Justin Simmons To IR, Rams And Dolphins Add Veteran Offensive Linemen

As teams prepare for Week 2, NFL roster news is beginning to pile up. Let’s start in Denver, where the Broncos are losing an essential piece of their secondary, before going around the rest of the league.

NFL roster news: Broncos place Justin Simmons on IR

The Broncos will be without Justin Simmons for at least four games, as Denver has placed the veteran safety on injured reserve with a thigh issue, according to Mike Klis of 9News. One of the Broncos’ best defensive players, Simmons had played 66 consecutive games.

Per Klis, Denver will promote defensive back Essang Bassey from their practice squad and sign Anthony Harris to their PS. Harris was on Philadelphia’s taxi squad for a brief spell, but he was cut last week.

Head coach Nathaniel Hackett told reporters that Denver is still deciding who will take Simmons’ place in the starting lineup. Caden Stearns started two games and played more than 300 defensive snaps a year ago, so he may have the edge over fellow reserve P.J. Locke. Harris, who has far more experience than either of those two options, could conceivably factor into the mix at some point down the road.

Rams sign Oday Aboushi to help banged-up OL

The Rams’ Andrew Whitworth-less offensive line had a ton of trouble with the Bills’ pass rush last Thursday night, giving up 23 pressures and failing to create any holes in the run game. To make matters worse, center Brian Allen will miss 2-4 weeks after undergoing knee surgery. Incumbent right guard Coleman Shelton will slide to center, while 2020 seventh-round pick Tremayne Anchrum will step in at RG.

Los Angeles added a bit more depth on Tuesday by signing veteran interior lineman Oday Aboushi, who started five games for the Chargers last season before tearing his ACL. The 31-year-old will initially head to the Rams’ practice squad, but it won’t be surprising if he’s promoted to the active roster shortly. The eight-year veteran has 47 starts under his belt.

Dolphins add OT Brandon Shell to practice squad

The Dolphins are dealing with offensive line injuries, too. Tackles Terron Armstead and Austin Jackson didn’t practice today, and head coach Mike McDaniel didn’t commit to either playing against the Ravens on Sunday.

With that in mind, Miami signed offensive tackle Brandon Shell to their practice squad on Wednesday, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, who adds Shell will stick on the PS for a few weeks to learn the Dolphins’ offense. Shell, 30, isn’t a world-beater by any means, but he’s been a starting NFL tackle in each of the past six seasons. Last year, he started 10 games before the Seahawks before going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

If neither Armstead nor Jackson can go on Sunday, the Dolphins will have to reconfigure their front five. Left guard Liam Eichenberg would likely move to left tackle while Robert Hunt takes over LG, and Greg Little would step in at right tackle for Jackson.

Bears place OL Alex Leatherwood on NFI

The Bears announced they’ve placed offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood on the non-football illness list and re-signed fellow OL Michael Schofield. Leatherwood — who is dealing with mononucleosis, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network — will be required to miss at least four games.

Chicago surprisingly claimed Leatherwood, a first-round pick in 2021, off waivers from the Raiders at final cutdowns, assuming the remainder of his three-year, ~$6 million contract in the process. He’s expected to play right tackle for the Bears, but he’s behind both starter Larry Borom and swing tackle Riley Reiff.

Lions sign RB Justin Jackson from PS

D’Andre Swift was missing from Lions practice on Wednesday, which could help explain why Detroit signed fellow RB Justin Jackson from the practice squad. Jackson was promoted before the Lions’ Week 1 game against the Eagles, but he only played on special teams.

Jackson is being signed to the active roster, which is different than being promoted from the practice squad. NFL teams can promote players from the PS up to three times during a season, and those players automatically revert to the taxi squad without having to pass through waivers. Jackson isn’t being promoted, so the Lions will have to cut him if they eventually want to move him back to the PS.

Ravens sign CB T.J. Carrie to practice squad

In need of cornerback depth, the Ravens have added T.J. Carrie to their practice squad. Baltimore officially placed CB Kyle Fuller on IR Wednesday after he tore his ACL against the Jets in Week 1. Carrie has started 54 games over eight NFL seasons, and he appeared in 11 games for the Colts in 2021.

Brandon Stephens will step into Baltimore’s lineup in place of Fuller, but the Ravens should eventually get Marcus Peters back, too. Rookies Jalyn Amour-Davis and Damarion Williams could see more time, and the Ravens will continue to deploy three-safety looks featuring Marcus Williams, Chuck Clark, and Kyle Hamilton. Baltimore also has CBs Kevon Seymour and Daryl Worley on their practice squad.

Chiefs, Ravens rework contracts to create cap space

Speaking of Clark, the Ravens adjusted his contract to give him more money in 2022 and add incentives, according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic. This is a “show of appreciation” after Clark was mentioned in trade rumors throughout the summer following Baltimore’s additions of fellow safeties Williams and Hamilton. The move will create $750K in cap space for the Ravens, per Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap.

Harrison Butker won’t be available for the Chiefs on Thursday night, but the Chiefs kicker got a bit of good news today. Kansas City created nearly $1.5 million in cap space by converting $2.19 million of Butker’s salary into a signing bonus, reports Field Yates of ESPN. Butker will get his money a little earlier, while the Chiefs will open up some room to get through the rest of the season.

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