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Week Nine injury report roundup

Joseph Fauria, Morris Claiborne AP

Over the course of the week, there are a lot of posts about the most prominent injured players but we know that you might not see all of them and that some others may fall through the cracks. As a result, we’ll comb through all the injury reports every Friday afternoon so that there’s one stop for all the news from every team playing on Sunday.

Falcons at Panthers

Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (hamstring) is questionable after returning to practice on Friday, but linebacker Stephen Nicholas (thigh) remains out. Tackle Sam Baker (knee), safety William Moore (hip) and defensive end Osi Umenyiora (knee) are also questionable. The only Panther listed at anything other than probable is questionable linebacker Chase Blackburn (foot).

Saints at Jets

A slew of Saints, including tight end Jimmy Graham (foot) and safety Kenny Vaccaro (concussion, back), are questionable. The Jets could be without tight end Jeff Cumberland, who has yet to be cleared after a concussion. Guard Willie Colon (calf), running back Alex Green (hamstring) and center Nick Mangold (ribs) are also listed as questionable.

Chiefs at Bills

The Chiefs will have wide receiver Dwayne Bowe (groin), running back Jamaal Charles (knee) and eight other probable players. Defensive end Mike Catapano (ankle) is out. It looks like the Bills won’t have Thaddeus Lewis at quarterback on Sunday as he’s been listed as doubtful with the sore ribs that kept him out of practice most of the week. Running back C.J. Spiller (ankle) is probable to make his return to action.

Vikings at Cowboys

The Vikings will be without running back Matt Asiata (shoulder), cornerback Chris Cook (hip), tight end Rhett Ellison (ankle), defensive tackle Fred Evans (knee) and safety Jamarca Sanford (groin). The Cowboys will definitely be without cornerback Morris Claiborne (hamstring), linebacker DeVonte Holloman (neck), guard Brian Waters (elbow) and safety J.J. Wilcox (knee). They’ll probably be without defensive end DeMarcus Ware (quad) and wide receiver Miles Austin (hamstring), both of whom are listed as doubtful.

Titans at Rams

Titans linebacker Moise Fokou (knee) is out again this week. Linebacker Zaviar Gooden (hamstring), safety Michael Griffin (quadricep), wide receiver Justin Hunter (finger), defensive end Ropati Pitoitua (calf), tight end Craig Stevens (back) and tackle David Stewart (shoulder) are all questionable. Three Rams running backs — Benny Cunningham(ankle), Daryl Richardson (foot) and Zac Stacy (foot) — are questionable. Guard Harvey Dahl (knee) is out and defensive end Robert Quinn (illness) is questionable.

Chargers at Redskins

The Chargers won’t have tackle Mike Remmers (ankle) and linebacker Donald Butler (groin) is doubtful. Guard Chad Rinehart (toe) and wide receiver Eddie Royal (toe) are both questionable. Safety Jose Gumbs (ankle) is questionable for the Redskins.

Eagles at Raiders

Quarterback Michael Vick (hamstring) is out for Philly. Linebacker Jake Knott (hamstring) is doubtful and safety Patrick Chung (shoulder), wide receiver Damaris Johnson (ankle) and linebacker Casey Matthews (hip) are all questionable. Safety Tyvon Branch (ankle), guard Andre Gurode (quadricep) and tackle Tony Pashos (hip) are all out for the Raiders. Tackle Menelik Watson (calf) and wide receiver Andre Holmes (hamstring) are questionable.

Buccaneers at Seahawks

Running back Jeff Demps (groin), running back Doug Martin (shoulder) and guard Carl Nicks (foot) remain out for the Buccaneers. Safeties Mark Barron (hip) and Dashon Goldson (knee) are questionable. The Seahawks won’t have running back Derrick Coleman (hamstring), tackle Breno Giacomini (knee) and safety Jeron Johnson (hamstring). Wide receiver Percy Harvin (hip) won’t play either, although he’s technically not on the injury report.

Ravens at Browns

The Ravens won’t have guard Kelechi Osemele (back, knee) this weekend and he’s expected to miss all the rest of the games this season as well. The Browns are pretty healthy, as linebacker Quentin Groves (ankle) and defensive end Billy Winn (quadricep) are questionable and anyone else on the report is probable.

