Jordan Willis

49ers To Activate Elijah Mitchell, Azeez Al-Shaair, Colton McKivitz, Jordan Willis

NOVEMBER 11: The 49ers will be the first team to push up against the NFL’s new IR activation ceiling. They plan to activate Mitchell, Al-Shaair, McKivitz and defensive end Jordan Willis from IR, Kyle Shanahan said Friday, via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco (on Twitter).

With San Francisco having already used three of its injury activations — including one on Jason Verrett, who has since suffered another Achilles tear — the team will have one remaining beyond Week 10. Friday’s decision stands to affect how San Francisco manages its IR list going forward, as starting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is also on IR. Kinlaw is slated to return at some point this season, Shanahan said (via The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, on Twitter).

While the IR ramifications of Friday’s move will be interesting to monitor down the road, the team will have a host of key contributors back following its bye week.

NOVEMBER 7: Injuries and a rather notable trade defined the first half of the 49ers’ season, but the contending team will have some reinforcements available soon.

The 49ers designated running back Elijah Mitchell, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and backup tackle Colton McKivitz for return from IR on Monday. Each member of this trio is in the final stages of rehab from an MCL sprain. Of the three, Al-Shaair may be closest to returning. The fourth-year linebacker categorized himself as a bit ahead of schedule and expects to play against the Chargers on Sunday night, via ESPN.com’s Nick Wagoner (on Twitter).

San Francisco has already used three of its injury activations this season, so some more complex navigation may begin to come into play here. Under the NFL’s new IR-return system, teams are allotted eight activations per season. It is safe to assume Mitchell and Al-Shaair will be back, with the former set to complement Christian McCaffrey and the latter the team’s No. 3 linebacker behind Fred Warner and Dre Greenlaw. It will be interesting to see if the 49ers activate McKivitz, who is the swingman behind Trent Williams and Mike McGlinchey, or gives him the full three-week timetable partially to gauge how its injury situation looks later in November.

Mitchell began the season as San Francisco’s starting back but did not make it through Week 1. The 49ers found a talented player in last year’s sixth round, moving Mitchell past third-rounder Trey Sermon on their depth chart from the jump. The Louisiana product totaled 963 rushing yards in just 11 games as a rookie but has battled extensive injury trouble as a pro. Shoulder, rib, finger and knee injuries led to Mitchell missing six games last season.

After trading Jeff Wilson to the Dolphins, however, the 49ers are thinner at running back. Mitchell returning would help the cause. Third-round rookie Tyrion Davis-Price, who was not placed on IR following his high ankle sprain, should be expected to factor into the newly McCaffrey-headlined backfield equation soon as well.

Al-Shaair is in a contract year and saw the 49ers lock down Greenlaw. With Warner signed long term, Al-Shaair could be auditioning for other team’s during this season’s second half. He started 13 games last season but has been out since Week 3 this year. McKivitz started one game in place of Williams this year but went down with his knee injury. The former fifth-round pick is signed through 2023.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/9/22

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

San Francisco 49ers

Adams, Dulin, Ellefson, Galeai, Washington and Willis each have until Nov. 30 to be activated from IR. Should they not be activated, they would revert to season-ending IR. The Colts and Vikings are in solid shape regarding activations, having only used one apiece. The Bears, Cardinals, 49ers and Packers have used three such moves apiece. Teams are allotted eight injury activations this season.

The Cowboys dangled Basham in trades before last week’s deadline, but no takers emerged. While the team cut the other D-lineman they were hoping to deal — Trysten Hill, who has since been claimed by the Cardinals — they ended up using one of their injury activations on Basham. A former Colts third-round pick, Basham notched 3.5 sacks during his first Cowboys season last year. He played in one game this season (Week 1) before going down with a quadriceps injury. The Cowboys, who have Tyron Smith and James Washington on their IR-return radar, have used two injury activations this season.

Injury Updates: Penny, Jets, Bills

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny is done for the season, but he did get some good news following an MRI. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), the ankle was shown to be “relatively clean,” with “no deltoid or associated issues.”

Penny underwent “tight-rope” surgery earlier this week, requiring his fibula to be plated in order to stabilize the ankle. The running back will ultimately need four months to recover, meaning he’ll have plenty of time to get healthy for next season.

Of course, it remains to be seen if Penny will be playing in Seattle next season, as the running back is set to hit free agency. The former first-round pick has spent his entire five-year career in Seattle, including a 2021 campaign where he collected a career-high 797 yards from scrimmage.

More injury notes from around the NFL…

  • We previously heard that Jets offensive tackle Duane Brown was opting for rehab instead of surgery while he nursed his injured shoulder. Rapoport tweets that Brown is actually playing through a torn rotator cuff. The veteran landed on injured reserve right before Week 1 after suffering a shoulder injury in practice, and he made his debut with the Jets this past weekend.
  • Micah Hyde is eyeing a significant recovery timeline. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter), the Bills All-Pro safety could take anywhere from six to nine months to return to the field. Hyde recently underwent successful surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck, and he’s already been ruled out for the season.
  • 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis is still “a few weeks” away from returning, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. Willis landed on injured reserve last month with a knee injury. The veteran saw time in 10 games last season for San Francisco, collecting 15 tackles and three sacks.
  • Saints wide receiver Deonte Harty suffered a turf toe injury on Sunday, according to Nick Underhill of NewOrleans.football on Twitter. Harty will certainly miss some time, and there’s fear that the injury could be “significant.” Indeed, Rapoport tweets that Harty will get a second opinion, but if nothing changes, he’ll likely miss a few months. After collecting 36 receptions in 2021, Harty only has a pair of catches in four games this season. He’s also returned six kickoffs and three punts.
  • Chiefs defensive lineman Tershawn Wharton tore his ACL on Monday night, ending his season. The former undrafted free agent hasn’t missed a game for Kansas City since joining the organization in 2020. In five games this season, Wharton collected eight tackles and one sack.

