Week 1 of the 2021-22 NFL season will kick off in less than one week and teams across the league have been making final cuts in order to finalize their 53-man rosters. UDFA and former TCU safety Ar’Darius Washington was one of many players around the league on the bubble for making a roster and it appears the Baltimore Ravens will be keeping him around.
Ravens are always doing back-end roster juggling, but at this point, CB Chris Westry and UDFA S Ar'Darius Washington are expected to be on the 53-man roster.— Jeff Zrebiec (@jeffzrebiec) August 31, 2021
Washington signed with the Ravens after the 2021 NFL Draft, earning a $100,000 signing bonus and an opportunity to compete for the 53-man roster. While some scouts pegged the 5-foot-7 safety as a mid-round draft selection, Washington went without hearing his name called, but the Horned Frog alum stepped up with several highlight plays in the preseason.
Ar'Darius Washington was one of the best safeties in the class but went undrafted.— James Fragoza (@JamesFragoza) August 15, 2021
Forces the fumble here @ad_washington24 pic.twitter.com/DOnWenmMCn
Washington declared for the NFL Draft after his redshirt sophomore season with TCU. The safety spent three seasons with the Horned Frogs, recording 86 total tackles, 12 passes defended and five interceptions all from his redshirt freshman season in 2019. While an injury slowed him down in 2020, Washington made impressions on scouts during pre-draft workouts for his instinctive play on the gridiron. Washington’s presence on Baltimore’s 53-man roster continues a longstanding tradition of the Ravens finding diamonds in the rough.
With safety Ar'Darius Washington on the team, the Ravens have now had an undrafted rookie make the initial roster in 17 of the past 18 years.— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) August 31, 2021
Last year was the streak-breaker.
Innis Gaines staying with the Packers
Another former TCU safety will continue to have a home in the NFL. Despite falling just short of making the 53-man roster, Innis Gaines will remain with the Green Bay Packers as a member of the team’s practice squad. The Horned Frog alum is one of three TCU players currently with the Packers, joining linebacker Ty Summers and safety Vernon Scott. Once working for DoorDash to make money, Gaines will continue working in Green Bay.
Wow. Innis Gaines has such a great energy about him. What a fun kid. The #Packers rookie safety is coming back from two ACL tears at TCU and spent last year working for @DoorDash. If you are looking for a bubble guy to root for Saturday at Buffalo, … No. 38 would be a good one. pic.twitter.com/8aYqJnDMyl— Jason Wilde (@jasonjwilde) August 24, 2021
Eagles trade TCU lineman Matt Pryor to the Colts
With teams around the league making final roster decisions, several trades occurred including one between Philadelphia and Indianapolis involving former TCU offensive guard/tackle Matt Pryor. The former sixth-round draft selection in 2018 will head to the Colts after spending three seasons with the Eagles. Pryor will provide his new team with depth on the offensive line after All-Pro lineman Quenton Nelson, who’s currently sidelined with an injury, was also placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 List earlier this week.
Trade: Eagles have acquired a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft from Indianapolis in exchange for G/T Matt Pryor and a seventh-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/etNkCQpz95— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) August 31, 2021
Andy Dalton named Bears’ QB1 over Justin Fields
A move that shouldn’t surprise anyone but will leave Chicago Bears fans in disarray, former TCU quarterback Andy Dalton will start the team’s Week 1 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams over first-round draft pick Justin Fields. Dalton signed a one-year contract with the Bears after serving as Dak Prescott’s backup in Dallas this past season, throwing for 2,170 yards and 14 touchdowns with a 64.9 percent completion rate.
their final preseason pass attempt of 2021:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) August 29, 2021
Andy Dalton vs Justin Fields pic.twitter.com/fQjTzXzXOJ
Fields totaled three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown during the preseason, while Dalton finished with one touchdown and one interception. But considering the Bears are paying Dalton $10 million for his one-year contract, the expectation was always that he would start the team’s first game, regardless of the team trading up to select Fields. On the bright side, Dalton will reunite with offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, who worked with Dalton when the two were in Cincinnati, where Dalton tossed over 200 touchdown passes.