Dontae Johnson

49ers Place Jason Verrett On IR

Another Jason Verrett IR trip will commence. The 49ers placed the veteran cornerback on IR and will reunite with corner Dontae Johnson.

Verrett played in one game with the 49ers. This will be the third straight season he will have landed on IR after playing in one or fewer games. The former first-round pick has played in two games since the start of the 2017 season. The ex-Charger defender tore an Achilles’ tendon last year, missing the entire 2018 season, and has dealt with ankle and knee trouble as a 49er. He ran into the knee issue during his 49ers debut — Week 3 against the Steelers.

He signed a one-year, $1.5MM deal, but his second-chance opportunity has not gone well. The 28-year-old Fairfield, Calif., native has displayed promise in his career but has played more than six games in a season once since going off the board at No. 25 in 2014. In that season, 2015, Verrett made the Pro Bowl.

While the TCU alum profiles as an IR-return candidate, with Matt Barrows of The Athletic noting the 49ers are “holding out hope” he can come back in 2019 (subscription required), this is yet another bad sign his comeback will take off. He played only four defensive snaps in his 49ers debut.

This will be Johnson’s third stint as a 49er and fourth contract of 2019. The former San Francisco cog who was a full-time 49ers starter as recently as 2017 has become an NFL nomad. In 2019 alone, he’s spent time with the Chiefs, 49ers and Chargers, playing in two Los Angeles games. The Bolts cut him to make room for Melvin Gordon on their active roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Activate Melvin Gordon

With Melvin Gordon looking likelier to make his debut earlier than expected, the Chargers took the official step by activating him in advance of their Week 4 game against the Dolphins.

The team announced the activation, along with the promotion of wide receiver Andre Patton from their practice squad. The Bolts waived cornerback Dontae Johnson and defensive end Chris Peace to make room on the 53-man roster.

Los Angeles’ initial Gordon plan was for a Week 5 debut, but with Justin Jackson out with a calf injury, Gordon is expected to play in a limited capacity. This is indeed the plan, per USA Today’s Mike Jones (on Twitter). The Bolts pulled a contract offer off the table and said they would not negotiate with Gordon until after the season, which stands to push the two-time Pro Bowler to free agency. But for now, the fifth-year running back will be positioned to help his team move to .500 and re-route its season.

Gordon will team with Austin Ekeler against the woeful Dolphins, who are 14.5-point home underdogs. This duo combined for more than 2,300 scrimmage yards last season. Anthony Lynn confirmed Gordon will return to his starting role soon, but on Sunday, the Chargers will likely keep Ekeler in the lead role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers Place Trevor Williams On IR

The Chargers swapped out cornerbacks Wednesday, signing Dontae Johnson and placing Trevor Williams on IR. Williams represents the latest injury loss for the again-malady-plagued Bolts.

Williams was looking to bounce back from an injury-riddled 2018 campaign, where he missed seven games due to a knee injury. The Chargers tendered Williams as an RFA back in March, but a quadriceps injury limited him and will force him to IR. A UDFA out of Penn State, Williams started 15 Chargers games in 2017.

The fourth-year defender must miss a minimum of eight games before potentially returning, though one of the Bolts’ two IR-return spots is essentially spoken for. Derwin James is expected to return at some point in the regular season’s second half.

A 2014 49ers fourth-round pick, Johnson spent four years in San Francisco. He played in 63 games (22 starts) for the 49ers and caught on with three teams — the Seahawks, Bills and Cardinals — last year but did not see game action. Johnson returned to the 49ers for camp this year, but despite a three-interception preseason, he did not make their 53-man roster.

Chargers Work Out TEs Will Tye, Ben Koyack

Hunter Henry‘s latest injury represents yet another early-season setback for perhaps the NFL’s clubhouse leaders for this type of obstacle. The Chargers are at work trying to add to their tight end contingent.

In addition to auditioning Luke Willson, the Bolts brought in veterans Will Tye and Ben Koyack, per the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson (on Twitter).

A former Giant, Tye last played in 2017. Koyack, a seventh-round Jaguars pick in 2016, has not caught a pass since the 2017 season. Tye, however, surpassed 40 receptions with the 2015 and ’16 Giants editions. The Chargers have Virgil Green and third-year UDFA Sean Culkin on their roster. The team has yet to place Henry on IR, though his timetable may end up requiring that — as it did last year.

Another Antonio Gates reunion has yet to be reported as a possible Bolts plan of action, but that would be a natural fit given the 39-year-old future Hall of Famer’s experience with the franchise and rapport with Philip Rivers. The Chargers brought back Gates last year after Henry’s ACL tear, and Henry returned in time for Los Angeles’ divisional playoff game.

The Bolts also worked out defensive backs Dontae Johnson and Tevaughn Campbell, along with wide receiver Anthony Johnson.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/28/19

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Chiefs Sign EJ Manuel, Sammie Coates

The Chiefs have signed quarterback EJ Manuel and wide receiver Sammie Coates, according to a team announcement. They also inked receiver Davon Grayson and defensive back Dontae Johnson

Manuel, 29 in March, has not suited up since his 2017 season with the Raiders. Before that, the former first-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the Bills. All in all, Manuel has a career 6-12 record, a 58.1% completion percentage, and 20 touchdowns against 16 interceptions. The Florida State product has not lived up to his draft billing so far, but he’ll look to impress in Kansas City and stick as a backup to star Patrick Mahomes.

Coates, 26 in March, made some noise with the Steelers as a youngster but has not done a whole lot over the last two years. He had six catches for 70 yards with the Browns in 2017 and had just one catch for 12 yards in his run with the Texans last year. Coates auditioned for the Colts and Cowboys towards the end of the 2018 season, but did not sign with either club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/18/18

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

  • Signed off Patriots’ practice squad: T Eric Smith

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/18

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

  • Signed: OL Gerhard de Beer

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Oakland Raiders

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Colts Audition Jalen Collins, Dontae Johnson

Free agent cornerback Jalen Collins was reinstated by the NFL earlier today after serving a 10-game suspension, and he’s already landed an audition. Collins worked out for the Colts on Wednesday, tweets Field Yates of ESPN.com. Indianapolis also looked at fellow defensive back Dontae Johnson, per Howard Balzer (Twitter link).

Collins has already faced multiple league-imposed bans during his brief NFL career, and his most recent 10-game suspension was actually his second of that length. While Collins’ previous bans were reportedly due to performance-enhancing drug use, it’s unclear what caused his latest suspension. However, as Matt Miller of Bleacher Report notes (via Twitter), Colts general manager Chris Ballard has never been afraid to target players with off-field issues.

Still only 25 years old, Collins flashed potential in parts of two seasons with the Falcons (2015-16). A former second-round pick, Collins started eight games for the Falcons and played in 24. He also started all three of Atlanta’s games in the 2016 playoffs, including Super Bowl LI.

Johnson, 26, spent four seasons (including one as a starter) with the 49ers before latching on with the Bills earlier this year. He played in only one game with Buffalo before being cut, but he’s hit the workout circuit since, auditioning for the Lions, Browns, and Dolphins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.