The 49ers were without Trent Williams on Monday, and while they won a fairly one-sided game over the Rams, it came with another tackle injury. Colton McKivitz became the latest 49er to sustain an MCL sprain. Like Elijah Mitchell and Azeez Al-Shaair, Kyle Shanahan expects his swing tackle to miss approximately eight weeks. Rookie Jaylon Moore, who replaced Williams against the Broncos while McKivitz was not at 100%, will be the next man up at left tackle.
That said, the 49ers demoted two-year right guard starter Daniel Brunskill because partly because they viewed him as an ideal swing backup. Shanahan said Brunskill will be considered for blindside fill-in duty, Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News notes (via Twitter). Brunskill, who is in his fourth 49ers season, debuted Monday after missing the first three games due to injury. The former UDFA would inject some potentially necessary experience into the mix for a 49ers team still using a mostly unseasoned group of interior O-linemen this season.
Here is the latest from the NFC West:
Contract issues and a steady relationship deterioration drove the Seahawks to trade Russell Wilson, but the likely Hall of Fame-bound quarterback’s willingness to run also played a role in the team deciding to move on. The Seahawks believed Wilson’s willingness to use his legs would decrease as he aged, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes. Wilson, 33, averaged 5.5 carries and 30 yards per game as a Seahawk and has been one of the best running QBs in NFL history. Wilson’s 4,740 career rushing yards are fourth all time among QBs — behind only Michael Vick, Cam Newton and Randall Cunningham. Wilson rushed for 849 yards in 2014 and topped 500 four more times — most recently in 2020. But in 2021, Seattle’s starter — albeit during a season in which he missed three games due to a finger injury — only rushed for 183 yards. Although the 11th-year veteran has been effective when scrambling as a Bronco, he has been reluctant to do so. Wilson, who has expressed a desire to extend his career into his 40s, has totaled 13 carries for 51 yards this season.
Williams does not expect to miss too much time. Given a four- to six-week timetable, the All-Pro left tackle told CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson he is “80% sure” he will beat that four-week mark (Twitter link). Williams, 34, suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 3. Beating the timetable would mean a possible return for the 49ers’ Week 7 game against the Chiefs. San Francisco could certainly use its star blocker in that game, but judging by how the team is playing it with its batch of players rehabbing MCL sprains, it would not surprise if the team exercised caution with its valuable O-line asset.
49ers running backs coach Bobby Turner is back with the team after being away for several months, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets. The 73-year-old assistant had been away from the team since undergoing two surgeries early this offseason. Turner has been an integral assistant for both Kyle and Mike Shanahan, being the Broncos’ running backs coach throughout the latter’s 14-year Denver stay. Turner has been with the 49ers since they hired Kyle Shanahan in 2017.
The Rams not only lost another interior offensive line starter Monday, when Coleman Sheltonsuffered a high ankle sprain, but they left San Francisco with starting safety Jordan Fuller out. The young defender is facing a two- to four-week absence to a hamstring strain, Sean McVay said.
September 26th, 2022 at 3:51pm CST by Adam La Rose
3:51pm: Williams does indeed have a high ankle sprain, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed (Twitter link via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner). The swelling will need to go down before a firm timetable can be established, but the 49ers will likely be without their blindside blocker for roughly 4-6 weeks.
9:06am: Trent Williamsexited last night’s game against the Broncos in the third quarter and was unable to return. The team believes they are aware of the specifics of his injury, one which could see him miss time.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan indicated, via NFL.com’s Grant Gordon, that Williams likely suffered a high ankle sprain. The injury occurred on the play during which quarterback Jimmy Garoppolostepped out of the endzone for what turned out to be a game-altering safety. Williams elected not to use a cart to be taken off the field.
The 34-year-old has been relatively healthy during his tenure with the 49ers, which began immediately after he missed the entire 2019 campaign. He has played in 32 regular season contests in the Bay Area, along with all three of the team’s playoff games last year. 2020 saw him continue his elite play, and led to him signing a six-year, $138MM deal the following offseason to stay with the 49ers and become the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman of all time. His performance last season did nothing to suggest the team would come to regret that investment.
In the first two-plus games of this season, the nine-time Pro Bowler has been viewed relatively well by PFF, though his grades fall well short of those he received during the previous two years in particular. Any extended absence would deal a significant blow to San Francisco’s offensive front, one which lost starters Laken Tomlinsonand Alex Mackduring the offseason. The move of 2021 second-rounder Aaron Banksto LG opened up a spot for rookie Spencer Burfordto start at the opposite guard spot, while Jake Brendelascended to the first-team center role to complete the team’s interior o-line transformation.
Filling in for Williams to finish the contest was Jaylon Moore. A fifth-round pick last year, the Western Michigan alum started three of his seven appearances as a rookie, but last night marked his first usage on offense in 2022. He could be in line for a starter’s workload for some time, pending the duration of Williams’ absence.
The Jaguars released DL Adam Gotsis during final cutdowns, but the veteran defender will be returning to Duval. Per a team announcement, Jacksonville is re-signing Gotsis to its active roster.