49ers To Promote Kemoko Turay, Place Jordan Willis On IR

Kemoko Turay did not make the 49ers’ 53-man roster, but he is receiving a call-up ahead of Week 2. Defensive end Jordan Willis will undergo surgery and head to IR, clearing a spot for Turay.

Willis will miss at least four games because of a cleanup-type operation, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. It is a knee procedure, per The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, who notes Willis voiced an issue about his knee — one that has given him trouble in the past — to the 49ers’ medical staff Monday (Twitter link). It sounds like the sixth-year defensive end will be out longer than the four-week minimum.

While Willis was inactive for the 49ers’ Week 1 game, he has contributed as a rotational rusher in the past. In 10 games last season, Willis played 25% of San Francisco’s defensive snaps. The Kansas State product has 5.5 sacks during a 49er tenure that began in 2020, when the team acquired the former third-round pick via trade from the Jets. Willis, 27, was active for all three 49ers playoff games last season.

A 2018 Colts second-round choice, Turay has spent much of his career battling injuries. Last season, however, the former Rutgers prospect showed flashes of the talent that prompted the Colts to draft him 52nd overall. Turay, 27, registered 5.5 sacks during his final Colts season. The 49ers signed Turay to a one-year, $1.7MM deal ($1MM guaranteed) in April.

The 49ers have a deep group of edge rushers. Samson Ebukam, the recently reacquired Kerry Hyder, 2021 trade acquisition Charles Omenihu and second-round pick Drake Jackson reside in the Nick Bosa-fronted position group. Turay, who missed more than a year after suffering a broken ankle early during his second season, will attempt to mix in for his new team going forward.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/1/22

Teams continue to tinker with their rosters after hundreds of players were cut earlier this week. We’ve tracked all of today’s minor moves below:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC West

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 49ersCardinals, Rams and Seahawks moves are noted below.

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

Arizona Cardinals

Claimed:

Waived:

Signed to practice squad:

Los Angeles Rams

Signed to practice squad:

San Francisco 49ers

Signed:

Claimed:

Placed on IR:

Released from IR:

Signed to practice squad:

Seattle Seahawks

Signed:

Claimed:

Waived:

  • LB Joshua Onujiogu

Placed on IR:

Reverted to IR:

Signed to practice squad:

49ers Set 53-Man Roster, Plan To Place S Jimmie Ward On IR

The 49ers’ 53-man roster is set, with a couple of exceptions. Multiple players included among Tuesday’s cuts will be back with the team. Some will also stick around via the practice squad. Here is how San Francisco reached the 53-man limit:

Released:

Waived:

Kroft and Willis will be on the 53-man roster soon, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, who notes (via Twitter) the two have agreed to re-sign with the 49ers. Each is a vested veteran, allowing them to skip the waiver process. A Bengals draftee, Kroft spent two seasons in Buffalo and was with the Jets in 2021. A rotational D-lineman, Willis has been with the 49ers since 2020.

These two will take the roster spots of Jimmie Ward and linebacker Curtis Robinson, who will each be placed on IR. By waiting until Wednesday to move each to IR, the 49ers will ensure Ward and Robinson can play in 2022. Ward suffered what appears to be a significant hamstring injury and will miss at least the first four games this season.

Hasty has resided as a fill-in back for the 49ers over the past two seasons; they have needed him in each. The team currently rosters Elijah Mitchell, Jeff Wilson, Trey Sermon and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price at running back. Snead and Turner signed with the 49ers this offseason; each has practice squad eligibility. Teams can carry up to six vested veterans on their 16-man taxi squads. Mr. Irrelevant Brock Purdy beat out Sudfeld for the 49ers’ No. 3 QB job. Offset language exists in Sudfeld’s deal, Maiocco tweets, allowing the 49ers to potentially be off the hook for the $2MM they guaranteed him.

Kyle Shanahan confirmed Tuesday that Jimmy Garoppoloback after taking a pay cut — will be Trey Lance‘s top backup. While this would have been quite the gamble, Shanahan said Purdy would have been Lance’s backup had Garoppolo not accepted the pay cut (Twitter link via Maiocco).

49ers Re-Sign DB Dontae Johnson, DL Jordan Willis

The 49ers are bringing back two key defenders. The 49ers have re-signed defensive lineman Jordan Willis and defensive back Dontae Johnson.

[RELATED: 49ers Re-Sign RB Jeff Wilson]

Willis made a name for himself in the playoffs, blocking a key punt that was returned for a game-tying touchdown in the 49ers’ playoff win over the Packers. Prior to that, the 26-year-old found himself in 10 regular season games, collecting 15 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. He was suspended for the first six games of the season after violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

Johnson has had two long stints with the 49ers, with his latest run beginning in the 2019. The former fourth-round pick also spent the first four seasons of his career in San Francisco. Johnson has appeared in 103 games (28 starts), including a 2021 campaign where he collected 30 tackles and one forced fumble in 16 games (three starts).

Earlier today, the 49ers re-signed running back Jeff Wilson to a one-year deal.

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/25/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Claimed off waivers: QB Reid Sinnett (from Dolphins)
  • Waived: LS Rick Lovato

San Francisco 49ers

49ers Get Roster Down To 53

The 49ers made a long list of transactions today to get down to 53 players. Several of these moves have previously been reported, but for posterity’s sake, we’ve listed them all below.

Placed on reserve/PUP list

Placed on IR

Released

Waived

Placed on Reserved/Suspended List