Hroniss Grasu

COVID-19 Latest: Ravens, Williams, Browns

Earlier Wednesday, the NFL took the Ravens-Steelers rematch off its Thanksgiving schedule. That game is now on tap for 12:15pm CT Sunday. More is emerging on why the Steelers will see another of their games delayed. The Ravens disciplined a strength and conditioning coach for “conduct surrounding the recent COVID-19 cases that have affected players and staff.” The Ravens are levying the discipline because the unnamed staffer did not report symptoms or consistently wear a mask or a contact tracing device, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). This is believed to have contributed to the Ravens’ outbreak — one that comes nearly two months after a Titans outbreak altered the Steelers’ schedule. Seven Ravens players and at least five staffers have tested positive for COVID. This will not only weaken Baltimore against Pittsburgh but potentially deplete team’s roster for its Week 13 Thursday game against Dallas.

Several teams shuffled their rosters because of COVID on Wednesday. Here is the latest:

  • 49ers left tackle Trent Williams tested positive for COVID-19 last week, per ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano (on Twitter). A cancer survivor, Williams has not experienced issues with the virus yet, Graziano tweets. Williams, who landed on the 49ers’ COVID list earlier this month as a high-risk close contact, is on track to miss San Francisco’s Week 12 game in Los Angeles.
  • Six players remain on San Francisco’s virus list. The 49ers removed Arik Armstead and center Hroniss Grasu on Wednesday.
  • Browns linebacker Sione Takitaki tested positive Wednesday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com (on Twitter). Takitaki played against the Eagles and returned an interception for a touchdown. The Cleveland starting linebacker’s positive test follows Myles Garrett‘s. Neither they nor Denzel Ward (injury) will be available for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. The Browns closed their facility Wednesday, but their Jags game remains on schedule.
  • The Bengals placed wide receiver Auden Tate and recently acquired offensive lineman B.J. Finney on their reserve/COVID-19 list. Cincinnati has seen staffers test positive, with D-line coach Nick Eason being the most recent. Eason was alerted of his positive test Tuesday. The Bengals now have five players on their reserve/COVID list.
  • Christian Wilkins is off the Dolphins‘ COVID list. Wilkins was not reported to have tested positive, but the second-year defensive lineman still missed two games after landing on the team’s virus list.
  • The Raiders activated Cory Littleton from their COVID list. The high-profile free agent addition has been out for two weeks due to a positive coronavirus test. Las Vegas’ defense remains shorthanded due to virus issues, with Clelin Ferrell testing positive last week and Lamarcus Joyner missing Sunday’s Chiefs game because of his status as a close contact.
  • Dante Fowler also tested positive two weeks ago and missed the Falcons‘ Week 11 game, but the big-ticket free agent addition is off the list now and on course to return to Atlanta’s lineup Sunday.
  • The Vikings and Chargers also removed players from their respective virus lists Wednesday. Minnesota activated guard Dru Samia; Los Angeles activated cornerback Brandon Facyson.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/19/20

Here are the most recent NFL minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Placed on IR: CB C.J. Henderson

Kansas City Chiefs

Minnesota Vikings

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: FB C.J. Ham

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/26/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. There are many, as teams take advantage of the rule change allowing 55-man rosters ahead of regular-season games. Teams can dress 48 players for games this season, up from 46.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/12/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. Many of these roster decisions involve practice squad promotions. Under the new CBA, teams are permitted to promote two P-squad players without corresponding roster moves per week. Teams can carry 55 players on their rosters for game days and can have up to 48 active.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Promoted: RB Nathan Cottrell, TE Ben Ellefson

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: DB Nate Brooks

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Johnathan Cyprien, Dion Jordan Land On 49ers’ Practice Squad

A 71-game starter throughout a seven-year career, Johnathan Cyprien expressed skepticism about joining the 49ers’ practice squad recently. Kyle Shanahan expressed intrigue about the opportunity to carry up to six experienced players on his 2020 practice squad. But the 49ers made the longtime safety one of their cuts Saturday, and he changed his tune.

Cyprien, 30, agreed to join San Francisco’s practice squad. He will make $12K per week for each week he is on the 49ers’ P-squad. Were he to be promoted to the active roster, that rate would change to at least the veteran minimum.

Cyprien was a full-time Jaguars starter for four seasons, from 2013-16, and started 10 games for the 2017 Titans. He has not been a regular first-stringer since, however. He will join former Bears top-10 pick Dion Jordan and Kevin White on the 49ers’ P-squad.

San Francisco signed White recently, but he did not make the active roster. The 49ers added Jordan this offseason as well. The former No. 3 overall pick played rotational roles with the Seahawks and Raiders over the past three seasons. While suspensions have defined the defensive end’s career, he will have another chance to stay with a team — albeit in unusual fashion.

Here is the 49ers’ full practice squad:

49ers Cut Dion Jordan, Kevin White

On Saturday, the 49ers put a pair of former first-round notables on the curb. Defensive end Dion Jordan and Kevin White were dropped from the roster as a part of the club’s 20+ cuts on Saturday. 

Jordan’s NFL career has taken some odd turns, to say the least. After being selected No. 3 overall by the Dolphins, Jordan did little to justify his pre-draft hype. After some underwhelming seasons, missed seasons, and a number of suspensions, Jordan found his way to the Seahawks in 2017. In 2018, he showed some promise as a rotational piece, and he parlayed that into a one-year deal with the Raiders. He hooked on with the Niners in early August, but he didn’t get to stay for long.

White, a former No. 7 overall pick of the Bears, came out of West Virginia with tons of hype. Over the last five years, injuries have limited him to just 14 games. The Niners have been decimated by injuries at wide receiver, but they still didn’t see enough out of White’s ~1 week audition to keep him. For his career, White has 25 catches for 285 yards and zero touchdowns.

Here’s the full rundown of the 49ers’ cuts:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Sign OL Hroniss Grasu

Recent 49ers acquisition Spencer Long opted to retire, and the team added another depth piece to fill the void. Former Bears starting center Hroniss Grasu agreed to terms with the 49ers, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

The agreement is pending COVID-19 testing, but Grasu would potentially provide some second-string help for a 49ers team that has some uncertainty on its O-line interior.

San Francisco moved on from two-year guard starter Mike Person, who subsequently retired, and center starter Weston Richburg resides on the team’s active/PUP list. Utility man Ben Garland is also battling an ankle injury. The team is also thin at guard, beyond starters Laken Tomlinson and Tom Compton.

Grasu, 29, spent the past two seasons with the Ravens. Injuries sidetracked his run with the Bears. He landed in Baltimore in 2018 but also spent time with Tennessee during that stretch. The former third-round pick started a game for the Ravens in 2018 but has only appeared in four contests over the past two seasons.

Ravens Claim C Hroniss Grasu

With Matt Skura out for the season, the Ravens gave the Week 13 center snaps to a player without much experience at the position. On Wednesday, they claimed a former starting center, Hroniss Grasu, off waivers from the Titans, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Patrick Mekari started for Baltimore against San Francisco and played all 65 offensive snaps, but the rookie UDFA out of Cal had not previously started an NFL or college game at center. Grasu provides some insurance.

The former Bears starter has made 13 NFL starts, including one with the Ravens last season, since being a 2015 third-round pick. The Titans waived him earlier this week after not using him in a game this season. The Ravens cut Grasu late last season, leading him to stints with the Dolphins and Titans.

The Ravens waived defensive lineman Zach Sieler to clear a roster spot for Grasu, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets.