The Bills signed McCloud to the practice squad Thursday.
McCloud was waived by the Panthers on Tuesday, and he wasted little time before signing on with Buffalo's practice squad. The second-year pro's fumbling problems became an issue in Carolina, and he'll now work to improve his ball security skills. If McCloud shows well on the practice squad, he could earn a promotion to the active roster later in the season.
McCloud was waived by the Panthers on Tuesday, Steve Reed of the Associated Press reports.
This doesn't come as a surprise, as McCloud has recorded six fumbles on returns in his last three games. While coach Ron Rivera reiterated how talented McCloud is, ball security is a top priority for the team. With that, McCloud will likely clear waivers and be an unrestricted free agent while the Panthers will need to find a new top return man, whether that be internally or via a free-agent signing. Fortunately for them, they have the week off to figure that out with a bye ahead.
McCloud was claimed off waivers by the Panthers on Sunday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports.
McCloud didn't have to wait long to find a new team, as he was waived by Buffalo on Saturday. The 22-year-old appeared in 10 games with the Bills last season, logging five receptions for 36 yards. McCloud likely appealed to Carolina due to his ability to contribute on punt and kick returns.
The Bills cut McCloud on Saturday, Ryan Talbot of NY Upstate reports.
McCloud was hoping to take a step forward in his second year, after he played just 10 games last season, hauling in five passes for 36 yards. The fact that he can contribute in the punt and kick return games only adds to his value to find another team elsewhere, an opportunity he might get given that he had a strong preseason. McCloud is also a prime practice squad candidate for the Bills.
McCloud caught all five of his targets for 48 total yards during Thursday's 27-23 win over the Vikings.
Thursday's game was memorable as far as preseason finales go, with Buffalo scoring three touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game to win it. None of it would have happened if it wasn't for McCloud, who, with Buffalo down 23-6 and facing a fourth-and-two, took a quick screen and bolted up field for a 29-yard gain, setting up a Tyree Jackson touchdown run. McCloud is firmly on the bubble and whether or not he makes the squad likely depends on outcomes even outside the wide-receiver room, but he certainly ended the preseason by making a strong impression.
McCloud caught two of four targets for 29 yards in Friday's preseason win over the Lions.
McCloud was the fringe wide receiver making some noise during training camp and the early portion of the preseason, but lately we've been hearing more about Isaiah McKenzie and Duke Williams, each of whom scored Friday. If the Bills keep six receivers, it's probably going to come down to those three guys for one spot, though it'd be two spots if the Bills go the surprise route and don't choose Robert Foster, who's had a a poor summer and might be slightly banged up. Assuming the Bills stick with Foster, it looks like a true toss-up between McCloud, McKenzie and Williams.
McCloud, who caught only five balls for 36 yards in an injury-plagued rookie season, has been impressive throughout training camp and continues to earn praise from coach Sean McDermott and offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports. "I think Ray-Ray McCloud has had a real nice training camp to this point, just with effort and doing the things we expect our wide receivers to do," McDermott said. "You've got to get open, you've got to get separation and you've got to catch the football."
The Bills' first four receiving spots were already set before camp began, while Andre Roberts has a clear edge on the fifth one due to his standout return abilities. If the Bills keep a sixth receiver, it'll be a wide-open battle with a host of candidates. McCloud seems to be picking up a knack for slot work, so that could be his angle to make the squad over other young receivers such as Isaiah McKenzie, Duke Williams, Victor Bolden, Cam Phillips, David Sills and Nick Easley.
McCloud, a rookie sixth-rounder out of Clemson, caught five of just six targets for 36 yards and no touchdowns over 10 games. He also returned one kickoff for 18 yards and four punts for 20 yards.
Given the Bills' wideout woes all season, McCloud had every chance to leap up the depth chart, but that never happened as he struggled with his first taste of the pro game, apparently frustrating the coaching staff along the way. By the end of the season, undrafted rookie Robert Foster and Broncos castaway Isaiah McKenzie passed him on the depth chart, while McCloud became an afterthought for much of the season. With the Bills eyeing up more wide receiver additions given their excessive cap space and array of draft picks, McCloud better get going in his second offseason or he'll be on the outside looking in for a roster spot.
McCloud is active for Sunday's game against the Jets, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.
McCloud has been a healthy scratch the last two games, but with Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes getting the heave-ho during the week, the team has decided to give younger players an uncluttered look the rest of the way. Considering McCloud flopped in his first few looks earlier in the season and was only a sixth-round draft choice, any action he sees -- he'll likely be a No. 4 or No. 5 receiver to go with some special-teams snaps -- might be more of an audition to stick with the team than anything else.
