Dre Greenlaw

49ers Rumors: Al-Shaair, Garoppolo, DBs

This will be a key year for Azeez Al-Shaair. The fourth-year linebacker is less than a year away from a possible free agency bid, and he may have an opportunity to join Fred Warner as a three-down ‘backer. With Dre Greenlaw missing much of last season due to injury, Al-Shaair stepped in as a full-timer. This season figures to determine which contract-year linebacker — Greenlaw or Al-Shaair — the 49ers aim to keep. The one that ends up playing less figures to be the cheaper option, with Matt Barrows of The Athletic noting that might be the player San Francisco attempts to retain (subscription required). Such a strategy would mesh better with Warner, who is tied to a top-market off-ball linebacker deal. A 2019 UDFA out of Florida Atlantic, Al-Shaair registered 102 tackles (nine for loss), two sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception in 13 games last season — his first as a full-timer. Al-Shaair, however, is recovering from offseason knee and shoulder surgeries, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. The team is targeting a training camp return for Al-Shaair.

Here is the latest out of San Francisco:

  • New 49ers quarterbacks coach Brian Griese has dealt exclusively with the quarterbacks who have attended the team’s offseason program. He has not communicated with Jimmy Garoppolo since taking over, via Maiocco (on Twitter). While Garoppolo will surely still have a good grip on Kyle Shanahan‘s offense, this does mark another sign the franchise remains intent on finding a trade. Dealing Garoppolo is not a guarantee, but it has long been the team’s goal.
  • Elijah Mitchell made a surprise ascent early last season, leapfrogging third-round pick Trey Sermon and finishing with 963 rushing yards in just 11 games. The 49ers added another third-round back this year, in LSU’s Tyrion Davis-Price, and have a new running backs coach in Anthony Lynn. The team still views Mitchell as its top backfield option, according to ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner, who adds the incumbent plans to be roughly 15 pounds heavier than he was last season. The 2021 sixth-round pick, who missed a chunk of the season due to multiple injuries, played at around 200 pounds as a rookie.
  • K’Waun Williams operated as the 49ers’ slot cornerback for five years, signing multiple contracts to stay in that role. But the veteran defected to the Broncos in free agency this year. Veteran Darqueze Dennard could benefit. Despite being a January practice squad addition, Dennard resides as the top slot option for San Francisco as of OTAs, Barrows adds (subscription required). Fifth-round pick Samuel Womack may be Dennard’s top challenger, per Barrows. Although Dennard played in just two regular-season games last year (one as a Giant, one as a 49er), he spent several years as the Bengals’ primary slot defender. This will be the former first-rounder’s age-31 season.
  • Jaquiski Tartt is not expected back with the 49ers this year. As of OTAs, Talanoa Hufanga and Tarvarius Moore reside as the top options to replace him, Barrows notes. Hufanga received the first crack at the strong safety job this week, according to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Moore’s contract tolled from 2021, a season he missed due to a torn Achilles suffered during the 49ers’ 2021 offseason program. The 49ers drafted Hufanga in last year’s fifth round; he started three games as a rookie. The team also signed ex-Colt safety George Odum this offseason.

49ers Rule Out Deebo Samuel, Dre Greenlaw For Week 13

As expected, Deebo Samuel will not play for the 49ers in Week 13. The third-year wide receiver suffered a groin strain and could miss multiple games. San Francisco’s linebacking corps will be shorthanded as well.

Dre Greenlaw, who returned from a lengthy IR stay last week, is back among the 49ers’ inactives. The team ruled out its third-year linebacker starter because of a groin injury.

Samuel has been prone to injuries as a pro. He missed the start of last season because of a Jones fracture in his foot. After returning, the former second-round pick suffered a hamstring injury that led to the then-malady-riddled 49ers shutting him down for the rest of the season.

Sunday will mark Samuel’s 11th missed game as a 49er, though the Pro Bowl-bound talent said during an appearance on CBS Sports HQ this week (via 49ers Webzone) he has no doubt he will be back for Week 14. Through 11 games, Samuel has already cleared 1,000 receiving yards for the first time and has tacked on 203 rushing yards.

This will be Greenlaw’s 10th missed game this season. The 49ers are also likely to be without Fred Warner on their defensive second level. The All-Pro suffered a hamstring strain during San Francisco’s win over Minnesota, and he is doubtful to play Sunday in Seattle. This leaves Azeez Al-Shaair as the 49ers’ lone healthy starter at linebacker.

