George Kittle played through an injury last season, earning Pro Bowl honors despite dealing with a labrum tear. Just prior to Sunday’s Jets game, the 49ers tight end — who suffered an MCL sprain in Week 1 — was believed to be on track to return in Week 3, per ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter. But considering the injury issues the 49ers had on the MetLife Stadium turf, which caused gripes from several San Francisco players, this might not still be the case. Kyle Shanahan said he will take the field conditions — when the 49ers return to MetLife to play the Giants — into account when determining Kittle’s Week 3 availability, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan.
Let’s take a look at the latest from the NFC, including news on a few more Pro Bowlers’ respective Week 3 statuses:
- The 49ers will be down to just three first-round defensive linemen against the Giants. After losing Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas for the season, the 49ers ruled out Dee Ford for a second straight week. Ford, who has suffered a litany of maladies since being traded to San Francisco, has no return timetable, according to Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The seventh-year defensive end is currently down with a neck injury, but Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes this has morphed into a back problem (subscription required). Ziggy Ansah serves as the third ex-first-rounder, having signed with the 49ers this week.
- The Packers appear to have ruled out a long-term absence for top wideout Davante Adams. The standout receiver’s hamstring injury is considered minor, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Adams is not a lock to face the Saints in Week 3, however. Matt LaFleur halted Adams from returning to action Sunday and may play the long game with Aaron Rodgers‘ top weapon.
- Good news for the Buccaneers. Chris Godwin figures to be back in uniform Sunday against the Broncos. The Pro Bowl wide receiver cleared the team’s concussion protocol early this week.
- Pete Carroll indicated Rashaad Penny is ahead of schedule in his ACL rehab, via Brandon Gustafson of 710 AM ESPN Radio Seattle, predicting the third-year running back may well beat a perceived midseason return window. The longtime Seahawks coach, however, generally leans toward optimism regarding his players’ recoveries. That should probably be factored into this assessment. Penny resides on Seattle’s PUP list and cannot make his 2020 debut until at least Week 7. With Chris Carson in a contract year and Carlos Hyde on a one-year deal, how Penny performs in his return from injury figures to be pivotal for the Seahawks’ long-term running back plan.
- Down Tevin Coleman and likely to be without Raheem Mostert in Week 3, the 49ers brought in three running backs for a Tuesday workout. Paul Perkins, Karan Higdon and Austin Walter are auditioning for the 49ers, Pelissero notes (on Twitter). Perkins was a former Giants fifth-round pick but has not eclipsed 100 rushing yards in a season since 2016.
After the Patriots got done smoking the Jets, they took a look at one of their former running backs. On Friday, the Jets auditioned running back Elijah McGuire, as Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
McGuire spent the last couple of seasons with the Jets, up until his recent release. The tailback drew solid reviews in Jets practice over the last two years, but his career 3.3 yards per carry average isn’t much to write home about.
Austin Walter, a Rice product, also showed his stuff for the Patriots. Walter recently auditioned for the Texans as well, so he may have an opportunity to stay in the great state of Texas.
If McGuire or Walter wind up with the Pats, they might get to make their New England debut against the Browns on Sunday. And, if they don’t, they might find a spot on the Patriots’ always-growing emergency list.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Here is Tuesday’s summary from the workout circuit:
- DE Quinton Bell, DE/OLB Nate Orchard, DE/OLB Shane Ray (Twitter link via Adam Caplan of Sirius XM Radio)
- LS Andrew DePaola, LS Wes Farnsworth, CB E.J. Gaines, DE Dewayne Hendrix, RB Darius Jackson, DE Austin Larkin, WR J.J. Nelson, LS Matt Overton, WR Eli Rogers, RB Austin Walter (Twitter links via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle)
- LB Keishawn Bierria, LB Ukeme Eligwe, LB Nicholas Grigsby, LB Donald Payne, LB Christian Sam (Twitter link via Wilson)
Los Angeles Chargers
New England Patriots
New York Giants
Here are Saturday’s minor moves:
- Released: OL John Wetzel
Los Angeles Chargers
- Promoted from practice squad: WR Jason Moore
- Waived: TE Stephen Anderson
Los Angeles Rams
- Promoted from practice squad: CB Nik Needham
- Waived: S Doug Middleton
- Promoted from practice squad: LB Cameron Smith
- Waived: WR Davion Davis
New York Giants
- Promoted from practice squad: TE Jacob Hollister
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Placed on IR OG Zack Bailey
Here are Tuesday’s updates from the workout circuit, all links going to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer’s Twitter unless otherwise noted.