McCloud could earn more work on offense over the final quarter of the season after the Bills waived fellow wideouts Kelvin Benjamin and Andre Holmes this week, Kyle Silagyi of the team's official site reports. "It's an opportunity for me, an opportunity for the team," McCloud said. "Just help us grow the future and develop for future years just to see what we're all about."
McCloud hasn't played the last two games after a series of disappointments on offense and special teams. Since the Bills are using the last four games as an audition for 2019, it seems likely the sixth-round rookie will get some more looks before the campaign concludes. Zay Jones is the clear-cut No. 1 option at receiver, while Robert Foster and Isaiah McKenzie seem to be next in line. It's uncertain if McCloud or veteran Deonte Thompson is the fourth man at the position.
McCloud was one of the team's inactives for Sunday's win over the Jaguars.
McCloud had a chance to make his mark on a team that's struggled with its receiving corps all season, but he struggled as a returner earlier the season and failed to make any meaningful catches in limited offensive snaps. The Bills have signed Isaiah McKenzie and made him the team's main return man, while they also brought back Robert Foster and Deonte Thompson into the fold, leaving McCloud as the apparent No. 7 option among wide receivers. It looks like his rookie season will end up being kind of a dud, but he'll also probably have another chance to show some improvement in the coming offseason.
McCloud was unable to haul in his lone target during Sunday's 41-9 loss to Chicago.
The rookie has recorded multiple touches just once this season in a Buffalo offense where value is incredibly hard to find. Nathan Peterman threw three more picks Sunday in the comedy of errors that Buffalo has started at quarterback. Derek Anderson (concussion) might be the guy in Week 10, but a trip to visit a Jets defense among the best in the league at generating turnovers likely makes McCloud a non-factor.
McCloud (undisclosed) was removed from the injury report and will be available to play Monday against the Patriots.
The rookie didn't make the trip to Indianapolis in Week 7 because of an undisclosed reason. It's at least worth noting the Bills pulled the rookie from return duties after he fumbled twice on returns in Week 6 against the Texans. McCloud and the team have seemed to move past the issue, but it's unclear what sort of role McCloud will have Monday.
McCloud (undisclosed) did not travel with the team and won't play Sunday against the Colts, Chris Brown of the Bills' official site reports.
McCloud didn't make the trip for an undisclosed non-injury reason. Specifics of the issue remain unclear as the 22-year-old will perhaps be ready for a return in Week 8 against New England. It's at least worth noting the Bills pulled the rookie from return duties last week after he bumbled two returns, which ended up putting the team in a hole against the Texans.
Armstrong caught his lone target during Sunday's 20-13 loss to Houston, gaining two yards. He fumbled twice during the contest, losing one.
McCloud had two big special-teams snafus early during Sunday's game, fumbling the opening kickoff -- which Buffalo recovered -- and then muffing a punt that set up the Texans to score the game's first touchdown. He was then relieved of his return duties for the rest of the game. On offense, he has yet to gain 10 yards in a game so far. With Buffalo entering quarterbacking uncertainty for the next few weeks, McCloud's value should drop even lower despite Sunday's matchup against an Indianapolis pass defense that ranks in the bottom third of the league.
McCloud recovered from a knee injury and made his NFL debut in Sunday's upset win over Minnesota, catching his only target for six yards while returning one punt for 13 yards.
McCloud saw action on 14 offensive snaps, but it's likely special teams where the rookie will make his most immediate mark. Considering McCloud was the only Buffalo player to return a punt Sunday, it looks like that's his job to lose for the foreseeable future.
McCloud (knee) is active Week 3 against Minnesota.
McCloud logged a full practice Friday after being limited the first two days of the week, suggesting he would be ready for his pro debut. It's unclear what, if any, role the sixth-round pick will have in the passing game, but the former Clemson wideout could factor in the return game.
McCloud (knee) practiced on a full basis Friday after being limited the first two practices of the week and is listed as questionable for Sunday's game in Minnesota, the Bills' official site reports.
This is probably the healthiest the rookie has been since the regular season kicked off, so he has a good chance of making his pro debut this week. If that happens, McCloud would likely factor in more on special teams than the passing game, at least until he starts getting his feet wet with the offense.
McCloud (knee) practiced on a limited basis for the second straight day Thursday, the Bills' official site reports.
Given that McCloud was close to suiting up last week and has resumed practicing in limited fashion, we wouldn't be surprised if the rookie gets to make his NFL debut Sunday in Minnesota, where he might get a chance to shine in the return game.
McCloud (knee) is inactive for Sunday's game against the Chargers, the Bills' official site reports.
The rookie will have to wait until at least Week 3 to make his pro debut, while the Bills will operate against the Bolts with just four healthy wideouts.
|16||12/22/19||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|