Jeff Wilson

49ers Activate RB Jeff Wilson From PUP List

Recently said to be tracking toward a late-November return, Jeff Wilson beat that timetable and is back on the 49ers’ active roster. San Francisco removed Wilson from its PUP list Saturday.

Wilson’s return from a summer foot injury stands to give the 49ers an additional option in a backfield that has once again gone through injury issues. Starter Elijah Mitchell, who replaced oft-injured Week 1 starter Raheem Mostert, is dealing with a rib injury that limited him in practice this week.

Wilson represented one of the 49ers’ injury replacements last year. After Mostert and Tevin Coleman went down early in the 2020 slate, Wilson came in and fared well. The former UDFA totaled 600 rushing yards (4.8 per carry) and seven touchdowns last year, though he also missed games due to a midseason injury, and delivered his best game against the Cardinals. Wilson rambled for 183 yards in the 49ers’ upset win over the Cards in Week 16 last season. He will return for the 49ers’ second Cardinals tilt of this season.

The 49ers re-signed Wilson this offseason, but the subsequent foot malady stalled his momentum. Wilson, 25, is still set for unrestricted free agency in 2022. The 49ers also changed up their backfield in the draft, acquiring Mitchell and Trey Sermon. The latter, a third-round pick, has interestingly taken a backseat to Mitchell, a sixth-rounder thus far. Wilson will join the rookies and JaMycal Hasty on the 49ers’ active roster.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers To Activate Kittle, Gould From IR

The 49ers will have some key players in uniform Sunday against the Cardinals. George Kittle and Robbie Gould will come off IR before Saturday’s roster-setting deadline, Kyle Shanahan said Friday.

Kittle has been down because of a calf injury. The All-Pro tight end attempted to play through the issue in Week 4, but the 49ers opted to shut him down the following week. Gould’s activation became fairly clear after the 49ers waived fill-in Joey Slye earlier this week.

Since signing his big-ticket extension last year, Kittle has struggled to stay on the field. He missed time because of a knee sprain and a fractured foot last season. Those injuries limited Kittle to eight games in 2020. He has missed three thus far this year. This will help a passing attack that may be without Deebo Samuel.

Battling a calf injury, Samuel is questionable for Week 9. Shanahan said his top receiver’s injury worsened this week, via the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman (on Twitter). The 49ers missing Samuel would be rather significant, given his dominance to start the season. Samuel has 819 receiving yards, topping Jerry Rice‘s through-seven-games franchise best. Samuel, of course, joined Kittle on the injury front last season. He missed nine games in 2020.

Shanahan added Jeff Wilson has a chance to make his season debut in Week 9. Previously given a late-November return timetable, Wilson has “kind of taken off,” in his recovery from a foot injury as of late, Shanahan said (per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, on Twitter). The 49ers re-signed the veteran running back this offseason, but he suffered the injury over the summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/1/21

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

Baltimore Ravens

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Latest On 49ers RB Jeff Wilson

The 49ers have started three running backs through six weeks, and the organization is hoping they’ll be adding another option at the position before long. 49ers general manager John Lynch told reporters that running back Jeff Wilson should be back from a knee injury before the end of the season.

“It’s not in the next couple weeks, but kind of beyond that,” Lynch said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area on Twitter). “He’s doing really well. He’s had some real positive breakthroughs in the last couple of weeks in his recovery.”

Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes that Wilson is only a few weeks away from practicing, with the organization targeting a late-November return.

Wilson had a breakout campaign in 2020, finishing with 733 yards from scrimmage and 10 touchdowns in 12 games (three starts). The running back landed on injured reserve prior to the 2021 season, and his timeline has since been pushed back a bit. Per Maiocco (on Twitter), Wilson was initially expected to return around midseason, but now it sounds like he’s eyeing a late-season return.

Raheem Mostert, Trey Sermon, and Elijah Mitchell have all seen stints as the 49ers starting running back this season, and none of those players have been in uniform for all six games. Mitchell currently leads the running back corps with 63 carries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Several Teams Looking Into Marlon Mack

The Colts have used Marlon Mack sparingly this season, but the fifth-year running back continues to generate some interest ahead of the Nov. 2 trade deadline. Linked to Mack earlier this month, the Chiefs have some company on this front.

While the Chiefs continue to be connected to the former 1,000-yard rusher, USA Today’s Josina Anderson notes the 49ers, Panthers and Saints have also checked in with the Colts on Mack recently (Twitter link). Mack re-signed with the Colts on a one-year deal but has been on the trade block for a bit now.

Indianapolis has Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines locked in as its long-term duo, with Mack logging just 25 carries thus far this season. Mack suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in Week 1 of last season but has recovered. Taylor gained control of the Colts’ backfield during Mack’s hiatus, and Indy agreed to make an effort at finding Mack a landing spot via trade.

Carolina is without Christian McCaffrey for at least two more games, having placed him on IR with a troublesome hamstring injury last week. Fourth-round rookie Chuba Hubbard leads the Panthers’ backfield, which lost Mike Davis in free agency in March. The Saints released Latavius Murray before Week 1 and are without backup Tony Jones for the time being, while the 49ers have run into a litany of injury issues at running back. San Francisco lost Raheem Mostert for the year, and Kyle Shanahan is targeting November for Jeff Wilson (PUP) to return from his foot injury. The 49ers have also seen promising rookie Elijah Mitchell and veteran JaMycal Hasty run into injury trouble.

Prior to Mack’s Achilles setback, he totaled 1,999 rushing yards between the 2018 and ’19 seasons. Behind Taylor this year, Mack has gained 97 yards on 25 carries. The 25-year-old back is due less than $750K in base salary the rest of the way.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Get Roster Down To 53

The 49ers made a long list of transactions today to get down to 53 players. Several of these moves have previously been reported, but for posterity’s sake, we’ve listed them all below.

Placed on reserve/PUP list

Placed on IR

Released

Waived

Placed on Reserved/Suspended List

49ers’ Jeff Wilson Likely Out Until Midseason

A bit more clarity has emerged on Jeff Wilson‘s recovery timeline. The 49ers’ recently re-signed running back is recovery from surgery to repair a meniscus tear, and the team is not expecting him back until the midseason point — at the earliest.

Wilson will miss at least six games this season, Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes (subscription required), adding that midseason will be the goal for the fourth-year veteran. This would suggest Wilson is a candidate for the reserve/PUP list, which shelves a player for at least six weeks to start the regular season.

The fourth-year back went down with the injury in May, but late September surfaced as a possible return window. That no longer appears to be the case. The 49ers have a Week 6 bye. A return for the team’s Oct. 24 game against the Colts would allow for Wilson to miss just five games.

San Francisco gave Wilson a one-year, $2.1MM deal in January. This allowed the parties to bypass the RFA tender process. The North Texas alum is due for unrestricted free agency in 2022. Wilson’s deal also came with $1.55MM in incentives; his injury will interfere with those potential earnings. The 25-year-old back suffered a high ankle sprain midway through last season but returned to lead the injury-riddled 49ers with 600 rushing yards. This included a 183-yard game against the Cardinals.

The 49ers also changed their running back depth chart considerably after extending Wilson. They signed Wayne Gallman, the 2020 Giants’ top rusher, and drafted Trey Sermon in Round 3 and Elijah Mitchell in Round 6. Raheem Mostert is expected to return as San Francisco’s starter, but he is coming off a multi-injury 2020 season. Like Wilson, Mostert is a 2022 UFA.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers RB Jeff Wilson To Miss Start Of Regular Season

Jeff Wilson will be sidelined for the next four to six months. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that the 49ers running back recently underwent surgery on a torn meniscus and will be sidelined through the start of the regular season.

If the timeline is to be believed, Wilson could see the field anytime between late September and late November. Garafolo notes that this procedure repaired the meniscus (vs. trimming the meniscus), necessitating the lengthy recovery. Wilson opted to go under the knife after dealing with a locked knee joint, and the surgery is expected to be the best route for his long-term health.

The former undrafted free agent had a career year in 2020, finishing with 733 yards from scrimmage and 10 offensive touchdowns. Thanks to that performance, 25-year-old was rewarded with a fully-guaranteed $2MM salary for 2021.

While the 49ers would obviously prefer Wilson be on the field, they’ve done a nice job stocking up on running backs this offseason. The team signed veteran Wayne Gallman and added a pair of rookies, including third-rounder Trey Sermon and sixth-rounder Elijah Mitchell. The team will also return Raheem Mostert, who started eight games in 2020.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Golden, 49ers

For the second time in three years, K.J. Wright is a free agent. The longest-tenured Seahawks player has already signed three contracts with the franchise that drafted him. He is eager to ink a fourth.

I’m having fun; I love this city. I love this team, so let’s make it happen,” Wright said of a return to Seattle, via ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson. “… (A return is) up to Pete (Carroll) and John (Schneider). They know how much I mean to this team. They know I’m a great teammate, a great leader and it would be a great investment — in my opinion — if they invest in K.J. and to bring him back into the building. You get what you pay for, and I bring a lot to the table still.”

Wright, 31, does not sound interested in a hometown discount, per veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The Seahawks have paired Wright and Bobby Wagner for nine seasons and used both as sub-package linebackers for most of the 2020 slate. But Seattle drafting Jordyn Brooks in last year’s first round could complicate a Wright return. Pro Football Focus rated Wright as its No. 8 overall ‘backer this past season.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The Seahawks were not planning to part ways with OC Brian Schottenheimer, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes an end-of-season meeting — in which Carroll reinforced his preference to focus on the run game — helped lead to the team changing play-callers. The Seahawks deviated in the season’s first half from Carroll’s run-centric vision but reverted more toward their usual setup down the stretch. It will be interesting to see how Seattle’s offense looks under new OC Shane Waldron, who spent five years in Washington and Los Angeles working under Sean McVay.
  • Markus Golden‘s sack total dropped from 10 in 2019 to 4.5 in 2020, and the Cardinals saw Haason Reddick complete a contract-year breakout. Still, the older Arizona edge rusher would like to return. “It gave me another shock of energy just being back home,” Golden said of the trade that sent him from the Giants to the Cards, via Darren Urban of AZCardinals.com. “Being here where I know my heart is, it really matters to me to be in Arizona on the Cardinals.” Golden, who signed with the Giants in 2019 and stayed in New York via the rare UFA tender last year, is set for free agency for a third straight year.
  • Big expenses at the top of the Rams‘ payroll have forced the team to let several role players walk in recent offseasons. This year may be no exception. The Rams are unlikely to re-sign Josh Reynolds, Malcolm Brown or Gerald Everett, Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Rams having drafted contributors at these positions in 2020, and having two wideouts (Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods) and a tight end (Tyler Higbee) signed long-term already, pointed this trio to free agency.
  • Jeff Wilson‘s one-year 49ers extension can max out at $3.6MM, according to NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco. Wilson will receive $2.05MM fully guaranteed, with another possible $1.55MM available via incentives. The incentives would give Wilson a chance to out-earn the low-end RFA tender price, which OverTheCap projects at $2.24MM for running backs. He is still due to be a 2022 UFA.
  • Nick Mullens underwent elbow surgery last month, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. This, however, was not a Tommy John operation, with Garafolo adding the 49ers backup’s injury was not as severe as initially feared. He is expected to be ready by training camp.

49ers Re-Sign RB Jeff Wilson

A 49ers season that saw five players see key rushing responsibilities ended with Jeff Wilson atop the backfield hierarchy. The team will make sure Wilson sticks around next season.

The 49ers announced they reached a one-year extension with Wilson on Tuesday. A 2018 UDFA, Wilson was on track for restricted free agency. He is now under contract for 2021.

Rushing for 600 yards (4.8 per carry) and seven touchdowns in his third NFL season, the North Texas product joined Raheem Mostert and Tevin Coleman in missing time with injury but stood out when on the field at points as well. Wilson scored three touchdowns against the Patriots but suffered a high ankle sprain during that blowout win. However, he returned late in the season and took over after Mostert was shut down. The 25-year-old back torched the Cardinals for 204 scrimmage yards in Week 16 and will represent a low-cost option for San Francisco next year.

San Francisco’s backfield was oddly both injury-prone and reliable in 2020, with its cogs constantly going down but producing frequently as well. The 49ers have Mostert, Wilson and JaMycal Hasty under contract in 2021. Higher-priced cogs Coleman and Jerick McKinnon are set for free agency.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.