Brian Allen

49ers’ Ahkello Witherspoon To Miss Time

The 49ers’ cornerback shuffle continues. In addition to placing Richard Sherman on injured reserve with a leg injury, the Niners also announced that fellow corner Ahkello Witherspoon has entered the concussion protocol. To replenish the group, the Niners have promoted Dontae Johnson from the practice squad to the active roster. And, to replace Johnson on the practice squad, they’ve signed former Steelers fifth-round pick Brian Allen

[RELATED: 49ers Place Richard Sherman On IR]

Now, the Niners are without their leading outside cornerback and one of their top reserve CBs. Jason Verrett figures to start opposite of Emmanuel Moseley for the time being with K’Waun Williams continuing to serve as the slot man. Beyond that, the Niners will lean on Dontae Johnson as the first corner off the bench and hope that they won’t be hit with any more CB injuries.

In other Niners news, they’ve added veteran receiver Mohamed Sanu on a one-year deal. On the other side of the ball, they’ve decided to pass on Ezekiel Ansah yet again after their second meeting with the defensive lineman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Release Andre Roberts, Trim Roster To 53

Here are the roster decisions the Bills made to move to the mandated 53-man regular-season limit.

Waived:

Released:

Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform:

The Bills signed Roberts to a two-year deal in 2019, doing so after he earned All-Pro recognition for his kick-return work on the 2018 Jets. Roberts has 10 years’ experience and two Pro Bowls on his resume. The second of those two Pro Bowl nods came last season with the Bills. Buffalo enters the season with its best chance to win the AFC East in maybe 20 years, so cutting an accomplished player is certainly surprising.

Foster made a splash as a rookie in 2018, but the Bills have overhauled their receiver group since. John Brown and Cole Beasley led the way last year, and the team traded for Stefon Diggs and drafted two wideouts — fourth-rounder Gabriel Davis and sixth-rounder Isaiah Hodgins — this year. Foster will nonetheless be an interest name on waivers.

Buffalo traded for Andre Smith earlier this week. The third-year linebacker could well be brought back on the team’s 16-player practice squad. Teams can begin assembling their P-squads Sunday.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/28/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves in this post. In addition to the transactions listed below, note that Broncos DT Joel Heath and Giants CB Shakial Taylor, who had previously been listed as cut, actually opted out of the 2020 season. As Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network tweets, both players were reinstated to their teams’ rosters and placed on the Reserve/Opt-Out List. The full (and final) opt-out tracker can be found here:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Lions Work Out C.J. Prosise

Free agent running C.J. Prosise was among the group of players that worked out for the Lions today, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Prosise, 26, worked with Detroit offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell in Seattle from 2016-17, so he presumably has a grasp of the offense Bevell is deploying with the Lions. That could prove to be especially important in this COVID-shortened offseason when meeting and practice time is at a minimum.

The Lions don’t have a dire need for running back depth at the moment. Rookie D’Andre Swift and incumbent Kerryon Johnson will serve as the club’s top two options, while Bo Scarbrough is available in reserve. Johnson has missed plenty of time due to injury in his short career, though, so Prosise could become an emergency option.

The Seahawks drafted Prosise in the third round of the 2016 draft but were never able to find a regular role for him in their offense. In four seasons in Seattle, Prosise never topped more than 30 carries or 20 receptions. Last year, he played 123 offensive snaps but handled only 33 total touches.

Per the NFL’s transaction wire, Detroit also worked out running backs Troymaine Pope and Jonathan Williams, cornerbacks Brian Allen and Dominique Hatfield, center Erik Magnuson, and linebacker Avery Moss.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rams C Brian Allen Tests Positive For COVID-19

Rams center Brian Allen is the first active NFL player to test positive for COVID-19, according to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports (Twitter link).

Allen first tested positive three weeks ago before testing positive again earlier this week. Fortunately, Allen now says he’s symptom-free and expects to receive the “all clear” this week.

The Rams, whose facilities had only been open to injured players, were forced to close down their building due to Allen’s positive test. Now that Allen is recovering, Los Angeles will be able to re-open next week, per Glazer.

It seemed inevitable that COVID-19 would eventually work its way into the NFL, and it’s entirely possible Allen won’t be the only NFL player diagnosed. It’s unclear if this news will force the league’s hand in terms of schedule; while events like free agency, the draft, and offseason workout programs have been moved to remote settings, no part of the NFL’s has been canceled as of yet.

Allen, 24, entered the league as a fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft. He became the Rams’ starting center in 2019 and appeared in nine games before suffering an MCL injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Rumors: Drake, Olsen, Rams

This running back market could feature Derrick Henry and Melvin Gordon, but given how most of the high-end running back contracts of recent years have not helped teams, the prices for the free agent backs might be team-friendly.

Nevertheless, Kenyan Drake is hoping to parlay his Cardinals work into a lucrative deal. The former Dolphins starter-turned-trade chip is expected to target $8-$10MM per year, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. That would come in south of the Ezekiel ElliottTodd GurleyLe’Veon BellDavid Johnson top tier but north of the rest of the field. Drake is a candidate to stay in Arizona, however, despite Johnson’s presence.

The Cardinals want to re-sign their recent trade acquisition, and the prospect of a franchise tag has surfaced. That $10MM-plus figure entering the equation would be a serious boon for Drake’s value.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • ESPN’s Brady Henderson has details on Greg Olsen‘s one-year, $7MM deal with the Seahawks (Twitter link). The veteran tight end will earn a $3.75MM signing bonus with a $1.75MM base salary, leading to $5.5MM in guaranteed money. Olsen also has an extra $1.5MM in per-game roster bonuses.
  • The Rams will be without offensive guard Joseph Noteboom and center Brian Allen until the start of training camp, according to Rich Hammond of The Athletic. The fact that the team won’t have a pair of starters for much of the offseason program could influence the front office’s decision to retain impending free agent Austin Blythe and potential trade candidate Rob Havenstein.
  • We learned earlier today that despite having around only $13MM in cap space, the 49ers are motivated to keep Arik Armstead in the fold.

Ben Levine contributed to this post.

NFL Reserve/Futures Contracts: 1/15/20

Today’s reserve/futures deals:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • DB DaShaun Amos

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 12/5/19

We’ll keep track of today’s practice squad moves here:

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Kansas City Chiefs

Houston Texans

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Redskins