C.J. Beathard

AFC South Notes: Colts, Radunz, Jaguars

Darius Leonard underwent back surgery recently; the rehab effort may prevent the All-Pro Colts linebacker from beginning training camp on time. More clarity emerged on the injury. Leonard played through an ankle problem last season, and ex-Colts punter-turned-radio host Pat McAfee said recently (via Joel Erickson of the Indianapolis Star) a nerve issue in Leonard’s back caused the ankle trouble. More specifically, Leonard’s ankle injury lingered because of a calf issue Erickson tweets was caused by the back problem. The aforementioned nerve issue prevented Leonard’s calf from full functionality. Leonard still played 91% of Indianapolis’ defensive snaps last season and, boosted by a career-high eight forced fumbles, earned his third first-team All-Pro nod. Despite this complex issue leading to back surgery, the Colts are still expecting Leonard to return near the start of camp, per Erickson.

Here is the latest from the AFC South:

  • Previously mentioned as a potential left guard option, Titans 2021 second-round pick Dillon Radunz is now concentrating on the right tackle battle. With Radunz and rookie third-rounder Nicholas Petit-Frere matching up outside, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com notes former UDFA Aaron Brewer and ex-Seahawks backup Jamarco Jones are vying for the left guard gig (Twitter link). The Titans must replace cap casualty Rodger Saffold and free agency defection David Quessenberry — their latest right tackle stopgap — up front this year. Both 2021 starters are with the Bills now.
  • The groin injury Jaguars backup quarterback C.J. Beathard sustained is not expected to keep him out of training camp, Doug Pederson said. But the Jags received worse injury news on another front. Linebacker Jordan Smith will miss the season with a knee injury. A 2021 fourth-round pick, Smith played in two games last season.
  • Shifting back to the Colts, Morocco Brown‘s promotion will be from college scouting director to chief personnel executive, the Indianapolis Star’s Nate Atkins notes. Brown interviewed for the Steelers’ GM job and the Eagles’ assistant GM job this offseason. This will be his sixth year with the Colts. Matt Terpening will take over as Indy’s college scouting director, with area scout Jamie Moore rising to the assistant college scouting director post Terpening held for the past six years. Terpening has been with the Colts for 22 years.
  • Additionally, the Colts are naming Kasia Omilian as an NFS scout. Omilian, who will be identifying players for future drafts, becomes the first woman to hold a scouting title with the Colts, Mike Chappell of Fox 59 notes. Omilian has been with the team since 2019. Mike Lacy will rise from the NFS scout level to be an area scout for the team.

Injury Notes: Beathard, Glasgow, Jones, Texans, Bengals

The Jaguars number-two QB went down with an injury yesterday. C.J. Beathard was carted off the field during OTAs, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). According to the reporter, Beathard suffered a groin injury, and an impending MRI will reveal the extent of the injury.

The former third-round pick spent the first four years of his career with the 49ers. Beathard went 2-10 as a starter, completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 3,469 yards, 18 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. He signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Jaguars last offseason, and he got into two games as Trevor Lawrence‘s backup, completing his pair of pass attempts.

If Beathard is forced to miss an extended amount of time, the Jaguars will likely turn to Jake Luton or rookie EJ Perry as Lawrence’s primary backup.

More injury news from around the NFL…

  • Broncos lineman Graham Glasgow broke his ankle last November, but the veteran is back at practice and is competing to regain his starting spot. “I’m no stranger to competition,’’ Glasgow said (via Mike Klis of 9News in Denver). “I’ve competed in the past and I’ve competed for starting jobs in the past. This whole offseason, I’ve been competing with myself to get better in my rehab stuff. If I’m healthy, I’m just going to go out there and do what I can and do what I do. We’ll see what comes out of that.” The 29-year-old guard/center has started 78 of his 82 career games, but Klis notes that Quinn Meinerz and/0r Netane Muti could push him for a starting gig.
  • Daniel Jones is apparently over his neck injury. Giants head coach Brian Daboll told reporters that if the season started today, then the Giants starting QB would be fully cleared to play (per Dan Duggan of The Athletic on Twitter). After going 4-7 in his 11 starts, Jones missed the final six games of the 2021 campaign with a neck injury. Despite his struggles, the former sixth-overall pick is expected to keep his starting gig in 2022, although the organization did bring in veteran Tyrod Taylor as competition.
  • Texans wideout DaeSean Hamilton is set to have knee surgery tomorrow, reports Aaron Wilson of ProFootballNetwork.com (on Twitter). The receiver suffered the injury during a non-contact drill, but he didn’t tear his ACL and is expected to make a full recovery at some point during the regular season. Hamilton was a fourth-round pick by the Broncos in 2018, and he only missed a pair of games through his first three seasons. He missed the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, and he caught on with the Texans back in March. The 27-year-old has 81 receptions in 46 games.
  • Bengals defensive tackle Tyler Shelvin suffered a wrist injury that will shut him down for the rest of the offseason program, per the team’s website. Coach Zac Taylor told reporters that the former fourth-round pick avoided a serious injury, but the player still needed to go under the knife to repair the ailment. Shelvin got into three games as a rookie, collecting four tackles.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/13/22

