Hassan Ridgeway

49ers Aiming To Have Deebo Samuel, Elijah Mitchell At Practice This Week

Kyle Shanahan offered a rare 49ers news development Monday: the team did not suffer a notable injury during its most recent game. In fact, the 49ers are hoping to have two of their key cogs back at practice soon.

Deebo Samuel has progressed to the point the team hopes he can practice as soon as this week, Shanahan said, and Elijah Mitchell is on track to make a quicker return from his second MCL sprain this year. The 49ers are eyeing a Friday practice for Mitchell, via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Eric Branch and ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner (Twitter links).

MCL sprains have provided trouble for the 49ers this season. Mitchell, Samuel and a few others have missed time because of this injury. Mitchell missed eight games because of the knee malady he suffered in Week 1. This time around, the timetable may not be as lengthy. Mitchell, who has gone from Week 1 starter to an often-used Christian McCaffrey backup, went down against the Saints late last month and has missed the required four games.

The 49ers designating Mitchell for return Friday would mean they can activate him as soon as Week 17 — an unlikely scenario — or as late as the divisional round, provided the team reaches that point. Even if the 49ers hold off on Mitchell playing this week or next, it appears he will be ready to return when the team begins its postseason slate.

Shanahan confirmed what has long been reported Monday; San Francisco’s final IR-return spot is being earmarked for Mitchell. The second-year running back has already returned from IR once this season, but an offseason rule change allows for the same player to be activated two times in a season. The other 49ers option here would be defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway, but Wagoner adds (via Twitter) Mitchell is closer to returning. Ridgeway has missed the past three games with a pectoral injury.

The 49ers did not place Samuel on IR, keeping the door open for an immediate return. The All-Pro wide receiver has missed the past two games with an MCL sprain and a sprained ankle. The 49ers did not seem as concerned about Samuel’s status compared to the likes of Mitchell or Azeez Al-Shaair, who also suffered an MCL sprain that sidelined him several weeks, indicating the recently extended pass catcher could return before the regular season ended. Samuel has missed the past two games. While Samuel (840 scrimmage yards) is not on the same pace he was in 2021 (1,770), he is a rare weapon that will bolster the team’s chances of reaching a second Super Bowl in four seasons.

Football Outsiders gives the 49ers (11-4) a 30% chance of leapfrogging the Vikings (12-3) for the NFC’s No. 2 seed. The 49ers have clinched at least the NFC’s No. 3 seed, though the second spot would put the team in position to play two postseason home games. A 49ers-Vikings tie would give San Francisco the 2 seed due to a superior conference record. The 49ers close the season with games against the Raiders and Cardinals; the Vikes travel to Green Bay and Chicago.

Additionally, Shanahan said Jimmy Garoppolo had his cast removed from his broken foot. Garoppolo is not on IR, but the 49ers do not expect him to return this season.

49ers Elevate CB Janoris Jenkins, Place DL Hassan Ridgeway On IR

Janoris Jenkins will be in line to make his 49ers debut Thursday night. Not long after signing with San Francisco’s practice squad, the veteran cornerback is now on their active roster and in position to start his 11th season.

The 49ers made Jenkins one of their gameday elevations ahead of their Week 15 matchup against the Seahawks. The team also elevated Willie Snead and signed defensive tackle Akeem Spence to their 53-man roster. While Snead and Jenkins are gameday elevations, Spence moving up from the practice squad required a roster move. The 49ers placed D-lineman Hassan Ridgeway on IR.

A.k.a. “Jackrabbit,” Jenkins has not played since being a starter in the Titans’ divisional-round game against the Bengals last season. The Titans released the journeyman in March, and not much interest appeared to come Jenkins’ way this offseason. But San Francisco, which has dealt with multiple key injuries at the cornerback spot, added him on a P-squad pact in late November.

At 34, Jenkins is the league’s oldest active corner. He has been a full-time starter for the Rams, Giants, Saints and Titans. The former second-round pick has 27 career interceptions and eight pick-sixes, ranking in a tie for eighth in NFL history in the latter category. After being charged with six touchdowns and a 100.2 passer rating allowed while in coverage last year, Jenkins did not see the Titans follow through with the second year of his two-year contract.

The 49ers have lost Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett for the season and are also down rookie Samuel Womack, who sustained a concussion against the Buccaneers.

Ridgeway suffered a strained pec and is set to miss six to eight weeks. The team had used the former Colts and Eagles defensive tackle as a replacement for Arik Armstead, who has since returned to action. Ridgeway, who made seven starts this season, went down while playing a reserve role in Week 13. The 49ers’ No. 1-ranked defense will be shorthanded at D-tackle. Not only are Ridgeway and Javon Kinlaw out, but starter Kevin Givens is down with an MCL sprain. Givens remains on San Francisco’s active roster but is set to miss time. With the 49ers prioritizing Kinlaw and Elijah Mitchell returns from IR, Ridgeway’s season might be over. Then again, Kinlaw has not returned to practice and cannot be considered a lock to return from IR given his knee trouble. Pro Football Focus ranked Ridgeway just outside the top 60 (out of 125 qualifiers) among interior D-linemen this season.

