: $10.67MM
  4. Carolina Panthers: $10.47MM
  5. Las Vegas Raiders: $10.35MM
  6. Dallas Cowboys: $9.25MM
  7. Pittsburgh Steelers: $8.64MM
  8. Green Bay Packers: $8.57MM
  9. Indianapolis Colts: $7.97MM
  10. Atlanta Falcons: $7.92MM
  11. New York Jets: $6.97MM
  12. Chicago Bears: $6.84MM
  13. San Francisco 49ers: $6.75MM
  14. Miami Dolphins: $6.51MM
  15. Arizona Cardinals: $6.25MM
  16. Los Angeles Chargers: $5.83MM
  17. New York Giants: $5.49MM
  18. Jacksonville Jaguars: $5.41MM
  19. Los Angeles Rams: $5.38MM
  20. Baltimore Ravens: $4.51MM
  21. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: $3.87MM
  22. New England Patriots: $3.5MM
  23. Cincinnati Bengals: $3.16MM
  24. New Orleans Saints: $2.86MM
  25. Detroit Lions: $2.64MM
  26. Washington Commanders: $2.58MM
  27. Buffalo Bills: $2.44MM
  28. Tennessee Titans: $2.41MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks: $2.28MM
  30. Kansas City Chiefs: $2.12MM
  31. Houston Texans: $1.64MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings: $1.47MM

The Eagles’ number is certainly far closer to the Vikings’ last-place figure than what the Browns have stockpiled. Cleveland would stand to have room to augment its 2022 roster, via a patient free agent or a trade. That could depend on where Jacoby Brissett has the team stationed going into the Nov. 1 deadline. But the Browns also appear to be preparing for their Deshaun Watson future. Watson’s unprecedented contract spikes from a $9.4MM cap number (2022) to a record-shattering $54.99MM numbers from 2023-26. As that reality awaits, the Browns rolling over cap space to 2023 would be prudent.

With Sterling Shepard‘s ACL tear moving the veteran wide receiver to IR, the Giants will need to both cover that cost ($6.3MM) and add a contract to fill the roster spot. Every team will go through versions of that issue this season, as injuries pile up. The Giants are prepared to eat a significant chunk of Kenny Golladay‘s 2022 base salary ($13MM) to move him, eyeing an escape from his $4.5MM 2023 guarantee. No takers have emerged, though it will be interesting to see if a market for the former Pro Bowler forms once injuries affect more teams’ receiver situations.

Since their Jimmy Garoppolo restructure, the 49ers agreed to a two-year extension with Dre Greenlaw. The team is not expected to extend Nick Bosa until 2023, however. The Texans, Falcons, Bears and Eagles all sit north of $60MM in dead money, meaning more than a quarter of their respective cap space is tied to players no longer on the roster. Watson, Matt Ryan and Khalil Mack are responsible for massive dead-money hits on the Houston, Atlanta and Chicago payrolls. Philadelphia still has Alshon Jeffery, Malik Jackson and Brandon Brooks dead money on its cap sheet.

Commanders COO Leaves Team

Tyler Smith‘s transition from training camp left guard to September left tackle has changed the Cowboys‘ plans regarding Jason Peters. After viewing him as a swing tackle who could step in if Smith struggled, Peters worked at guard in his Dallas debut Monday. The plan is now for Peters to exclusively play guard, Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus notes. Monday’s 14-snap guard cameo represented Peters’ first in-game foray at a non-left tackle spot in over a decade. The Cowboys limited Peters’ workload due to only four practices working at guard, Kyed adds. An uptick should be expected in Week 4. It will be interesting how the Cowboys use Peters when Connor McGovern returns from his high ankle sprain; McGovern has missed the past two weeks. The team’s approach with Tyron Smith now becomes more intriguing as well, with the All-Pro left tackle not ruled out for the season. But Tyler Smith, who has always been viewed as the Cowboys’ left tackle of the future, has seized the blindside gig.

Here is the latest from the NFC East:

  • The Eagles wrapped their Carson Wentz reunion with a nine-sack performance, shutting down the Commanders in a Week 3 rout. One of the reasons Wentz played just two seasons on his 2019 Philadelphia extension was his reluctance to play within the confines of Doug Pederson‘s system, Tim McManus of ESPN.com writes. Being stripped of in-game freedom irked the former No. 2 overall pick during his final Eagles season, McManus adds. Wentz audibles were an issue in Philly’s disastrous 2020 campaign, which saw him benched for second-round rookie Jalen Hurts. The Eagles, who traded Wentz to the Colts for first- and third-round picks, no longer have any dead money on their books from that transaction. Hurts will become extension-eligible in January; the Commanders remain committed to Wentz as their starter.
  • The Commanders are looking for a new COO. Greg Resh, who had worked in that role for just more than a year, left the organization recently, J.P. Finlay of NBC Sports Washington tweets. Resh left the team for a non-NFL job in Baltimore. This obviously comes at a rocky point for the franchise, which has seen owner Dan Snyder in Congress’ crosshairs. Resh is the 13th high-ranking Washington exec to leave the team over the past 18 months, Peter King of NBC Sports notes.
  • Former Buccaneers wide receiver/return specialist Cyril Grayson visited the Commanders, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Bucs waived Grayson with an injury settlement earlier this month. A former sprint standout at LSU, Grayson has bounced around the NFL since 2017. The 28-year-old speedster caught 10 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns last season.
  • Giants cornerback Rodarius Williams is eligible to return from IR next week. The 2021 sixth-round pick is recovering from knee surgery, according to The Athletic’s Dan Duggan (on Twitter). Williams dealt with a bone-spur issue during training camp, but Duggan adds he is moving well and could be ready to return in Week 5. The Giants would need to use one of their eight IR activations to bring Williams back.

Commanders Committed To Carson Wentz As Starting QB

For the Commanders, attempting to find a long-term franchise quarterback over the past several years has been akin to pulling teeth. They made another noteworthy move this offseason to address the issue, but the team’s top acquisition is already the subject of questions regarding his No. 1 status. 

After struggling mightily during Sunday’s game against the Eagles, Commanders head coach Ron Rivera was asked if he was considering benching Carson Wentz. He replied, quite simply, “No. I’m not” (Twitter link via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.

During Washington’s 24-8 loss, Wentz and the offense were held off the scoreboard until the closing minutes of the contest. Overall, his first game against the team that drafted him second overall in 2016 finished with 211 yards, nine sacks taken and a QBR of 71. That marked a stark contrast to his performance during the two previous weeks, in which the 29-year-old totaled 650 passing yards and seven touchdowns (along with three interceptions).

After his one-year stint with the Colts ended in a late-season collapse which kept the team out of the playoffs, Wentz fell out of favor with Indianapolis’ front office. That led to plenty of trade speculation in anticipation of the league’s fervent QB market this offseason; ultimately, the Commanders took on the full remainder of his contract in a trade aimed at stabilizing the position for at least the immediate future.

Washington has also been linked to a number of other passers who were – or were intended to be – on the move in recent months. Included on that list is Jimmy Garoppolo, who has resumed his role of starter for the 49ers due to Trey Lance‘s season-ending injury. That leaves the Commanders with Wentz, the eleventh different quarterback to start a regular season contest for them since Kirk Cousins‘ departure in 2018.

The North Dakota State product has two years remaining on his current deal after this one, with cap hits just over $26MM and $27MM, respectively. None of that compensation is guaranteed, however, so Washington could move on from him as early as this offseason. With the backing of his head coach, he still has a hold on the starter’s job for the 2022 season to earn his way into an extended stay in the nation’s capital.