Considering how thin the club is along its defensive line, retaining Gotsis is certainly a logical move to make. A second-round pick of the Broncos in 2016, the Georgia Tech product saw 25 starts over the 2017-18 campaigns. During that time, he averaged 39.5 tackles and 2.5 sacks per season while earning solid overall grades from Pro Football Focus.
Things began to go south in 2019, as Gotsis struggled to adjust to the scheme implemented by Vic Fangio, who had been hired as Denver’s head coach earlier that year. Gotsis was also battling knee trouble at the time, trouble that ultimately necessitated surgery. He has spent each of the past two seasons with the Jaguars, and it looks as if he is in line to have another significant role on the Jags’ defense after appearing in 52% of the team’s snaps in 2020 and 43% in 2021. He will operate behind starters Roy Robertson-Harris and Folorunso Fatukasi.
In addition to bringing Gotsis back into the fold, the Jags have supplemented their practice squad with some veteran D-line help. According to the same announcement, Mario Edwards — who was released by the Bears last week — has agreed to join Jacksonville’s taxi group. The former Raiders second-round pick had settled into a rotational role in the Windy City over the past two seasons, but he joins most of Chicago’s front-seven vets of recent years in being jettisoned by a new-look front office.
Edwards, 28, recorded six sacks during his two-year Bears tenure, logging 26% and 27% defensive snap rates during that span. However, he did miss time due to injury during this year’s training camp.
WR Jaylon Moore has also been added to the p-squad. Moore signed with the Ravens as a UDFA in 2020, and he spent each of the last two years on Baltimore’s practice squad. He obviously intrigued the team enough to stick around, but he never earned a look during a regular season contest. The Ravens waived him several weeks ago, and he was claimed by the Giants. Big Blue sent him to the waiver wire again, only to add him to the practice squad before waiving him a second time.
Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com first reported that Edwards and the Jaguars had agreed to terms (Twitter link).
Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These Commanders, Cowboys, Eagles and Giants moves are noted below.
Here are Wednesday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.
Webb, who chose the Giants over a possible path as the Bills’ quarterbacks coach, will likely be brought back on the practice squad. He would be positioned as the Giants’ de facto third-stringer, behind Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor. This is Webb’s second stint with the Giants, who initially drafted him in the 2017 third round.
New York’s cut list does not include Darius Slayton, despite rampant rumors about the former fifth-round pick being a departure candidate. The Giants would mean a $2.5MM cap-room boost, but it also would mean saying goodbye to a player who led Big Blue in receiving in 2019 and ’20. Observing Slayton’s place on Brian Daboll‘s first roster will still be interesting, but for now, the fourth-year pass catcher joins Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney and second-round rookie Wan’Dale Robinsonon the 53-man roster.
The Giants’ safety cuts leave the team with three at the position. The team, which cut Logan Ryan earlier this offseason and let Jabrill Peppers walk in free agency, has Xavier McKinney, Julian Love and rookie Dane Belton. A fourth-round pick, Belton is also recovering from a broken collarbone sustained early in training camp. The Iowa product is not expected to be out too much longer. Still, it would not surprise if the Giants added help via waivers.
The biggest storyline of the day for the Giants was the injury to Johnson, but they have been busy at other positions as well. Hand was a fifth-round pick of the Vikings in 2020, making 23 appearances during his time there. He primarily played on special teams, but registered an interception and three pass breakups as a rookie. Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Minnesota was interested in re-signing him had he cleared waivers.
The release of Akins is somewhat surprising, given the Giants’ question marks at the tight end position. The former Texans third-rounder signed just before the draft, where New York added Daniel Bellingerin the fourth round. The latter had a brief stint on the PUP list at the start of training camp, but, if healthy, could be the favorite to take on Evan Engram‘s vacated starting spot.
A 2020 fifth-round pick out of Texas, Johnson put up relatively modest numbers in college (with the exception of his junior season). Still, he carried significant intrigue due to his size; at six-foot-six and more than 220 pounds, he had the potential to operate as at least a contested-catch specialist in the NFL.
As a rookie with the Jaguars, Johnson made 18 catches for 272 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He finished the year on IR, however, and found himself on waivers the following September. With the Giants last season, he made just 11 scoreless catches in 12 games. Nevertheless, his performances in training camp and the preseason had him on track to retain a roster spot behind the likes of Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, Sterling Shepardand rookie Wan’Dale Robinson.
Johnson will become the sixth Giant to land on IR already, but the team has quickly taken steps to replace him. New York is claiming wideouts Bailey Gaitherand Jaylon Moore off waivers from the Ravens, per ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). The pair have combined to make just seven regular season appearances, but could latch onto the end of the roster with Johnson’s injury.
Per Yates, the Giants also placed receiver Marcus Kempon IR. The 27-year-old has made all but one of his regular season appearances with the Chiefs to date, playing almost exclusively on special teams. The Giants will head towards final roster cuts looking to avoid any further lengthy absences, while trying to fill out the backend of their WR depth chart.