NFC West Notes: 49ers, Rams, OBJ, Hawks

Nearly three months after losing Trey Lance to a season-ending broken ankle, the 49ers saw Lance insurance policy Jimmy Garoppolo go down with a broken foot. Although Garoppolo’s exact prognosis is being determined, Kyle Shanahan said again Monday he is done for the season. Garoppolo appears to, however, have avoided Lisfranc trouble, Shanahan said (via The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, on Twitter). Garoppolo went through an offseason of trade talk and has long been expected to hit free agency, but a report surfacing hours before his latest injury indicated the 49ers are interested in another reunion. Garoppolo’s third season-ending injury as a 49er may well affect that, but Lisfranc trouble being avoided would aid the nine-year veteran as he attempts to successfully navigate another rehab program.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Staying with the 49ers, they lost one of their defensive linemen to another significant injury. Hassan Ridgeway sustained a pectoral strain and will miss six to eight weeks, Shanahan said. Ridgeway operated as the 49ers’ Arik Armstead replacement for much of this season, making seven starts for the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense. Armstead made a long-awaited return in Week 13, but the team is now without Ridgeway and Javon Kinlaw. San Francisco has a complicated IR situation, having used seven of its eight injury activations already. If the team wants to have Elijah Mitchell back, it cannot activate Kinlaw. This situation may end Ridgeway’s season, if the 49ers move him to IR. Of course, it might come down to which player is readiest come playoff time.
  • The Rams kept a locker reserved for Odell Beckham Jr., though as it becomes clear the free agent wideout is not returning to Los Angeles, they are no longer doing so. OBJ previously expressed dissatisfaction with the Rams’ offer, and The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue notes the team submitted an incentive-laden proposal. That said, Rodrigue adds the Rams were flexible regarding the back end of the deal. Beckham has wanted a multiyear commitment. It will be interesting to see how Beckham’s next team ends up compensating him, as he is 30 and has sustained two ACL tears within a 20-month span. Waiting until 2023 — when a thin free agency wideout class is expected to be available — may have been Beckham’s better play.
  • Matt Rhule‘s poaching of NFL assistants is not limited to the Panthers’ staff. The new Nebraska HC is bringing over Rams offensive assistant Jake Peetz, Pete Thamel of ESPN.com tweets. Peetz, who coached Panthers quarterbacks under Rhule in 2020, is expected to reprise that role with the Cornhuskers. Peetz, who also played at Nebraska during the mid-2000s, follows Panthers assistant D-line coach Terrance Knighton as active NFL staffers set to leave their current gigs for Lincoln.
  • The Packers claimed Justin Hollins off waivers from the Rams, but Field Yates of ESPN.com notes (via Twitter) the Seahawks also submitted a claim for the young linebacker. Hollins has played in two Packers games as a reserve. Unlike recent Seahawks waiver claim Johnathan Abram, Hollins has seen extensive defensive action (35 plays) in Green Bay thus far.

49ers DT Maurice Hurst Tore Biceps, Expected To Miss Season

Maurice Hurst‘s bad luck with the 49ers continues. The defensive tackle tore his biceps during practice on Friday and will have to undergo surgery, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (on Twitter). The injury will likely sideline Hurst for the entire 2022 season, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

Hurst was a fifth-round pick by the Raiders in 2018, and he ended up spending three seasons with the organization. After collecting 31 tackles and four sacks in 13 games (10 starts) as a rookie, Hurst only started seven games and compiled four more sacks in his final two seasons with the Raiders.

The 27-year-old caught on with San Francisco last offseason. Hurst started the season on injured reserve after suffering a high ankle sprain during the preseason. He returned for a pair of games before nursing a calf injury the rest of the way. Hurst re-signed with the 49ers in March, inking a veteran salary exception worth a bit more than $1MM. The team later released and re-signed the defensive tackle to save a chunk of cash.

Heading into training camp, defensive tackle looked like an area of strength for the 49ers. Now, the team is down three players at the position. Besides Hurst, Hassan Ridgeway is dealing with a quad injury and is out of practice, while Arik Armstead‘s sprained knee will sideline him for a few weeks. Fortunately, Javon Kinlaw will return to practice after recovering from a knee sprain, but as Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets, the former first-round pick will be on a “pitch count” for at least the next few practices.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/16/22

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/2/21

Here are Thursday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Placed on IR: WR Aaron Parker

Cincinnati Bengals

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: LB Asmar Bial

Los Angeles Chargers

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: DT Chris Okoye, OL Tyree St. Louis

Los Angeles Rams

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: RB Brian Hill

Washington Football Team

  • Released from IR with injury settlement: OT Rick Leonard

Eagles Cut 20+ Players, Down To 53

The Eagles are ready to fly into Week 1. On Tuesday, they made a series of moves to get down to the 53-man roster max. Here’s the full rundown:

Released

Waived

Placed on IR

Placed on Reserve/COVID List

The Birds also freed up a spot earlier today by trading offensive lineman Matt Pryor (and a 2022 seventh-round pick) to the Colts for a sixth-round choice.

The release of wide receiver Travis Fulgham was one of today’s more notable moves. Fulgham played a big role for the Eagles last year as the team was decimated by WR injuries. However, they didn’t see enough this summer to keep him on the 53-man roster. With Fulgham gone, the Eagles are left with J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Jalen ReagorDeVonta SmithGreg Ward, and Quez Watkins as their Week 1 receivers.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/18/21

We’ll keep tabs on today’s “minor” moves here:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Rams

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/26/20

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

Atlanta Falcons

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC Contract Details: Zuerlein, Poe, Shell, Vikings

We’ve got a bunch of contract details to pass along, all out of the NFC: