Redskins sign LB Garrett Sickels, waive FB/TE Elijah Wellman
The Washington Redskins have added some more depth to their linebacker group as they signed former Los Angeles Ram Garrett Sickels.
The Redskins made another minor roster move on Thursday as they continue to prepare their 90-man roster for the start of the preseason. According to the team’s official Twitter account, they added Garrett Sickels to their active roster while waiving Elijah Wellman.
Sickels, 24, went undrafted after coming into the league in 2017. In his final season at Penn State, he had a career-high 6.5 sacks and some anticipated that he could be drafted. However, because of his status as a positional tweener and likely fit as a 3-4 rush linebacker, that limited his options. So, he fell to the ranks of the undrafted.
Sickels signed with the Indianapolis Colts and initially made their practice squad. However, he wasn’t there for long and ended up joining the Cleveland Browns practice squad for a short stay. Then, he landed with the Los Angeles Rams and remained with them for about a year, though he did spend all of 2018 on Injured Reserve.
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The Redskins are likely just adding Sickels as a tryout player to see what he can do. Seventh-round pick Jordan Brailford is still on the PUP list, so they may need bodies at the position. And who knows, maybe Sickels will be able to showcase some pass-rushing ability in the first preseason game and earn a chance to make the Redskins’ roster or practice squad. It still seems unlikely, but it’s worth a flyer at this point.
Also, it’s not like the Redskins are giving up much to take a chance on Sickels. Wellman impressed a bit with Washington in the first preseason game last year, and some thought that the fullback may have a chance to make the roster. However, he was waived after that contest which gave more credence to the argument that Jay Gruden simply just doesn’t value fullbacks.
With the Redskins unlikely to carry a fullback again and Wellman well behind in the tight end race, parting ways with him makes sense. Perhaps another team that actually uses a fullback will scoop him up. But, his fit with the Redskins was always questionable given Gruden’s lacking affinity for Wellman’s position.
This move essentially amounts to swapping camp bodies, but as we’ve seen in the past, sometimes camp bodies come in and surprise. Sickels will have a chance to do that and it will be interesting to see if he can get any sort of positive momentum as the preseason draws nearer.