Javon Kinlaw

Injury Notes: 49ers, Jets, Rams

We learned earlier today that a torn quad will sideline 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey for the rest of the season, and the injury hits keep coming for San Francisco. Per head coach Kyle Shanahan, both wideout Mohamed Sanu and Tavon Wilson will likely miss some time (per Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury on Twitter).

Sanu suffered a knee sprain during the third quarter of yesterday’s loss to the Cardinals, and Shanhan said the wideout will be out for a while. The veteran receiver had established himself as the third receiver this season, hauling in 15 catches for 177 yards through eight games. The likes of Jauan Jennings and Trent Sherfield could see increased reps while Sanu is out of the lineup.

Wilson suffered a foot injury that will likely require an IR trip. The veteran safety was already starting in place Jimmie Ward, so the team will have to rely on their depth while the two defensive backs are sidelined. Wilson has seen time in eight games this season, although Week 9 was the first time he got significant playing time on defense.

Some more injury notes from around the NFL:

  • The 49ers provided some additional context on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw‘s recent knee operation (via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner on Twitter). Team doctors noted “that the ACL has chronic changes that would be best treated with ACL reconstruction.” The organization believes this alternative route will provide Kinlaw with the best chance to play during the 2022 season.
  • Both Zach Wilson and Mike White will both return to Jets practice this week, reports Brian Costello of the New York Post (via Twitter). It remains to be seen who will be the starting quarterback against the Bills this weekend. It sounds like the team is likely to play it safe with Wilson, meaning White could get another chance to start.
  • Rams wideout Jacob Harris will miss the rest of the season following ACL and MCL injuries, per Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (via Twitter). The fourth-round pick was a wideout in college but has been playing tight end since joining the NFL. He’s only played 15 offensive snaps this season, but he got into nine games as a special teamer.

49ers Place S Jaquiski Tartt On IR

More bad news for the 49ers’ defense. Shortly after Kyle Shanahan confirmed season-ending surgery was on tap for Javon Kinlaw, they placed the second-year defensive tackle on IR. Jaquiski Tartt will join Kinlaw on San Francisco’s injured list.

Tartt should not be expected to miss the rest of the season, having suffered a knee contusion against the Colts. But the veteran safety is down for at least the next three games. A seventh-year veteran, Tartt has made 56 regular-season starts but has dealt with injuries for most of his career.

This is a familiar transaction for Tartt, who missed time due to injury in each of the 49ers’ past four seasons. A broken arm moved Tartt to IR in 2017, and a shoulder malady shelved Tartt for part of the 2018 season. A rib injury cost Tartt four games in 2019, though he returned for the 49ers’ three playoff contests, and a turf toe bout ended his 2020 campaign. The turf toe issue dragged into this summer’s training camp, with Tartt beginning on the 49ers’ active/PUP list. He returned in time for Week 1, but more injury trouble has intervened.

Overall, Tartt missed 28 games from 2017-20. These setbacks have not shaken the 49ers’ confidence in Tartt. They extended the former seventh-round pick in 2018 and gave him another new deal this year. The most recent Tartt contract only runs through season’s end, however.

Tartt joins Kinlaw and linebacker Dre Greenlaw on IR. The 49ers will also be without Dee Ford and starting linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair for Week 8. Rotational defensive lineman Kevin Givens is back on San Francisco’s active roster, however, after his IR stay. The 49ers also promoted tight end Jordan Matthews and safety Kai Nacua from their practice squad.

49ers’ Javon Kinlaw Done For Year 

49ers defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw will undergo season-ending knee surgery, per a club announcement. Kinlaw will be placed on the injured reserve list and likely replaced with another interior lineman.

Kinlaw, who has battled intermittent knee trouble for years, met with a specialist in Los Angeles last week. He was told that surgery was likely, and an additional check confirmed the bad news for the former first-round pick.

There’s lot things went into it and what they found. Good news is they think they solved the problem,” said head coach Kyle Shanahan (Twitter link via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News).

Kinlaw has yet to fill DeForest Buckner‘s shoes in SF. So far, the second-year pro has taken a backseat to Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Arik Armstead and the rest of the Niners’ standout linemen. His season will end with just eight tackles in four games.

On the plus side, quarterback Trey Lance may be able to face the Bears this weekend. Left tackle Trent Williams is also expected to play as the 49ers look to snap their four-game losing streak.

Season-Ending Surgery On Table For 49ers DT Javon Kinlaw

While injuries have not plagued the 49ers quite like they did last season, the team has still battled maladies on key fronts this year. One of the 49ers’ young starters is undergoing a key evaluation that stands to determine his availability for the season’s remainder.

Javon Kinlaw is visiting a specialist in Los Angeles, and Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch, on Twitter) a season-ending knee surgery is on the table. The 2020 first-round pick missed the 49ers’ Week 6 game with the knee problem and has battled intermittent knee trouble for years.

Drafted to fill the spot vacated by last year’s DeForest Buckner trade, Kinlaw is a work in progress. The South Carolina product missing the rest of this season would certainly set his development back and strip the 49ers of a key D-line performer. Despite their four-game losing streak, the 49ers have had top front-four principals Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and Arik Armstead available throughout the season. Bosa and Ford combined to play in just three games last year, placing a low ceiling on San Francisco’s pass rush.

Kinlaw initially suffered this knee injury in December 2020 but entered the NFL with a history of knee issues from college. Knee pain caused Kinlaw to leave the 2020 Senior Bowl workouts early and skip position drills at last year’s Combine. The 49ers signed off on him and used him as a 12-game starter as a rookie. But Kinlaw missed the 49ers’ final two games last season and was absent in Week 1 of this season because of knee issues.

The interior D-lineman has not been productive this year, having eclipsed one tackle in just one of the four games he’s played. But the 49ers obviously made a big investment in Kinlaw and cannot afford many more bad breaks during a season that is heading south.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/27/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: WR Diontae Spencer; Spencer tested positive for the coronavirus.

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/18/20

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Activated from IR: OL Phil Haynes
  • Placed on IR: CB Neiko Thorpe

Tennessee Titans

49ers Sign Javon Kinlaw, Brandon Aiyuk

The 49ers have signed first-round picks Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk, the team announced (Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported the Kinlaw signing via Twitter prior to the club announcement). Kinlaw and Aiyuk become the fourth and fifth of 32 first-rounders to sign their rookie deals.

Any other year, all (or almost all) rookies would be under contract by now. But thanks to COVID-19, many teams are waiting until their new draftees can report to team facilities before signing them.

Kinlaw was the No. 14 overall selection of this year’s draft. The 49ers traded fellow DL DeForest Buckner to the Colts earlier this offseason in exchange for the No. 13 overall pick, and then they traded down one spot on draft day to allow the Buccaneers to move up and select OL Tristan Wirfs.

The selection of Kinlaw marked the fourth time in the last five years that the 49ers used their top pick on a D-lineman. Kinlaw will be asked to step into the void left by Buckner, the No. 7 overall pick in 2016, and he will line up alongside Solomon Thomas, the No. 3 overall pick in 2017. The 49ers declined Thomas’ fifth-year option in May, so if Kinlaw impresses this year, the club could allow Thomas to leave via free agency in 2021.

Kinlaw, a South Carolina product, was deemed a moderate injury risk by most clubs, but he has boundless potential. The 6-4, 319-pounder moves with great explosiveness for a man of his size, and his ability to collapse the pocket will serve him well against the pass and the run. His inspiring backstory also makes him a player worth watching.

Like Kinlaw, Aiyuk has a chance to make an immediate impact. The 49ers watched Emmanuel Sanders depart in free agency, and second-year pro Deebo Samuel suffered a broken foot that puts his availability for the first few weeks of the season in doubt. San Francisco’s WR corp was not particularly deep to begin with, so Aiyuk will be instrumental in the team’s early season success.

The Niners’ brass certainly has confidence in Aiyuk. The team moved up from No. 31 to No. 25 to nab the Arizona State product, who caught 65 passes for 1,192 yards and eight scores in his final collegiate season. He offers excellent YAC ability, so looks for HC Kyle Shanahan to scheme ways to get the ball in his hands. His route-running is a bit raw, but he and Samuel should complement each other nicely when the latter is ready to return to the field.

Per the terms of their slots, Kinlaw will take home a four-year, $15.5MM deal, and Aiyuk will receive a four-year, $12.5MM pact. Both contracts, of course, come with a fifth-year option that would be fully-guaranteed if exercised. Here’s the full rundown of the Niners’ class, via PFR’s tracker:

1-14: Javon Kinlaw, DT (South Carolina): Signed
1-25: Brandon Aiyuk, WR (Arizona State): Signed
5-153: Colton McKivitz, T (West Virginia): Signed
6-190: Charlie Woerner, TE (Georgia)
7-217: Jauan Jennings, WR (Tennessee): Signed

West Notes: 49ers, Dissly, Raiders

With DeForest Buckner‘s asking price starting at $20MM per year, the 49ers gave the Pro Bowl defensive tackle’s agent permission to seek a trade at the Combine, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Lynch told Joel Segal, Buckner’s agent, that the four-year San Francisco starter had earned a megadeal. But in order for the 49ers to sign off on a trade, a first-round pick had to be involved. Segal found a taker in the Colts before the Combine’s conclusion.

Not only did he bring back a first-round pick, he brought back the 13th pick,” Lynch said. “And then, it’s like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t think he’d do that.’ By that point, you start looking at how we can keep our team together. And I guess a long story short, it’s not something we wanted to do, but at a certain point, we felt like that was the best decision.”

The 49ers opted to extend Arik Armstead at $17MM per year, instead trading Buckner to the Colts and drafting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw 14th overall. Buckner signed a $21MM-AAV deal with Indianapolis. Here is more from San Francisco as well as some news from the AFC West:

  • Lynch called Ron Rivera before the draft, hoping to finalize a Trent Williams trade before the virtual event began, Breer adds. The Redskins HC informed the 49ers GM “too much interest” was coming Washington’s way for the long-disgruntled tackle to have a trade done before the draft. While the 49ers rated Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs rated “incredibly high,” they preferred Kinlaw in an effort to keep their defensive line as one of the NFL’s deepest position groups. Allowing the Buccaneers to draft Wirfs at No. 13, via one-slot trade-down, preceded the 49ers winning the Williams sweepstakes. Rivera called Lynch Saturday morning to inform that San Francisco’s Friday offer of third- and fifth-round picks was enough to close a deal, according to the 49ers GM.
  • Will Dissly has suffered season-ending injuries early in each of his two NFL campaigns. The Seahawks are not ready to give up on him, however. Despite Seattle signing Greg Olsen and drafting Colby Parkinson in Round 4, Dissly is a roster lock — as long as he’s healthy — according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Regarding Dissly’s health, he fully expects to be ready for training camp, per Omar Ruiz of NFL.com (video link). A 2018 fourth-rounder who has played in just 10 NFL games, Dissly suffered an Achilles tear in October of last year.
  • The Raiders are not looking to move Lamarcus Joyner back to safety. They hope to keep the ex-Rams safety as a slot corner, to the point it affected the team’s pursuit of All-Decade defender Chris Harris, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The Raiders were in on Harris, but the ex-Broncos slot standout preferred the Chargers to the Raiders.
  • The Seahawks, whose top two running backs are recovering from injuries, are not closing the door on another Marshawn Lynch contract.

NFL Draft Rumors: Dolphins, Raiders, 49ers

Before the Dolphins stuck at No. 5 overall and drafted quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, there were rumblings that Miami wanted to trade up not for a signal-caller, but for an offensive tackle. Had the Dolphins followed through with that plan, they would have been targeting Georgia’s Andrew Thomas, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Thomas ended up coming off the board to the Giants at No. 4, so Miami would have had to get to the third overall pick in order to have a chance. The Dolphins ended up finding an offensive tackle later in Round 1 with USC’s Austin Jackson:

Here’s more from last night’s action:

