Stephen Carlson

Chicago Bears
Tight End #84
Chicago Bears
Tight End #84

Stephen Carlson News

Headed to Chicago

Carlson agreed to a one-year contract with Chicago on Saturday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The tight end out of Princeton is going from Cleveland to Chicago after signing with the Bears on Saturday. He hasn't played in the NFL since 2020, but in his last two active seasons with Cleveland, he recorded six catches for 62 yards and one touchdown while acting as a special teams ace, playing over 80 percent of the special team's snaps. This is the third tight end Chicago has brought in this offseason, luring Robert Tonyan away from Green Bay and signing Damien Caffrey as an undrafted free agent.

May 6, 2023 12:55 PM EST

Cleared to return

Carlson will work out with the Giants on Monday after being officially cleared to return to football activities, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.

Analysis: The UDFA from Princeton saw just nine targets in his first two years in the league before a torn ACL suffered during a preseason game forced him to miss the entire 2021 season. Carlson is still looking for another opportunity after Cleveland opted not to retain him for the 2022 campaign, but at least now he has a clean bill of health working in his favor.

Jun 6, 2022 11:12 AM EST

Not tendered by Cleveland

Carlson (knee) became an unrestricted free agent Wednesday after the Browns opted not to tender him a contract for 2022, Jake Trotter of reports.

Analysis: Carlson sat out the 2021 campaign after requiring season-ending knee surgery in late August. He appeared in all 16 games during 2020 and caught one pass for 11 yards.

Mar 16, 2022 10:16 PM EST

Reverts to IR

Carlson (knee) was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday.

Analysis: Carlson will now be able to rejoin the team, but he'll remain on injured reserve after he underwent season-ending knee surgery in mid-August. The 25-year-old had a strong performance in camp and could compete for a 53-man roster spot in 2022.

Dec 16, 2021 1:04 PM EST

Placed on COVID-19 list

Carlson (knee) was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday.

Analysis: It's not yet clear whether Carlson has tested positive for the virus or whether he's considered a close contact. However, Monday's move doesn't impact the 24-year-old's status since he underwent season-ending knee surgery in mid-August.

Dec 6, 2021 9:24 AM EST

Requires knee surgery

Carlson will undergo surgery on his knee and miss the entire 2021 season, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Analysis: Carlson suffered the injury during Saturday's preseason opener versus the Jaguars, and there will be no chance of him retaking the field this season. He appeared in 16 games for Cleveland last year and caught one of two targets for 11 yards while primarily playing special teams.

Aug 17, 2021 5:09 PM EST

Placed on IR

The Browns placed Carlson (knee) on injured reserve Monday, NFL reporter Aaron Wilson reports.

Analysis: Carlson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Sunday's preseason opener against the Jags, rendering this move more of a formality. Prior to the injury, he was enjoying a strong camp and considered a strong candidate to make Cleveland's 53-man roster.

Aug 16, 2021 5:08 PM EST

Season-ending injury feared

There are fears that Carlson suffered a season-ending knee injury in Saturday's preseason opener against Jacksonville, Jake Trotter of reports.

Analysis: The severity of Carlson's knee injury hasn't been confirmed yet, but it sounds like he'll be facing a lengthy absence. This is an unfortunate turn of events for the tight end, who had been enjoying a strong camp and was on track to secure a spot on the Browns' 53-man roster.

Aug 15, 2021 7:51 PM EST

Exits game with knee injury

Carlson (knee) left the Browns' preseason game against the Jaguars and is officially out for the remainder of the game, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.

Analysis: Carlson hurt his knee on a bobbled catch he made in the first half of the game. The third-year tight end played in all 16 games for the Browns last season, primarily on special teams, and as long as his injury isn't serious his contributions to special teams should give him a good chance at making the roster.

Aug 14, 2021 5:12 PM EST

Sticking with Cleveland

Carlson signed his tender as an exclusive rights free agent with the Browns on Wednesday, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: Carlson returns to a crowded tight end room, one which currently features Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant and David Njoku at the top of the pecking order. It seems unlikely that he'll garner any larger a depth role than he served in Cleveland over the last two seasons, when he caught six of nine targets for 62 yards and one score in 25 appearances.

