Erik Magnuson

NFC Notes: Lions, Bears, Galette, 49ers

Third-year Lions linebacker Steve Longa did, in fact, suffer a torn ACL that will end his season, Kyle Meinke of MLive.com reports. Longa tore the ligament while chasing down Giants quarterback Kyle Lauletta and is expected to be placed on IR Monday. The Lions weren’t going to use Longa as a starter — Jarrad Davis, Christian Jones and Devon Kennard are entrenched as their first-string ‘backers — but the former UDFA was a key part of Detroit’s special teams corps. This may open up a spot for Miles Killebrew, a former safety who’s been working with the Lions’ linebackers in recent weeks. Killebrew also serves as a regular on special teams.

Here’s the latest out of the NFC, moving to another NFC North team’s injury situation.

  • The Bears received better news regarding a young player’s injury. Adam Shaheen required a cart to leave the field during Saturday night’s Bears-Broncos game thanks to a first-quarter setback. However, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets the second-year tight end is not believed to have suffered a serious injury. The 2017 second-rounder is dealing with a low ankle sprain, per Rapoport. Although more tests will be in store for the small-school product, Shaheen has a chance to play in Week 1.
  • Sean McVay said (via Lindsay Thiry of ESPN.com, on Twitter) Junior Galette‘s Rams visit will take place Monday. Galette is now 30 and a few years removed from his peak — back-to-back 10-plus-sack years with the Saints in 2013-14 — but he did play in all 16 Redskins games last season after missing the previous two years with injuries. The Rams’ efforts to restock their cornerback contingent and add Ndamukong Suh induced some cutbacks, and the Super Bowl contender’s edge defender situation is perhaps a vulnerable spot midway through the preseason.
  • Another NFC West team has questions on the edge, and Kyle Shanahan (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, on Twitter) still has Elvis Dumervil in mind as a contingency plan in case the second-year HC deems the 49ers as being too light on defensive ends. Shanahan said earlier this offseason the 12-year veteran probably wouldn’t need much preseason work to be effective, so San Francisco still remains a possibility for the now-34-year-old edge player. Dumervil, who began his career under Mike Shanahan and alongside John Lynch in Denver, led the 49ers with 6.5 sacks last season. No other 49er registered more than three.
  • More running back injury trouble’s come the 49ers’ way. With Jerick McKinnon and No. 2 back Matt Breida out until Week 1, 2017 fourth-rounder Joe Williams fractured a rib and suffered a “very bad” bone bruise, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (on Twitter). Shanahan said Williams will miss Week 1. Shanahan urged Lynch to trade up to select Williams, but this setback figures to pose a problem for his chances of making an impact this season. The 49ers, who also lost offensive lineman Erik Magnuson to a hamstring strain that will shelve him until possibly October, are going to make IR decisions regarding this duo this week (Twitter links, via Maiocco and the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman). A 2017 UDFA out of Michigan, Magnuson played in four games as a rookie and started two. If the 49ers place either on IR before roster-cutdown day, they cannot use one of their IR-return spots on them.
  • Second-year UDFA Rickey Jefferson will not play for the Saints this season. The defensive back tore one of his ACLs in New Orleans’ second preseason game, Nick Underhill of The Advocate reports. The LSU alum did not play last season and latched on with the Saints in January via reserve/futures contract.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/17

Here are today’s minor NFL moves:

Detroit Lions

  • Promoted from practice squad: S Roland Milligan
  • Promoted from practice squad: WR Bradley Marquez

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

49ers Sign Five Draft Picks, 16 UDFAs

The 49ers are making quick work of their 2017 draft class, as the club announced today that they’ve signed defensive back Adrian Colbert, defensive lineman D.J. Jones, tight end George Kittle, defensive lineman Pita Taumoepenu, and wide receiver Trent Taylor to rookie contracts. San Francisco also confirmed the previously-reported signing of fourth-round running back Joe Williams.

Additionally, the 49ers have announced the signing of 16 undrafted college free agents:

Chad Kelly Not Invited To Draft Combine

The NFL invited upwards of 300 players to this year’s draft combine in Indianapolis, but Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly and Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon were not among those on the list. Kelly was not invited to the NFL combine based on off-field issues, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report tweets. The same presumably goes for Mixon after video surfaced of him striking a woman.

In accordance with rules passed by the NFL last year, players with felony or misdemeanor convictions are not permitted to attend the combine. All players who wish to participate must submit to a background check. If a player’s background check unearths any conviction involving violence, he is turned away.Chad Kelly (vertical)

After suffering a a torn ACL and lateral meniscus in the fall, it’s not certain that Kelly would have been able to participate in combine drills even if he was invited. If Kelly is healthy enough to work out between now and late April, it’s a good bet that he’ll be able to get interested teams to watch him up close. That will go a long way towards dictating where Kelly might go in the draft. Recently, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller wrote that Kelly is “still an intriguing quarterback prospect in a bad overall class.” Meanwhile, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report heard back in November that the Ole Miss product was being viewed by evaluators as a Day 3 prospect.

We also have conflicting reports on Mixon. One area scout assigned to the Sooners told Albert Breer of The MMQB recently that he’s confident some team will weather the PR storm and draft him. Hours later, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted that Mixon is still undraftable in the eyes of many teams.

Other notable prospects left without invites include Kansas State linebacker Elijah Lee, Ole Miss wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow, Michigan offensive linemen Erik Magnuson and Kyle Kalis, Baylor receiver Ishmael Zamora, and Houston linebacker Steven Taylor.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.