  • The Falcons were heavily linked not only to a potential trade up, but specifically to Florida cornerback C.J. Henderson prior to the draft. Atlanta did want to move up for Henderson, per Rapoport (Twitter link), but they couldn’t find a trade partner for a number of reasons. Both the Dolphins and Chargers wanted quarterbacks, the Panthers refused to trade within the division, the Cardinals were stuck on Isaiah Simmons, and the Jaguars wanted Henderson for themselves.
  • The Raiders were attempting to trade back from the 12th pick before selecting Alabama wideout Henry Ruggs, according to Vic Tafur of The Atheltic (Twitter link). Speculatively, Las Vegas may have been happy to land any of the top-three pass-catchers and figured it could move down, acquire more picks, and still find a wide receiver. Instead, the Raiders surprisingly went with Ruggs, who was widely viewed as the third-best WR behind CeeDee Lamb and Jerry Jeudy.
  • After trading DeForest Buckner to the Colts in March, the 49ers “quietly” tried to sign several free agent defensive tackles with no success, tweets Rapoport. Instead, San Francisco moved back one pick before adding South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw. According to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link), Kinlaw was off at least one team’s board due to medical issues. Most clubs, however, deemed him only a “moderate” injury risk.
  • The Cowboys debated between Lamb and LSU edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson at pick No. 17 before ultimately deciding on Lamb, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Chaisson was a popular target for Dallas in many mock drafts, but when Lamb unexpectedly fell to the middle of Round 1, the Cowboys couldn’t pass. Dallas will now feature a superb three-WR set of Lamb, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

Extra Points: Kinlaw, UDFAs, Lions, Vaitai

2020 draft prospect Javon Kinlaw has an incredible story. The South Carolina defensive tackle had a rough upbringing, and was homeless for much of his childhood. As he prepares for the next chapter of his journey, Kinlaw gave an interview to Kimberly Jones of NFL.com. He said he doesn’t think about his past all that much, and called himself “hands down, without a doubt,” the best defensive tackle in the draft. He’s competing with Auburn’s Derrick Brown for that title, and is a lock to be a first-round pick. Although providing for his young daughter will be great, Kinlaw said his large rookie contract won’t be the best part. “Money’s going to be there and that’s cool,” he said. “But I love football. I’m just happy I get the chance to do what very few get a chance to do. I get a chance to play the game you grow up seeing. To have it as a job? You can’t ask for more than that.”

Kinlaw didn’t play in the Senior Bowl because of knee tendinitis and then didn’t work out at the combine, but it doesn’t sound like there are serious injury concerns. One team evaluator told Jones that Kinlaw’s recent medical reports came back clean. The former Gamecock said he’s spoken with “about 14 teams” in advance of the draft. Kinlaw could very well go inside the top ten, and he shouldn’t have to wait too long to hear his name called.

Here’s more from around the league as draft week approaches:

  • For all the talk about how the COVID-19 pandemic will impact the draft and potential technical malfunctions that could ensure while conducting it virtually, it could be even more disruptive for the undrafted free agent process. Undrafted free agency normally moves very fast as the draft wraps up, and Ben Volin of the Boston Globe spoke to some agents who think it’ll get complicated. One agent said it will be a “complete mess” and that “if they operate the same way this year there’s going to be more deals being reneged because they filled too many spots.” There are apparently concerns of communication issues in the frenzy that usually takes place, and as an example Volin writes that a “safeties coach could call a player and tell him to expect an offer, not realizing that [his team doesn’t] have the roster space.” Some around the league are calling for a gap to make things smoother. “Make it a separate day. Doing it on the third day of the draft this year is going to be miserable,” one agent argued. “I don’t see why everybody wouldn’t be on board with that.” Volin notes that he reached out to a league spokesman to see if they’d consider pushing it back, but got no response.
  • When the Lions gave Halapoulivaati Vaitai a big five-year, $50MM deal, most assumed he would take over for Ricky Wagner at right tackle, but that’s apparently not necessarily the case. Detroit GM Bob Quinn recently indicated the team might opt to play him at right guard, per Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press (Twitter link). “We feel like we can plug him in either spot. … We’ll kind of see where the roster shapes up,” Quinn said. Birkett notes in a follow-up tweet that they certainly paid him like a right tackle, but may opt to kick him inside if there’s a tackle they really want early in this draft. They have Taylor Decker at left tackle. Vaitai was highly regarded in Philadelphia, but was buried behind the Eagles’ surplus of tackles, so he only started four games over the past two years.