Kemoko Turay

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.

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 To Release DE Kemoko Turay

Kemoko Turay will be part of the 49ers’ roster cuts Tuesday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Turay is a vested veteran and will head straight to free agency.

The 49ers took a flier on Turay, giving the 27-year-old edge rusher a one-year deal worth $1.7MM. The team will eat a bit of dead money, after guaranteeing the Rutgers product $1MM.

San Francisco has assembled a deep defensive line, creating a roster crunch of sorts. In addition to Turay, the 49ers brought back Kerry Hyder (after a year in Seattle) and used a second-round pick on defensive end Drake Jackson. The team’s depth here has resulted in a former second-round pick being cut.

The former Colts draftee could be an intriguing depth add for a team soon. Although Turay has battled injuries during much of his career, he registered 5.5 sacks during his final Indianapolis season.

One of a few D-linemen the Colts have taken in Round 2 in recent years, Turay did not stick as a starter. He has lined up as a first-stringer in only three games (all in 2018), with injuries in 2019 and ’20 doing well to move him to the rotational level for good. But the former No. 52 overall pick totaled four sacks and 13 QB hits as a rookie and re-emerged from his injury trouble to play in 13 games last season.

49ers To Sign Kemoko Turay

Not long after meeting with San Francisco, edge rusher Kemoko Turay has found his next NFL home. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that he is signing a one-year contract with the 49ers (Twitter link). 

Turay, 26, sat down with the team one week ago, so this deal comes as little surprise. He had also visited the Falcons, but they clearly had more interest in linebacker Rashaan Evans, who has since signed with Atlanta. It didn’t take long for Turay to pivot to the Bay Area.

A second-round pick in 2018, Turay saw more playing time in his rookie season than any of his other three. Never able to break out as a full-time starter, he still put together a productive campaign in 2021. In 13 games (and only 224 snaps), he totalled a career-high 5.5 sacks. That, coupled with his age, made him an intriguing low-cost addition.

In San Francisco, Turay will join a defensive line headed by the likes of Nick Bosa and Arik Armstead. He should fill at least some of the void left by the expected departure of Dee FordIndianapolis, meanwhile, will lean on 2021 first-rounder Kwity Paye as well as offseason trade acquisition Yannick Ngakoue at the top of their pass-rush depth chart.

49ers Host Kemoko Turay

Kemoko Turay recently made another free agent visit. The pass rusher met with the 49ers, per ESPN’s Field Yates (Twitter link). 

Turay visited the Falcons last week alongside linebacker Rashaan Evans. The latter has since signed with Atlanta, so their interest in Turay was clearly more lukewarm. The fact that he had another sit-down demonstrates that there is still at least a modest market for his services, though.

The 26-year-old was a second-round pick of the Colts in 2018. In his four seasons in Indianapolis, Turay operated as a rotational edge rusher. He saw the most playing time in his rookie campaign, with 383 snaps; his snap percentage never topped 33% after that, however. In spite of his limited role, the 2021 season saw him register a career-high 5.5 sacks, something which has teams intrigued by his upside.

If Turay does land in San Francisco, he could help fill a void in their pass-rush department. It came out last week that Dee Ford is all-but guaranteed to be let go by the team. While the 49ers will still have Nick Bosa as the focal point of their edge group, Ford’s release will leave a vacancy on their defense. Turay would likely represent a low-cost depth option who could help step in to that opening.

Falcons Hosting Kemoko Turay, Rashaan Evans

The Falcons could be in line for two notable additions on defense. The team is holding free agent visits with edge rusher Kemoko Turay and linebacker Rashaan Evans 

[RELATED: Falcons Sign WR Tate]

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the Turay visit (on Twitter). The 26-year-old was a second round pick of the Colts in 2018. He saw the most playing time in his rookie season, registering his only three starts. It was in 2021, however, that he posted a career-high 5.5 sacks and five tackles for loss. He could at least provide depth behind the likes of Lorenzo Carter and Adetokunbo Ogundeji, while providing a boost to the team’s pass rush.

The Evans visit, meanwhile, was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). The former first-rounder has played four seasons with the Titans, starting 50 of 59 games. His best year came in 2019, where he totalled 111 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Tennessee declined his fifth-year option, however, leading him to free agency this offseason. Evans met with the Jaguars one week ago.

Either of those two options could help add not only experience, but also, potentially, upside to the Falcons’ defense. That would certainly be welcomed, as the team ranked at or near the bottom in almost every major category on that side of the ball in 2021.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 12/29/21

Several key players returned to practice Wednesday. Here are the latest COVID-19 updates from around the league:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Activated from practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Rico Bussey

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Colts Reached Out To Philip Rivers

The NFL revising its COVID-19 protocols yet again may allow the Colts to dodge a bullet. Carson Wentz is unvaccinated and tested positive Tuesday, but Frank Reich said he would start Sunday if he is asymptomatic, Stephen Holder of The Athletic tweets. Current Colts backup Sam Ehlinger would start if Wentz is experiencing symptoms at that point.

Reich has also remained in contact with the Colts’ 2020 starter, Philip Rivers. The two discussed the current Colts QB bind, Zak Keefer of The Athletic tweets. However, it does not seem like Rivers will come out of retirement to replace Wentz. Reich said nothing is developing on that front.

Rivers, 40, retired after spending last season with the Colts, but the current high school coach has said he would consider a return to join a contender. He was open to joining the Saints once Jameis Winston went down earlier this season. In his one Colts season, Rivers completed 68% of his passes and finished with a 24-to-11 TD-INT ratio. The Colts traded for Wentz not long after Rivers’ retirement.

Had the NFL not revised its protocols for a second time this month, Wentz would be shut down for Week 17 due to his positive test. Previously, unvaccinated players who tested positive were forced into 10-day quarantines. The NFL has reduced that to five, opening the door for Wentz to play Sunday. A sixth-round rookie, Ehlinger took first-team reps for a stretch after Wentz went down with a foot injury during training camp.

The Colts received more good news regarding their COVID-19 situation Wednesday. They activated offensive line starters Quenton Nelson and Mark Glowinski, along with cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and defensive end Kemoko Turay. However, right tackle Braden Smith is now on Indianapolis’ virus list. Smith could rejoin his teammates Sunday, however, regardless of vaccination status. Like Wentz, if Smith is not displaying symptoms, he could return Sunday against the Raiders. Smith was the Colts’ lone O-line starter available by the end of Week 16, but the team will have more of its starters on hand against Las Vegas.

Marlon Mack, cornerback T.J. Carrie, safety Jahleel Addae and linebacker Malik Jefferson join Smith as players now on Indy’s virus list.

Colts Place CB Rock Ya-Sin On Reserve/COVID-19 List

The Colts lost a pair of defensive players to the COVID-19 list today. The team announced that cornerback Rock Ya-Sin and pass rusher specialist Kemoko Turay landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. This will make it tough for the duo to play on Saturday evening against the Cardinals.

Ya-Sin was a second-round pick by Indy in 2019, and he’s evolved into the team’s most dependable defensive back. The 25-year-old has seen time in 11 games (six starts) this season, collecting 26 tackles and six passes defended.

If Ya-Sin is forced to miss the matchup against the Cardinals, the team will likely turn to second-year cornerback Isaiah Rodgers.

Turay was also a second-round pick by the Colts, getting selected in 2018 out of Rutgers. The 26-year-old is having one of his best NFL seasons in 2021, compiling a career-high five sacks in 11 games. While the linebacker’s role is mostly matchup-dependent, Ben Banogu could see an uptick in snaps if Turay is forced to miss this weekend’s game.

 

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/22/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list today. In some instances (including Christian McCaffrey and Travis Etienne), players activated from the list remain on IR:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Placed on list: T Le’Raven Clark

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team