Additionally, Kyle Shanahan said Dee Ford is unlikely to be activated off IR ahead of Sunday’s game, via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch. The 49ers designated Ford for return on Nov. 25. He has three weeks from that date to come back. Should Ford’s ramp-up period not include an activation by Dec. 16, he would spend the rest of the season on IR. Ford is attempting to play through a back injury Shanahan has acknowledged will likely plague the oft-injured pass rusher for the rest of his career and beyond.

49ers Activate LB Dre Greenlaw From IR

SATURDAY: Greenlaw will return this week. The 49ers officially activated the starting linebacker from IR on Saturday. The third-year veteran will suit up for the first time since Week 1.

WEDNESDAY: The injury-ridden 49ers are set to see one of their promising young defenders return this week. Kyle Shanahan expects Dre Greenlaw to be activated from IR before Sunday’s game against the Vikings, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets.

This comes four days after fellow defender safety Jaquiski Tartt returned to the 49ers’ active roster. Similar to the 2020 season, the 49ers have seen a large number of role players spend time on injured reserve — including Greenlaw and Pro Bowlers Dee Ford and Jason Verrett. Recent first-round picks Mike McGlinchey and Javon Kinlaw, who are both out for the season, joined them.

Greenlaw is on track to return after a nine-game absence. The third-year linebacker underwent groin surgery following the team’s season-opening win in Detroit. Greenlaw returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown in that game but has not suited up since.

A fifth-round pick out of Arkansas, Greenlaw has been a starter since being drafted in 2019. Prior to this extended absence, Greenlaw played in all but three games over his first two seasons. His presence alongside Fred Warner has been a saving grace after the Reuben Foster and Kwon Alexander moves did not work out.

Ford is also set to return to practice, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes, following a four-game absence due to a flareup of ongoing back issues. Ford, 30, is still on San Francisco’s IR. It is expected the 49ers will monitor the veteran edge rusher’s snap count, as they did earlier in the season, to accommodate the back issues that Shanahan says “he’ll deal with most likely forever.”

After a one-game 2020, Ford returned to play in San Francisco’s first six contests this season. The former Chiefs first-rounder has tallied three sacks and a forced fumble this year.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/17/21

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/18/21

The customary Saturday minor moves avalanche:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

49ers LB Dre Greenlaw To Undergo Surgery

This 49ers September is starting to look somewhat familiar. After losing starters Raheem Mostert and Jason Verrett for the season, the team will be down linebacker Dre Greenlaw for a while.

The promising defender is set to undergo groin surgery, according to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows (on Twitter). Although this procedure is not set to knock Greenlaw out for the season, he is expected to miss four to six weeks, Barrows tweets. That timetable could be on the optimistic side, with NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport noting Greenlaw could be down for eight weeks (Twitter link).

While this does not quite match the injury misfortune September 2020 brought the 49ers, the team left its opener with some significant health issues. Greenlaw and Fred Warner serve as San Francisco’s three-down linebackers. The former returned an interception for a touchdown in the 49ers’ 41-33 Week 1 win.

A 2019 fifth-round pick, Greenlaw has been a starter since his rookie season. He joined Warner in helping the 49ers transition post-Reuben Foster at linebacker, with Greenlaw also making high-priced addition Kwon Alexander expendable. Greenlaw finished last season with 86 tackles in 13 games during a season in which he missed some time due to a quadriceps injury. He was still one of San Francisco’s healthier starters during an injury-defined 2020 slate.

Azeez Al-Shaair is expected to take over Greenlaw’s every-down role alongside Warner, Barrows tweets, with Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles moving into the 49ers’ base sets as their third starting linebacker. Al-Shaair has started 10 games in three seasons, including San Francisco’s opener last week. A former UDFA like Al-Shaair, Flannigan-Fowles made one start in 2020.

49ers Sign Third-Round WR Jalen Hurd

The 49ers, who made the league’s first 2019 draft pick signing, got even more deals done to close out the week. The following players are officially in the fold:

Hurd, naturally, is the biggest name in the bunch. The wide receiver had an extended journey through the college ranks after spending three years with Tennessee as a running back before transferring to Baylor, where he moved to wide receiver. Hurd had to sit out the 2017 season, but he made up for lost time in 2018 with 69 catches for 946 yards and four touchdowns. He also got some work out of the backfield where he averaged 4.4 yards per carry and added another three TDs.

With those five plus punter Mitch Wishnowsky under contract, the Niners have only two to go – first-round pick Nick Bosa and second round wide receiver Deebo Samuel.