Steelers at Patriots

Pittsburgh will have to replace guard David DeCastro, as he’s been ruled out with an ankle injury. Wide receiver Markus Wheaton (finger) and cornerback Curtis Brown (not injury related) are also out. Patriots defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (knee) is out again, while cornerback Aqib Talib (hip) and running back Leon Washington (ankle) are questionable to make their returns to the lineup.

Colts at Texans

Colts wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey (hamstring) is questionable, but got in a limited practice on Friday. Cornerback Josh Gordy (groin), safety Delano Howell (neck) and cornerback Greg Toler (groin) are all out for Indy. Running back Arian Foster (hamstring) will be a game-time decision for the Texans, who also listed 13 players as probable.

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Lions tender George Johnson as restricted free agent

Drew Stanton, George Johnson AP

The Lions have made contract offers to a pair of their free agents.

According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, Detroit has tendered a contract to defensive end George Johnson, a restricted free agent.

Johnson has been given a right-of-first-refusal tender, which entails a one-year contract offer for about $1.54 million, per the Free Press. Teams can negotiate with Johnson until he signs his tender, but the Lions can match any offer extended by another club.

The 27-year-old Johnson became an important part of the Lions’ defensive line rotation in 2014, notching a career-best six sacks.

The Lions have also offered a contract to exclusive-rights free agent returner/wide receiver Jeremy Ross, the club’s website said. Ross, 26, caught 24 passes for 314 yards and one TD in 2014 for Detroit. He averaged 25.4 yards on 23 kickoff returns and 8.9 yards on 32 punt returns.

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Chiefs re-sign Josh Mauga

Kansas City Chiefs v Pittsburgh Steelers Getty Images

The Chiefs released linebacker Joe Mays this week, but they’ve secured the rights to another member of the position group with the same initials for the next three years.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that the team has re-signed Josh Mauga to a three-year deal worth $8 million. There’s no word on signing bonus or guarantees in the deal.

Mauga started all 16 games for the Chiefs last season after signing with the team in July. He had 103 tackles, a half-sack and three passes defensed  in his first year with a Kansas City defense that struggled to stop the run. Mauga played 29 games for the Jets between 2010 and 2012 before spending the entire 2013 season on injured reserve.

With Mays gone, the Chiefs now have Mauga, Derrick Johnson and James-Michael Johnson at inside linebacker. Derrick Johnson missed 15 games last season after tearing his Achilles, but should return to a starting spot if he’s healthy. Mauga will likely be in the mix to start alongside him.

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Panthers fill left tackle void with Michael Oher

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Based on the way he played for the Titans, left tackle Michael Oher wouldn’t have been an upgrade for many teams.

Fortunately for Oher, the Panthers were there for him.

The Panthers announced they signed the former Ravens first-rounder to a two-year deal.

He’ll replace the replaceable Byron Bell at left tackle for the short term, and there are reasons to think it might work. Back when Oher appeared to be good at football, he was being coached by John Matsko, who’s now coaching the Panthers linemen.

And, he’s going to a place where expectations have been lowered by the shoddy line they put in front of Cam Newton last year.

“I’m excited to be joining an organization that knows how to win. They’ve won the past two division championships, and I’m excited to be a part of it,” Oher said. “When I came here on a visit, the culture was great. They’re very into winning and doing everything possible to win.”

Signing Oher keeps them from reaching for a left tackle in the draft, and crosses a box off for the short term, though there are no illusions he’s going to be a Pro Bowl-level player.

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Browns hold onto Spencer Lanning, Shaun Draughn

Indianapolis Colts v Cleveland Browns Getty Images

Not every roster move in the next few weeks will be a splashy one, as evidenced by a pair of signings the Browns announced on Friday.

The team announced that they have re-signed running back Shaun Draughn and punter Spencer Lanning. Both players were exclusive rights free agents, so the ball was in the Browns’ court and they opted to hold onto both players.

Draughn joined the Browns for the final four games of the 2014 season and played mostly on special teams. He returned five kickoffs for 115 yards and made a tackle in kick coverage. Draughn saw time with the Chargers and Bears last season as well and has also played for the Chiefs and Ravens while bouncing around the NFL.

