COVID-19

49ers Cut LB Kiko Alonso

The 49ers have waived linebacker Kiko Alonso with a failed physical designation, per a team press release. Meanwhile, defensive linemen D.J. Jones and Jordan Willis have been placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. 

The Niners acquired Alonso earlier this month in the deal that sent Kwon Alexander to the Saints. The trade was mostly done as a salary dump, though they were hoping to get some value out of Alonso (as well as the conditional fifth-rounder).

Alonso started for the Dolphins between 2016-18 and was mostly healthy, averaging more than 115 tackles per season. He was a little less productive for the Saints in 2019 and, unfortunately, ended his season with an ACL tear in the Wild Card round. The 30-year-old has yet to see the field in 2020 and it’s not clear if he’ll be able to suit up for anyone this season.

Last time out, the Niners fell to Alonso’s old squad. Next, they’ll face the Rams in Los Angeles.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens’ Mark Ingram, J.K. Dobbins Test Positive For COVID-19

Ravens running backs Mark Ingram and J.K. Dobbins have tested positive for COVID-19 (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo). They’ll both land on the reserve list today, leaving Gus Edwards as their primary back for Thursday night against the Steelers. 

Ingram has already missed significant time due to injury. Now, he’s out for at least an additional week until he clears the league’s coronavirus protocols. For Dobbins, the timing is especially unfortunate — he’s coming off of a strong showing against the Titans where he rushed for 70 yards off of just 15 carries, good for an average of 4.67 yards per tote.. All in all, the second-round pick out of Ohio State has averaged 5.3 yards per attempt as Ingram’s fill-in.

Edwards has also impressed in a shorter sample size, tallying 376 yards off of 85 carries (4.4 ypc) and three touchdowns. The 25-year-old Rutgers product has averaged 5.1 yards for the Ravens since turning pro — not too shabby for a backup RB.

The Ravens, sans two of their offensive stars, will look to stop a two-game slide on Thursday when they head to Pittsburgh.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Browns’ Myles Garrett

Browns edge rusher Myles Garrett will remain on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, according to head coach Kevin Stefanski. With that, Garrett will be held out of Sunday’s contest against the Jaguars, marking his second straight missed game.

Garrett was parked the reserve list last week, keeping him out of their Week 11 game against the Eagles. They still managed to win 22-17 without their top defensive player, thanks to Sione Takitaki’s pick-six and Olivier Vernon’s sack/safety. The front seven delivered, just in the nick of time. Heading into Week 11, Garrett had 9.5 sacks to lead the league while everyone else on the Browns had combined for just 12.5 sacks.

The Browns are now 7-3, but they’ll have to continue their playoff push without Garrett for at least one more week. Per the NFL’s coronavirus protocols, Garrett can’t return to the team until at least 24 hours after his symptoms have passed. There’s no word yet on his status or specifics on any symptoms that Garrett may have experienced since he was placed on the reserve list.

If the Browns keep things up, they’ll have an opportunity to snap their 18-year playoff drought, the longest in the NFL.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lamarcus Joyner Back On Reserve/COVID-List

The Raiders activated CB Lamarcus Joyner from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, but as Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports, Las Vegas has put Joyner back on the list today (Twitter link). As such, Joyner will miss tonight’s matchup with the Chiefs.

Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell recently tested positive for the coronavirus, and as a close contact of Ferrell, Joyner — along with a whole host of other players — landed on the reserve-COVID-19 list earlier this week. All of those other players came off the list yesterday and remain on track to play.

It’s unclear whether Joyner himself has contracted the virus, but regardless, the Raiders will be without their primary slot corner as they attempt to put a lid on the Chiefs’ high-flying offense. Of course, Las Vegas is responsible for Kansas City’s only loss this season, but the club had to prepare for this game with most of its starting defense participating remotely.

Joyner, who is in his second year with the Raiders, has not been great this season, as Pro Football Focus regards him as a middling performer in terms of coverage and as the 85th-best corner out of 119 eligible players. Still, the club ranks in the bottom third of the league in passing yards allowed per game, and losing a veteran like Joyner is never a good thing.