Today’s updates for the reserve/COVID-19 and practice squad/COVID-19 lists:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

Washington Football Team

Latest On Jaguars’ Gardner Minshew, C.J. Beathard

C.J. Beathard‘s new Jaguars deal includes $2.75MM in guaranteed money, as NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. As Rapoport notes, it’s a strong indicator that the quarterback will make the Jaguars’ final 53-man cut. By the same token, it’s a sign that one-time rising star Gardner Minshew won’t be on the roster.

Of course, the Jaguars are expected to draft Trevor Lawrence with the No. 1 overall pick. Up until the Beathard signing, there was at least a chance of Minshew staying on board as the bridge/QB2 for the Clemson star. That spot now seems reserved for Beathard, so the Jaguars will probably start taking those Minshew trade inquiries seriously. Just last week, head coach Urban Meyer said that he wasn’t looking to move the Washington State product.

At this point, no,” Meyer said. “At this point, I know Gardner a little bit. He came in yesterday. We had a good visit. That’s the second time I’ve spent time with him. This is all kind of new to me. I’m used to spending about five, six hours a day with our quarterbacks — that’s January, February, to get your quarterback ready to go, and you can’t do that in the NFL.”

Despite 2020’s struggles, Minshew is just one year removed from setting franchise records in yards (3,271) and touchdowns (21) for rookie QBs. He’s still on that rookie deal, so any team acquiring him would have him at bargain-basement salaries of $850K and $965K.

Jaguars To Sign C.J. Beathard

The Jaguars won’t get Trevor Lawrence until next month, but they’re adding to the quarterback room in the meantime. Jacksonville is expected to sign C.J. Beathard, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a two-year pact worth $5MM with additional incentives available, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.

Beathard was originally drafted by the 49ers in the third-round back in 2017, and has spent the past four years in San Francisco. He started five games as a rookie, another five in 2018, none in 2019, and another two this past year due to various benchings and injuries. The Iowa product is 291/497 for 3,469 yards (7.0 YPA), 18 touchdowns and 13 interceptions in his career.

Not terrible numbers for a backup, although some would argue they’re the product more of a Kyle Shanahan system than anything else. We’ve heard that current Jags passer Gardner Minshew is drawing trade interest, so this move could be a precursor to a deal there. Funnily enough the 49ers have been linked to Minshew, so they could end up just swapping places.

New Jaguars coach Urban Meyer did say recently the team wasn’t shopping Minshew “at this point.” The 49ers had discussions about Beathard over the years, and apparently could’ve gotten a sixth-rounder for him around the 2019 deadline. Besides Minshew the Jaguars also have 2020 sixth-round pick Jake Luton, who started three games last year, on the roster.

49ers To Shut Down Raheem Mostert, Deebo Samuel; George Kittle Return In Play

Raheem Mostert and Deebo Samuel will see their injury-marred seasons end early. The 49ers are shutting down both players with two games to go, Kyle Shanahan said (via the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman).

Both ran into multiple injuries this year, causing the second-year starters to miss significant time in what became a widespread injury-plagued 49ers season. Each player is under contract beyond this season, with Samuel’s rookie deal running through 2022 and Mostert’s pact expiring after next season.

The 49ers, however, are not opting to shut down all their injured skill-position talents. George Kittle has returned to practice, and Inman notes the All-Pro tight end is on pace to return against the Cardinals. Kittle, who has not played since suffering a foot fracture Nov. 1, would catch passes from his former college quarterback if he does return. The 49ers will start Iowa alum C.J. Beathard over Nick Mullens on Saturday.

A 2017 third-round pick, Beathard has worked as San Francisco’s third-string quarterback for much of his NFL tenure. His contract expires at season’s end. Mullens suffered what is believed to be ligament damage in his elbow against the Cowboys, Inman notes, and will likely need Tommy John surgery. He is due to be a restricted free agent in March.

Kittle will only play if he’s 100%, per Shanahan, who noted the 49ers will not shut down their star tight end if he is fully healthy — despite having been eliminated from playoff contention last week.

Mostert left Sunday’s game because of ankle trouble. The special-teamer-turned-RB1 sustained an MCL sprain in September and injured his ankle upon returning in October. Mostert, 28, was not able to surmount the latter malady. Mostert did end a second straight season averaging at least 5.0 yards per carry, however, though he only managed 104 totes this season. Samuel sustained a foot fracture before training camp but was able to return fairly early in the season. However, a hamstring injury hampered Samuel shortly after he returned. The 2019 second-round pick caught 33 passes for 391 yards over seven games this season.

Jimmy Garoppolo will resume practicing this week, but Shanahan said (via Inman) he would be surprised if doctors deem San Francisco’s QB1 100%. It is likely Beathard will handle the 49ers’ final two starts at quarterback. A high ankle sprain sidelined Garoppolo at multiple junctures this season. He played in just six games. Shanahan said last month the plan is for Garoppolo to return as the team’s starter in 2021, though the franchise will surely explore other options this offseason. Two years remain on Garoppolo’s contract, one the 49ers can move without incurring much dead money.

49ers Getting Sixth-Round Offers For C.J. Beathard

We heard earlier today that the 49ers were getting trade calls on backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, and now we have more details. San Francisco is receiving offers in the “sixth-round range” for Beathard, a source told Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports (Twitter link). 

Even though the 49ers have been keeping Beathard inactive on game-days, Maiocco writes that the team “is not inclined to do that deal.” San Francisco’s management and coaching staff have always been infatuated with Beathard, so that’s not shocking even though most teams would probably jump at the opportunity to receive any compensation for their third-string quarterback. Beathard lost the training camp competition with Nick Mullens to carry Jimmy Garoppolo‘s clipboard this season.

Beathard is still only 25 and has another year left on his cheap rookie deal after this season, so it makes sense why some teams would be interested. The Iowa product, who the 49ers took in the third-round back in 2017, has started five games each of the past two seasons. He’s shown some flashes, but his overall numbers are mediocre at best. The trade deadline is on Tuesday, so the 49ers only have a couple of days to decide what to do. They’re still undefeated entering Week 9, so maybe they’ll just choose not to disrupt anything and hang on to him.

Trade Rumors: Hopkins, Slay, Hooper

The trade deadline is two days away, so there are plenty of rumors to pass along. Of course, many of those rumors center around this year’s non-contenders, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that two such teams — the Redskins and Bengals — continue to rebuff inquiries concerning veterans who should be available. Rival GMs have grown increasingly frustrated with Washington and Cincinnati, and La Canfora says opposing clubs have become resigned to the fact that they are not going to be able to swing a deal with those obstinate franchises. That means that a number of big names — Trent Williams, Ryan Kerrigan, A.J. Green, and Carlos Dunlap, to name a few — are looking more and more likely to stay put.

Now for more trade rumors from around the league, starting with another nugget out of Cincinnati:

  • Michael Lombardi of The Athletic agrees that the Bengals are likely to stand pat at the deadline for the most part, but he does believe the club will move tight end Tyler Eifert.
  • Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is decidedly not on the trading block, but teams have still called Houston to ask about the star wideout, as Jay Glazer of FOX Sports tweets. That obviously sounds like clubs doing their due diligence more than anything else, and Glazer acknowledges that it would take an awful lot for the Texans to move Hopkins.
  • The Lions have received calls on CB Darius Slay, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. It would take a big offer to pry Slay from Detroit, but in the wake of Slay’s comments earlier this week, maybe the Lions will be more inclined to move him.
  • RB-needy teams have called the Seahawks to inquire on Rashaad Penny, as Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network reports (video link). Penny is not on the block, per se, but the 2018 first-rounder is drawing interest. In the same video, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says Chargers RB Melvin Gordon could also be on the move.
  • Schefter reports that the 49ers have received calls on backup QB C.J. Beathard, whom Schefter suggests could be on the move.
  • The Falcons have fielded calls on DT Tyeler Davison, per Lombardi, but Atlanta has told other teams Davison will not be moved. The team is also going to hang on to TE Austin Hooper, as Schefter tweets.
  • The Giants are likely to cut Nate Solder after the season, so Lombardi believes Big Blue should go ahead and trade him now (though HC Pat Shurmur, whose job could be in jeopardy, would likely resist such a move). The Browns continue to be in the market for OT help, as Schefter writes, and the Patriots may also be interested in a reunion with Solder. Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com says Solder was not a viable option for Cleveland as of the middle of last week, but that could change in the next couple of days.
  • Janoris Jenkins is another member of the Giants who could be on the move, and while he is likely open to joining a contender, he just wants New York to be transparent with their plans for him, as Ryan Dunleavy of the New York Post writes. That sentiment was also expressed by former Giants like Landon Collins and Odell Beckham Jr., who both felt as though Shurmur and GM Dave Gettleman were not straightforward with them. Dunleavy names the Chiefs as a potential landing spot for Jenkins.
  • Interest remains heavy on Broncos vets Chris Harris Jr. and Derek Wolfe, as La Canfora writes. Denver is open to moving Harris and Wolfe, and rival GMs expect the Broncos to make those trades happen.

NFC Notes: Witten, 49ers’ QB Trades, Kessler

Jason Witten made his return to the Cowboys after one year away from the club. As a former locker room leader of the franchise, integrating himself back into the fold could have been tricky, as new leaders have emerged in his absence. However, according to coach Jason Garrett, Witten has had no issues rejoining the team.

“Witt has been very mindful of that coming back,” Garrett said of Witten’s locker room role (via ESPN’s Ed Werder on Twitter). “He doesn’t want to be a guy the younger guys are constantly deferring to. He wants to integrate himself back into it, and he’s done that beautifully.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • It appears the 49ers will hang on to both Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard rather than trading one of the quarterbacks. “We haven’t had talks at all,” GM John Lynch said of the possibility of trades (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports’ Twitter feed).
  • Jimmy Ward was in full pads for the first time this week since he fractured his collarbone, Maiocco tweets. The 49ers gave him a one-year deal this past offseason.
  • Cody Kessler remains in the concussion protocol, per the EaglesTwitter feed. The franchise signed Josh McCown earlier today to add depth at the QB spot.
  • While the Texans may want picks if they are going to trade Jadeveon Clowney, Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP (Twitter link) contends that the Eagles should offer Derek Barnett straight up for him. Barnett, who was a first-round pick back in 2017, has two years remaining on his deal.

West Notes: 49ers, N. Bosa, Wagner, Benson

The 49ers have not had a high draft pick hold out of training camp since the new CBA and its rookie wage scale were instituted in 2011. However, the club’s top two 2019 draft choices, No. 2 overall pick Nick Bosa and No. 36 overall pick Deebo Samuel, have yet to sign their rookie deals. Cam Inman of the Mercury News believes that both players will be under contract by the time camp opens on Friday, but it seems that the club’s history, rather than any specific information on Bosa or Samuel, is the primary reason for that belief.

Now for more from the league’s west divisions:

  • In the same piece linked above, Inman says that new 49ers acquisitions Kwon Alexander and Jason Verrett — along with every other member of the roster — should be cleared for action when camp opens, though San Francisco may ease them back into action. Inman also suggests that the backup QB competition between Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard will be a close one.
  • This doesn’t come as much of a surprise given earlier reports that new Seahawks defensive end Ezekiel Ansah could miss at least the first month of the regular season, but Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that Ansah is expected to open training camp on the PUP list. It remains to be seen if Ansah will, in fact, miss any regular season action, though Condotta says there should be more clarity on that front this week.
  • Condotta also believes that Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner will get an extension before the season begins, and it could happen as soon as this week.
  • We have taken several looks at the Broncos‘ WR corps over the past week or so, and UDFA Trinity Benson‘s name keeps cropping up. As Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Benson took reps with the first-team offense Saturday and caught several passes from Joe Flacco. New head coach Vic Fangio said he will continue to put his unproven players on the field with the presumptive starters, and it seems that Benson has acquitted himself nicely thus far. The fact that he served as a kickoff and punt returner in college will only help his cause.