Lanning has been the punter in Cleveland for the last two seasons. In 2014, he averaged 44.3 yards per punt and dropped 25-of-93 kicks inside the 20-yard line. He also took a foot to the face from Steelers punt returner Antonio Brown during a September game, although the Browns punt coverage typically didn’t put him in position to make tackles while limiting opponents to seven yards a return.

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Report: Chargers release LB Reggie Walker

Andrew Luck, Reggie Walker AP

The Chargers are letting go of one of their backups on defense.

Inside linebacker Reggie Walker has been released, Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Friday.

Walker was scheduled to make $1 million in 2015, per NFLPA data. According to the Union-Tribune, the release of Walker nets the Chargers a corresponding savings of $1 million against the salary cap.

The 28-year-old Walker appeared in 11 games as a reserve in 2014 for San Diego, with the club crediting him with six tackles on defense and five on special teams.

Walker (6-0, 244) played his first four NFL seasons with Arizona before joining the Chargers in 2013. He could appeal to teams looking for linebacking depth in 3-4 schemes.

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Chiefs cut defensive tackle Vance Walker

Kansas City Chiefs v Oakland Raiders Getty Images

Just because a team makes an early move last year for you doesn’t mean you’re a priority.

The Chiefs are releasing defensive tackle Vance Walker, according to his agent Chad Speck.

The move clears $1.75 million off the cap, and erases a bad deal from a year ago.

The Chiefs signed Walker away from the Raiders on a three-year deal which was reported to be worth up to $13 million.

But it didn’t take long for them to regret it, as he started just two games last year. He’s a solid enough player, but hardly worth what the Chiefs invested a year ago.

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Jets re-sign David Harris to three-year deal

New York Jets v Miami Dolphins Getty Images

The Jets aren’t waiting until free agency to start filling up their cap space.

PFT has learned, via a league source, that the team has re-signed linebacker David Harris to a three-year deal worth a total of $21.5 million. Harris got the first two years of the deal fully guaranteed at $15 million.

The move comes shortly after the team swung a trade with the Bears for wide receiver Brandon Marshall, who is set to make $7.7 million during the 2015 season.

Harris has spent his entire eight-year career with the Jets since they took the Michigan product in the second round of the 2007 draft. There had been a fair amount of speculation that Harris might follow former Jets coach Rex Ryan to Buffalo once free agency opened, but he obviously felt that the Jets’ offer satisfied his needs. He should continue to be a centerpiece of their defense under new coach Todd Bowles and defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers.

The Jets still have a lot of money to spend and should get $10.5 million more by moving on from Percy Harvin, who is expected to be released after the acquisition of Marshall.

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Saints bringing back S Jamarca Sanford, DT Brodrick Bunkley

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

The Saints have retained a pair of veteran defenders.

The club has reached a one-year deal with safety Jamarca Sanford, agent Drew Rosenhaus told PFT on Friday. The 29-year-old Sanford notched 14 tackles in six games (two starts) with New Orleans last season.

A seventh-year pro from Mississippi, the 5-foot-10, 200-pound Sanford played five seasons with Minnesota (2009-2013) before stints with Washington and Minnesota last season.

Also, New Orleans will be re-signing defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, ESPN’s Mike Triplett reported Friday. Bunkley, 31, started 11 games in 2014 for the Saints, for whom he’s played the last three seasons.

Bunkley (6-2, 306) previously had stints with Philadelphia (2006-2010) and Denver (2011).

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Lions hang onto quarterback Kellen Moore

kellenmoore AP

The Lions might be working on bigger business, but they’re taking care of some smaller details today.

They announced they had re-signed quarterback Kellen Moore, who was scheduled to become a restricted free agent.

Moore hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL yet (which is good news, considering what they have invested in Matt Stafford).

But they apparently feel the former Boise State star worth hanging onto, for something far less than the restricted free agent tender.

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Bears will get fifth-round pick for Brandon Marshall

Brandon Marshall AP

The Bears dealt wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Jets on Friday and they’ll be getting a mid-round draft pick in return.

According to multiple reports, the Jets will send a 2015 fifth-round pick to the Bears for Marshall as long as Marshall passes a physical following the third trade of his NFL career.