Joyner has compiled 46 tackles and three passes defensed this season.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/21/20

Here are the latest practice squad moves from around the league:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Seattle Seahawks

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/20

Here is Saturday’s usual flood of minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Chiefs Place Mitchell Schwartz On IR

Mitchell Schwartz has seen his iron-man run stop this season, having missed time due to injury. The Chiefs will now be without their ace right tackle for a while.

Kansas City placed Schwartz on IR Saturday. This move will sideline the All-Pro blocker for at least three more games. Schwartz is dealing with a back injury — one that has shelved him since Week 6.

Prior to the October injury, Schwartz had not missed a game in eight seasons. He had started four years with the Browns and another four with the Chiefs. Kansas City gave Schwartz an extension in the process, relying on his stability as Eric Fisher underwent surgery last season. Both Fisher and Schwartz landed on Kansas City’s reserve/COVID-19 list recently, but Fisher will be back in action against Las Vegas. Schwartz will not.

The Chiefs also removed Mecole Hardman from their reserve/COVID list. They had placed the second-year wideout on the virus list last week. Hardman should play a key role against the Raiders, with Sammy Watkins set to miss the AFC West rivals’ Week 11 rematch.

Kansas City is also activating Alex Okafor and defensive back L’Jarius Sneed from IR. Okafor worked as a starter last season, but a midseason injury knocked him out for the team’s Super Bowl push. A hamstring injury sidelined Okafor this season. A fourth-round rookie, Sneed played well early this year but suffered a broken collarbone in September. Okafor will help out a Chiefs pass rush that will be without Taco Charlton for a while. The Chiefs placed the offseason acquisition on IR Saturday.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seven Raiders Defenders To Come Off Reserve/COVID-19 List

While the Raiders practiced without several defenders this week, they are at least on track to have those players in uniform Sunday night against the Chiefs.

After continuing to test negative for COVID-19, seven Raider defenders will come off the team’s coronavirus list Saturday, Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com tweets. Johnathan Abram, Johnathan Hankins, Arden Key, Maliek Collins, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive lineman Kendal Vickers will be activated Saturday. David Irving is set to come off Las Vegas’ practice squad COVID-19 list, per Gutierrez.

The Raiders placed these seven players on their reserve/COVID list earlier this week, preventing each from practicing. They joined Lamarcus Joyner in that regard; the Raiders activated Joyner on Friday. This octet profiled as close contacts of Clelin Ferrell, who tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this week. Abram, Hankins, Key, Collins, Johnson and Vickers will be eligible to play against the Chiefs if their most recent COVID tests come back negative Sunday morning. Irving must be activated off the Raiders’ practice squad to suit up in Week 11.

Unlike Week 7’s Raiders-Buccaneers game — which was moved out of the Sunday-night window after Las Vegas’ first-string offensive line did not practice all week because of Trent Brown‘s positive COVID test — the NFL did not switch this week’s Raiders-Chiefs rematch out of the Sunday-night time slot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Myles Garrett Tests Positive For COVID-19

Browns defensive end Myles Garrett has been placed on the COVID-19 reserve list, per a club announcement. Garrett did not practice this week due to an undisclosed illness, and Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com notes the fourth-year pass rusher has indeed tested positive for the coronavirus. 

The Browns will be without Garrett for this week’s game against the Eagles, at minimum. The former No. 1 overall pick is now in jeopardy of missing Week 12’s Jaguars game as well.

Garrett currently leads the league with 9.5 sacks and his presence will be missed as they look to advance to 7-3 in a sardine-packed AFC North. The former Texas A&M star joins tackle Jack Conklin, fullback Andy Janovich, kicker Cody Parkey, and tackle Chris Hubbard on the Browns’ reserve list. On the plus side, “zero high-risk contacts have been identified” in connection to Garrett, per the team’s press release.

The Browns gave Garrett a record-breaking extension in July and, so far, he’s done his part to live up to the deal. While he leads the NFL with 9.5 sacks, the rest of the Browns’ D has just 12.5 sacks combined. While he isolates, the Browns will need the rest of the front seven to step things up and keep the pressure on.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Lachavious Simmons

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: RB T.J. Logan; Logan remains on IR