Jaylon Moore

NFC West Rumors: 49ers, Wilson, Rams

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 Shelton suffered 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.

49ers LT Trent Williams Suffers High Ankle Sprain

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 Williams exited 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 Garoppolo stepped 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 Tomlinson and Alex Mack during the offseason. The move of 2021 second-rounder Aaron Banks to LG opened up a spot for rookie Spencer Burford to start at the opposite guard spot, while Jake Brendel ascended 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 MooreA 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.

Jaguars Re-Sign DL Adam Gotsis, Add DL Mario Edwards To P-Squad

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).

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC East

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 CommandersCowboys, Eagles and Giants moves are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC East transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Dallas Cowboys

Signed to practice squad:

New York Giants

Signed:

Released:

Claimed:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Philadelphia Eagles

Claimed: 

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Washington Commanders

Released:

Claimed:

Waived:

Placed on IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Giants Move To 53-Man Limit

The Giants began working on their roster reductions Monday, but they finished off that effort by Tuesday’s deadline. Here is how GM Joe Schoen’s first round of cuts look:

Released:

Waived:

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 Robinson on 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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/24/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos 

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

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 Bellinger in 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.

Giants WR Collin Johnson Suffers Torn Achilles

The injuries continue to pile up for the Giants. Per a team announcement, wide receiver Collin Johnson has suffered a torn Achilles. As a result, he will miss the entire 2022 campaign. 

[RELATED: Giants WR Shepard To Resume Practicing]

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 Shepard and 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 Gaither and 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 Kemp on 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.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/22/22

Teams have until 3pm CT Tuesday to cut their rosters from 85 to 80 players. Many franchises have started doing that early. Here are Monday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New Orleans Saints

  • Released from IR via injury settlement: CB Jordan Brown

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

OL Notes: Giants, Radunz, Steelers, Brunskill

After fielding another below-average offensive line last season, one that saw key injuries reconfigure it early on in the campaign, the Giants loaded up on blockers this offseason. Newcomers Evan Neal, Mark Glowinski and Jon Feliciano are projected to start at right tackle, right guard and center, respectively. Andrew Thomas is the team’s unquestioned left tackle. That leaves left guard as the top competition area. Holdover Shane Lemieux appears to be the favorite for that job, via NJ.com’s Zack Rosenblatt, who notes the third-year player has been a full participant despite coming off a patellar tendon tear that cost him 16 games last season. Lemieux, who started down the stretch for the 2020 Giants and has received the first reps with the starters thus far, attempted to play through the severe knee injury in Week 1 but ended up missing the season’s remainder.

The Joe SchoenBrian Daboll regime, however, brought in third-round pick Joshua Ezeudu (North Carolina). Although Max Garcia arrived this offseason as well, Rosenblatt adds the Giants view the eighth-year veteran as more of a backup. This sets up a Lemieux-Ezeudu left guard battle, one that will determine if the Giants have three or four new starters up front.

Here is the latest from the NFL’s O-line scene:

  • The Titans lost two starters from their 2021 O-line — left guard Rodger Saffold and stopgap right tackle David Quessenberry — and are aiming to plug in former second-round pick Dillon Radunz. The North Dakota State product, who made just one start as a rookie, is vying for the team’s right tackle gig but also factors into the guard mix, Jim Wyatt of Titans.com offers. Radunz, chosen a year after would-be right tackle Isaiah Wilson became a quick bust, was a full-timer for the Bison from 2018-19 but lost the 2020 season due to the pandemic. The Titans used a third-round pick on Ohio State’s Nicholas Petit-Frere, representing another right tackle option. Third-year UDFA Aaron Brewer and ex-Seahawk Jamarco Jones are on the roster as left guard candidates.
  • Daniel Brunskill has started 35 straight regular-season games for the 49ers, slotting primarily at right guard. The fourth-year veteran has shown an ability to fill in at all five O-line spots, and Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle notes the 49ers would prefer Brunskill as a super-sub rather than as the full-time starter. For this reality to unfold, the team would need a viable replacement. Jaylon Moore, a 2021 fifth-round pick who has moved inside from tackle, represents competition for the 49ers’ right guard position. Given Brunskill’s experience, benching him would be quite the gamble for a team that lost five-year left guard Laken Tomlinson in free agency and looks set to lose center Alex Mack to retirement.
  • Steelers newcomers James Daniels and Mason Cole look set to play right guard and center, respectively, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Ray Fittipaldo, leaving a competition between two 2021 starters at left guard. The Steelers following through on the rumored move of center Kendrick Green to guard, his primary college position, has created a competition between he and Kevin Dotson — a 13-game starter through two years. Pro Football Focus graded Dotson well as a rookie, albeit in a small sample size, but an ankle injury doomed his sophomore NFL season. Green started 15 games last year; PFF graded the rookie third-rounder as one of the league’s worst centers. Given a three-year, $15.75MM deal, Cole coming to Pittsburgh has led to Green’s position switch.

David Bakhtiari Not Playing Vs. Niners

Nine-year veteran tackle David Bakhtiari missed nearly the entire 2021 NFL season after tearing his ACL on New Year’s Eve during the 2020 season. Unfortunately, he will have to continue waiting to play in his first playoff game since January of 2019, as the team announced, via Twitter, that he will be inactive for tonight’s game against the 49ers. 

Bakhtiari had made a return for the Packers’ regular season finale, making the start in Detroit, but only playing 40% of the team’s offensive snaps. Head Coach Matt LaFleur shook off the early exit in a postgame press conference stating, “I wouldn’t say it’s anything we’re concerned about,” but it appears some continual discomfort throughout the week will keep the two-time All Pro from making a postseason return, just yet.

In the absence of Bakhtiari this year, the Packers have employed Elgton Jenkins at the blindside tackle position. Despite the reshuffled offensive line and several other injuries to key players, Green Bay still secured a first-round bye and homefield advantage. They will work tonight to extend their season another week and give Bakhtiari at least one more chance for a postseason return.

Other inactives for the Packers listed for the game tonight were safeties Shawn Davis & Vernon Scott, linebacker Jonathan Garvin, and wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The 49ers will be without cornerbacks Ambry Thomas & Deommodore Lenoir, safety Jarrod Wilson, running back Trey Sermon, linebacker Marcell Harris, offensive lineman Jaylon Moore, and defensive lineman Maurice Hurst. Packers’ cornerback Jaire Alexander is expected to play tonight after being listed as questionable.