Assuming the Jets go on to release wide receiver Percy Harvin, they’ll be without their fifth- and sixth-round picks this year. Should the Jets hold onto Harvin, they’ll send their fourth-round selection to the Seahawks instead.

If Marshall is healthy, he’s a good bet to give the Jets more in 2015 than they would have gotten with a player picked with that selection. It would help if they had more certainty at quarterback, of course, but building up the supporting cast around Geno Smith and whoever else they bring in this offseason may have to suffice unless General Manager Mike Maccagnan has another big deal up his sleeve.

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Jacoby Jones lands with Chargers

Jacoby Jones AP

Wide receiver/kick returner Jacoby Jones has landed a new job.

According to multiple sources, Jones has signed a two-year deal with the Chargers. Jones also visited with the Bengals and Titans following his release from the Ravens last week.

Jones, who has four career punt return touchdowns, should slot in as the team’s lead punt returner with Eddie Royal headed for free agency and Keenan Allen playing a major role on offense. He’s also taken back four kickoffs for touchdowns in the last three regular seasons to go with his 108-yard score in Super Bowl XLVII, which should give him the inside track on that job as well.

How he might slot in on offense after catching just nine passes in Baltimore last year is less clear, but the Chargers likely had their eye on Jones as a return man first and foremost.

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Steelers sign QB Tajh Boyd

Indianapolis Colts v New York Jets Getty Images

The Steelers have added a recent Jets draft pick to their roster.

Pittsburgh has signed ex-Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, the club said Friday.

A sixth-round selection of the Jets in 2014, Boyd (6-1, 222) completed 8-of-17 passes for 98 yards and one touchdown in the preseason. The club waived him at the end of the exhibition slate, and he was not in the NFL last season.

The 24-year-old Boyd joins Bruce Gradkowski and Landry Jones as backups to starter Ben Roethlisberger.

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Brandon Marshall trade means Jets will jettison Percy Harvin

New England Patriots v New York Jets Getty Images

The news that the Jets have traded for wide receiver Brandon Marshall surely means that Percy Harvin is on the way out.

Harvin, who arrived in New York via a trade with the Seahawks last year, carries a 2015 cap hit of $10.5 million. There’s no way the Jets, who already have Eric Decker at a cap hit of $6.5 million and have now added Marshall at a cap hit of $7.7 million, are going to keep Harvin at that price.

The Jets will likely explore trading Harvin, although it’s hard to see why any team would give anything up to get him when they know he’ll be released soon enough. And the Jets can’t wait too long to send Harvin packing because of the way their trade with the Seahawks was structured: If Harvin is still on the Jets’ roster on March 19, the Jets owe the Seahawks a fourth-round draft pick. If Harvin is not on the roster on March 19, the Jets only owe the Seahawks a sixth-round draft pick.

So expect to see Harvin, who started his career in Minnesota before going to Seattle and then New York, with a fourth team next season.

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Washington keeps Niles Paul with a three-year deal

Washington Redskins v New York Giants Getty Images

With a flurry of deals starting to happen today, Washington’s getting in on the act.

PFT has confirmed that tight end Niles Paul is staying in the nation’s capital.  It’s a three-year deal with a maximum value of just under $10 million.

Paul didn’t do much of anything his first three seasons, but emerged with 39 catches for 507 yards and a touchdown last year, and could have a bigger role moving forward.

The former wide receiver is a good option anyway, as Jordan Reed hasn’t proven himself the most durable of tight ends.

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Lions sign PK Matt Prater to three-year deal

Prater Getty Images

Matt Prater and the Lions were a perfect match last season.

And now, Prater has reached a multi-year agreement with the club.

Prater has signed a three-year deal with the Lions, the club said Friday. Mike Klis of the Denver Post first reported Prater’s agreement.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Prater’s contract is for $9 million.

The 30-year-old Prater connected on 21-of-26 field goal attempts in 11 regular-season games with Detroit. He also hit both field goals in the Lions’ postseason loss to Dallas.

Prater joined the Lions after Nate Freese and Alex Henery combined to hit just 4-of-12 field goals in the club’s first five games. Prater did what he was called upon to do, giving the Lions some badly needed stability at the position.

Not surprisingly, the Lions have decided to keep him around.

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