Ricardo Mathews DL SD 16 Hrs
The Chargers have signed Mathews, the San Diego Union Tribune reports.
Mathews brings welcome versatility to the Chargers' defensive depth mix, thanks to his ability to play all three positions on the defensive line.
Danieal Manning DB HOU 16 Hrs
The Texans have signed Manning, NFL.com reports.
Manning, who was limited to 24 tackles and a sack in six games for the Texans in 2013 due to a knee injury, returns to Houston after a stint on the Bengals' roster. He'll give the team added depth at safety following the release of Chris Clemons.
Jonas Gray RB NE 16 Hrs
Gray has been added to the Patriots' practice squad, the team's official site reports.
Heading into the season, the Patriots will carry running backs Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, James White and Brandon Bolden on their 53-man roster, with Gray thus an option to re-join the team's backfield mix in the event of an injury.
Brittan Golden WR ARI 17 Hrs
Golden was signed to the Cardinals' practice squad Sunday, Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 Phoenix reports.
Released by the Cardinals in their final round of cuts Saturday, Golden will stick around as depth for a squad that boasts five wideouts heading into Week 1. In four preseason contests, he gathered in 18 balls (on 28 targets) for 129 yards and no scores. If he's activated at some point this year, his contributions will likely be contained to special teams, after recording two solo tackles during the exhibition season.
Josh Boyce WR NE 17 Hrs
Boyce has been added to the Patriots' practice squad, ESPN's Mike Reiss reports.
The 2013 fourth-rounder is thus an injury away from potentially re-joining the Patriots' wideout mix after not being included on the team's 53-man roster heading into Week 1.
Terrance West RB CLE 17 Hrs3 Comments
West will enter Week 1 strictly as Ben Tate's backup following an underwhelming preseason, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports. "There were some times where [West] made plays, and then he made rookie mistakes some other times," coach Mike Pettine said of the rookie's preseason performance.
West entered camp looking to cut significantly into the workload of starter Ben Tate, but so far he's been unable to make a major impression. The rookie collected just 83 yards on 31 preseason carries (2.7) average, and failed to get into the endzone a single time over four exhibition games. Even if West was unable to crack the starting lineup, it was originally likely that he may see work on third down, or at least crack 5-10 carries per game. This no longer appears to be the case, however, as Pettine seemed to give Tate his full vote of confidence Sunday in the Akron Beacon Journal. It appears West simply needs a bit more time to get comfortable in Kyle Shanahan's zone blocking scheme, which doesn't bode well for his fantasy prospects in the early part of the season. He remains an intriguing sleeper due to Ben Tate's injury history (missed eight games over the past three seasons), but don't count on getting much fantasy production from the rookie out of the gates.
Brandin Cooks WR NO 17 Hrs2 Comments
Cooks is listed as the third-string receiver, behind both Marques Colston and Nick Toon, on the Saints' initial depth chart, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
There's no need to completely panic here, as only the depth chart lists only two wide receiver positions, and Cooks is expected to operate primarily out of the slot in his rookie season when the Saints frequently line up in three-receiver sets. Cooks still has tremendous upside in the Saints' explosive upside, but there's reason for concern given the typically steep rookie learning curve and the veteran receivers populating the Saints' depth chart, including Colston, Kenny Stills, Toon and even Joseph Morgan.
Clay Harbor TE JAC 17 Hrs
Harbor (calf) did not practice Monday, the Florida Times-Union reports.
Per coach Gus Bradley, Harbor likely won't play Sunday against the Eagles, leaving newcomer Mickey Shuler in line to serve as Marcedes Lewis' top backup in Week 1.
Ben Tate RB CLE 17 Hrs2 Comments
Coach Mike Pettine indicated Sunday that he's comfortable using Tate as a third down back, the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Tate is "probably the guy you can trust the most right now," according to Pettine, who also praised the back for his pass-catching ability out of the backfield, an essential skill if he's going to see the field on third down. Tate caught a career-best 34 passes last season with Houston, and it's an area of his game that he continues to refine. Heading into camp, rookie back Terrance West was expected to threaten some of Tate's workload, but after a lackluster preseason, it looks as if the job is unquestionably Tate's. Heading into Week 1, look for Tate to be the Browns' every-down back.
Joseph Morgan WR NO 17 Hrs
Morgan is listed as the backup to Kenny Stills in the Saints' initial depth chart, reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Morgan had an excellent preseason, recapturing some of the form that made him a feared deep threat the latter portion of 2012, while also showing off improved intermediate route-running abilities. As such, the latest depth chart confirms that Morgan, not Nick Toon, is the most likely beneficiary if Stills were to miss the start of the regular season time with the quad injury he aggravated in the third preseason game.