Apr 14, 2021 12:19 PM EST

Tendered rights

The Browns tendered exclusive rights with Carlson on Friday, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: Carlson entered the offseason as an exclusive rights free agent and will now stay in Cleveland. Through his two seasons with the team, the tight end has caught six of his nine targets for 62 yards and one touchdown.

Mar 5, 2021 12:04 PM EST

Unused on offense in playoff loss

Carlson was active but did not play an offensive snap in Sunday's 22-17 playoff loss to the Chiefs.

Analysis: Carlson had just one catch, two targets and 11 receiving yards during the regular season, serving has the fourth tight end. With the top three tight ends under contract for 2021, Carlson will play a similar role should Cleveland bring him back. He becomes an exclusive rights free agent during the offseason.

Jan 18, 2021 6:03 AM EST

Gearing up Sunday

Carlson (groin) will play in Sunday's AFC divisional round against the Chiefs.

Analysis: Austin Hooper, Harrison Bryant and David Njoku are all healthy for Sunday's playoff game, so Carlson will mainly contribute on special teams.

Jan 17, 2021 10:50 AM EST

Questionable for Sunday

Carlson (groin) did not practice Friday and is questionable for Sunday's AFC divisional-round game against the Chiefs, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.

Analysis: Carlson appears truly iffy for Sunday's game, but his presence likely won't impact Cleveland's offense one way or another. He saw just two targets through 16 regular-season games in 2020, and both Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant are set for Sunday while No.3 tight end David Njoku (hamstring) is questionable.

Jan 15, 2021 12:17 PM EST

Makes first catch

Carlson caught his lone target for 11 yards in Sunday's 27-25 win over Jacksonville.

Analysis: Carlson is the seldom-used fourth tight end on the Browns' roster. The catch was his first of the season and the target just his second.

Nov 30, 2020 6:24 AM EST

Moves up depth chart

Carlson is expected to receive more playing time with David Njoku (knee) on injured reserve, Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.

Analysis: Carlson played just 12 snaps (16 percent) and had one target in the season-opening loss to the Ravens, but moves up to third on the depth chart behind Austin Hooper and Harrison Bryant. He broadly fits into the category of blocking tight end, but quarterback Baker Mayfield has used tight ends as red-zone scoring options.

Sep 15, 2020 5:55 AM EST

No targets in finale

Carlson was not targeted in Sunday's 33-23 loss to the Bengals in Week 17.

Analysis: Carlson, an undrafted free agent out of Princeton, began the season on the Browns' practice squad before a promotion to the active roster midseason. Cleveland's tight end position was never solidified following David Njoku's wrist injury in Week 2, and all members took turns getting red-zone looks from quarterback Baker Mayfield. Carlson finished with five catches for 51 yards and one touchdown over nine games. With a new head coach coming in 2020, Carlson's status is uncertain. Presumably, a new coach will want to get a good look at Njoku, who missed many weeks due to the injury then ran afoul of former head coach Freddie Kitchens.

Dec 31, 2019 9:56 AM EST

Leads TEs in snaps

Carlson had one target and played 41 snaps in Sunday's 27-19 win over the Bengals.

Analysis: Carlson was the starting tight end as Demetrius Harris was made inactive and David Njoku made his first appearance since Week 2 due to a wrist injury. His 41 snaps led the position group, but it was Njoku drawing the most targets (three), including one inside the red zone. As Njoku gets acclimated, he is expected to start games and receive the most playing time among Cleveland tight ends.

Dec 9, 2019 3:38 AM EST

Upgrades to full practice

Carlson (ankle) was a full participant in Friday's practice, Scott Petrak of the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram reports.

Analysis: Carlson does not carry an injury designation for Sunday's contest against the Bengals. The 22-year-old is set for his usual depth role in Cleveland's tight end corps Week 14.

Dec 6, 2019 12:05 PM EST

Practice status limited

Carlson (ankle) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice, Mary Kay Cabot of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.

Analysis: Carlson has recorded four receptions for 46 yards over the last three weeks, so if he's unable to play Sunday against the Bengals, it will mainly affect the team's run-blocking schemes. The 22-year-old still has two practice sessions to elevate to full capacity.

Dec 4, 2019 12:44 PM EST

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