The Saints were in desperate need of reinforcements after placing 20+ players on the COVID-19 list this week. Even when counting eligible practice squaders, that left the Saints with barely enough players to field a full 48-man active roster.
Westbrooks, 31, appeared in 61 games for the Rams between the 2015 and 2018 seasons, collecting 51 tackles, nine sacks, and one forced fumble. However, he hasn’t seen the field since that 2018 campaign. His last deal came with the Raiders, but he was released midway through the 2021 preseason.
March-Lillard, 28, has spent much of his seven-year career as a special teamer. So far this year, he’s appeared in just one game for the 49ers. Still, he could be thrust into action tonight as the Saints work with limited options.
Thanks to the NFL’s new protocols, the Saints could see some of their players cleared between now and kickoff. But, barring that, they’ll be at half-strength tonight as they fight to keep their playoff hopes alive. A loss tonight would decrease their Wild Card chances to just 33%, per the stats at Five Thirty Eight.
The Raiders made a series of transactions today to reduce their roster, with a handful of notable players earning their walking papers. Per ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez (on Twitter), the Raiders released cornerback De’Vante Bausby and defensive tackle Ethan Westbrooks. The team also waived quarterback CaseCookus, kicker DominikEberle, long snapper LiamMcCullough, running back Bo Scarbrough, and wide receiver CalebScott.
Bausby joined the Raiders earlier this offseason after spending the 2020 season with the Broncos (two stints) and the Cardinals. He actually had his most productive NFL season, collecting 20 tackles and five passes defended in 10 games (three starts). The 28-year-old previously got some playing time with the Bears and Eagles, appearing in 26 career games.
Westbrooks signed with the Raiders just last week, but his second stint with the organization has already come to an end. The 30-year-old defensive lineman appeared in 61 games for the Rams between the 2015 and 2018 seasons, collecting 51 tackles, nine sacks, and one forced fumble. However, he hasn’t seen the field since that 2018 campaign.
Scarbrough made a name for himself following a five-game stint as a starter with the Lions in 2019. He collected 382 yards from scrimmage that season, but he only saw the field for one game with the Seahawks in 2020.
February 14th, 2020 at 3:53pm CST by Zachary Links
That was fast. Two days after signing Ethan Westbrooks, the 49ers have released the defensive lineman, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.
It’s not clear why the Niners have reversed course so quickly, but this sort of thing usually happens when players are flagged on their physicals. Soon, we’ll probably hear more on why the NFC champs dropped him.
Westbrooks saw a good amount of playing time for the Rams during his five seasons. In 2017, he saw snaps at multiple DL spots and notched four sacks in 16 games, which included nine starts.
Last year, Westbrooks signed an offseason deal with the Raiders but did not survive final cuts. He didn’t hook on elsewhere after that, leaving him out of football in 2019.
The Niners will turn their attention to more pressing matters on the defensive line, starting with Arik Armstead‘s impending free agency.
February 12th, 2020 at 4:59pm CST by Marc Delucchi
The 49ers have agreed to a one-year contract with veteran defensive lineman Ethan Westbrooks, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. Westbrooks currently looks like just a depth piece for a stacked San Francisco D-line, but this offseason could spur a lot of movement along the Niners front and open up a clearer spot for their newest addition.
Westbrooks spent the first five seasons of his career with the Rams from 2014-2018. Over his time there, he appeared in 67 games (making 11 starts) and amassed 79 tackles, 26 quarterback hits, 20 tackles for loss, 9 sacks, and a 77-yard fumble recovery returned for a touchdown.
During his tenure with the Rams organization, Westbrooks did make headlines after he was arrested for suspicion of domestic violence in March of 2017. The Sacramento County District Attorney declined to press charges a week later and Westbrooks was never reprimanded by the league. He returned to the Rams in the 2018 season and there have been no other reported incidents.
While Westbrooks should not factor in as a starter for San Francisco, the team will have some tough decisions to make on their salary cap following their loss in Super Bowl LIV. Starter Arik Armstead and rotation player Ronald Blair are set for free-agency, DeForrest Buckner is due for an extension while Dee Ford and Solomon Thomas both could be traded to create more cap space. The loss of Armstead, Blair, or Ford all could cause a shuffle along the line opening up potential reps for Westbrooks.
Last season, Westbrooks was released by the Raiders in their final round of cuts and did not catch onto another team’s roster before the end of the season. However, the 49ers should have more familiarity with Westbrooks than the average organization since their director of pro personnel, Ron Carthon, worked for the Rams from 2012-2016.