Tradition • Character • Service

Tradition • Character • Service

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

HDN: Hixson signed to Saints practice squad following cuts

The former Hillsdale Charger defensive back and wide receiver has had an uncertain time in the NFL since April. He went undrafted, worked out with Washington and New Orleans before signing with the Saints in mid-May. He was cut in June, received some interest from Tampa Bay that did not pan out and ultimately re-signed with New Orleans in August.

He was one of 20+ players cut in the final roster moves Friday night, but signed his contract with the Saints practice squad Saturday afternoon.

“It feels great, it’s been a stressful four to five months living day to day,” Hixson said Saturday. “I’m by no means secure, but I’ve worked a long time for this.”

He is now one of the eight men on the practice squad, who can work out with the team but are not part of the 53-man roster. They can be activated to the roster and be eligible for playing time at any point if injuries arise or the team simply wishes to move them up.

Former Hillsdale WR Andre Holmes was on Dallas’ practice squad last year before being added to the 53-man roster later in the season, but did not play due to an injury.

Holmes made the Cowboys’ roster out of camp this year, and could see plenty of playing time as their third wide receiver.

The cut did not surprise Hixson on Friday, following their game Thursday against Tennessee.
“After the game, I had a good feeling I’d be cut,” he said. “There were a lot of veterans ahead of me.”
Hixson mentioned earlier in the preseason that he thought practice squad was an option, but things came into a little doubt following the game.

He suffered a concussion trying to make a tackle in a pile, and doctors looked at him during the game. The injury sent some mixed signals to him on his future.

“This is a business, nothing is ever certain until I signed the papers,” he said.

But he got the call Saturday from the team and his agent, and he will start the season on the practice squad.

He is the only defensive back on the squad. He is joined by defensive end Braylon Broughton (TCU), linebacker Ezra Butler (Nevada), guards Ricky Henry (Nebraska) and Harland Gunn (Miami, Fla.), tight end Michael Higgins (Nebraska-Omaha), safety Jerico Nelson (Arkansas) and wide receiver Andy Tanner (Midwestern State). Hixson, Broughton and Nelson  are the only rookies.

In three preseason games, Hixson recorded tackles against Jacksonville and Tennessee, and tallied a pass deflection against Houston. But there was nothing like being a Saint for their first two home games against the Jaguars and Texans, he said.

“Running out of the tunnel, it’s like a little kid’s dream,” he said. “I can’t really describe it in words.”

While Hixson will be on the practice squad, Holmes and the Cowboys open their season at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday against the New York Giants, and former offensive lineman Jared Veldheer and his Oakland Raiders face off with the San Diego Chargers at 10:15 p.m. Monday.

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