- T Dino Boyd, G Colby Gossett, G Malcolm Pridgeon (Twitter links via Balzer and the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson)
- T Paul Adams, WR Quincy Adeboyejo, CB Deante Burton, DT Justin Hamilton, DE Willie Henry, LB Jawaun Johnson, S Josh Jones, WR DaMarkus Lodge, WR Anthony Ratliff-Williams (via ESPN.com’s Todd Archer)
- RB Benny Cunningham, RB Quinton Flowers, DE Durrant Miles, CB Marcus Sherels, LB James Vaughters (link)
Green Bay Packers
- T Gerhard deBeer, Christian DiLauro, Brandon Hitner, C James Murray (link)
New Orleans Saints
- LB Ray-Ray Armstrong, QB J.T. Barrett, TE Crockett Gillmore, WR Krishawn Hogan, TE Gabe Holmes, QB Chad Kanoff, WR Jordan Matthews, TE Brian Parker, LB Brian Peters, LB Malcolm Smith, WR Deonte Thompson, QB Phillip Walker (link)
New York Jets
- LB B.J. Bello, CB Jordan Brown, CB Nigel Harris, CB Joshua Holsey, Shakial Taylor, CB Ahmad Thomas (link)
San Francisco 49ers
- LS Jon Condo, LS Garrison Sanborn, LS Drew Scott, T Sam Young (Twitter links via Balzer and ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter)
- LB Malik Carney, CB Jeremy Clark, S Adrian Colbert, DT Lyndon Johnson, CB Greg Mabin, CB Duke Thomas (link)
We’ve got another busy day of workouts, with many teams across the league hosting players.
- QBs Keller Chryst, Taylor Heinicke; WRs Tommylee Lewis, Joe Parker, Terrance Williams; CB Marcus Sherels, WR Damon Sheehy-Guiseppi
New York Giants
- CBs Derrick Baity, Picasso Nelson; LBs Reshard Cliett, LaTroy Lewis; WRs Jamal Custis, Trenton Irwin; RBs Josh Ferguson, Austin Walter; DT P.J. Johnson; DEs Carroll Phillips, Kevin Wilkins; QB Jordan Ta’amu
New York Jets
- WRs Carlton Agudosi, Amara Darboh, Krishawn Hogan, Joe Horn, DeAndre Thompkins, Jordan Veasy, Kendall Wright; TEs Stephen Anderson, Donald Parham, Ross Travis; QBs Taryn Christion, Tyree Jackson, Mike White, Ks Elliott Fry, Greg Joseph, Younghoe Koo, Tristan Vizcaino
The 49ers got down to the 53-man roster maximum by releasing 24 players in total on Saturday, including former first-round pick Joshua Garnett.
The Niners used the No. 28 pick to select Garnett in 2016, but they never saw much from him at the pro level. The Stanford product started in eleven of his 15 games as a rookie, but even then, his performance was underwhelming – Garnett racked up penalties and didn’t excel in run blocking or pass blocking. Garnett then missed all of 2017 after undergoing knee surgery and only saw action as a reserve in seven games last year. At a rate of $10.35MM, it made little sense to keep Garnett for 2020, especially since the option would have been guaranteed for injury.
This year, Garnett is said to be healthy, but that ensured little in terms of performance, so he’s out. The Niners will save $1.7MM against $1.2MM in dead money.
Jordan Matthews was said to have had a strong camp, but the 27-year-old wide receiver wasn’t able to stick in SF. He inked a one-year, $1.8MM deal with the Niners in March, but he’ll exit with just his $300K signing bonus in hand.
Aside from Garnett and Matthews, here’s the rest of the Niners’ cuts:
DB Antone Exum Jr.
DL Kevin Givens
TE Daniel Helm
WR Malik Henry
LB Elijah Lee
LB David Mayo
OL Najee Toran
RB Jeff Wilson Jr.
OL Andrew Lauderdale