Kendall Hunter

Minor NFL Transactions: 1/1/16

Let’s take a look at a New Year’s Day edition of the league’s latest minor moves:

  • The Rams have promoted receiver Nick Toon to their active roster, according to Woodbery (Twitter link), placing cornerback Eric Patterson on injured reserve to create a roster spot (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). Toon, a former fourth-round pick, has 21 career receptions, all with the Saints.
  • The Jaguars also made a practice squad promotion, signing defensive tackle Richard Ash to the active roster while placing defensive end Abry Jones on injured reserve, tweets Wilson. Ash has spent the entire season on Jacksonville’s taxi squad.
  • The Chargers made a couple of procedural moves, per Wilson (Twitter link), who reports that San Diego has cut receiver Torrence Allen and guard Ben Beckwith from injured reserve.

Earlier updates:

  • The Saints have placed running back Kendall Hunter on injured reserve, head coach Sean Payton told reporters, including Evan Woodbery of (Twitter link). The 27-year-old former 49er, who has just one carry on the season, was apparently injured during practice this week.
  • The Colts have waived receiver Griff Whalen off injured reserve, tweets Josina Anderson of ESPN. Whalen appeared in 14 games this season, catching 19 balls for 205 yards and one touchdown.

Saints Sign Kendall Hunter, Place Marcus Murphy on IR

SATURDAY, 9:57am: The Saints have officially announced the moves.

WEDNESDAY, 5:03pm: The Saints running backs corps took another hit last week when the team lost Marcus Murphy for the season. To take his place, the team has signed running back Kendall Hunter, reports Ian Rapoport of (via Twitter). The team has also added fullback Toben Opurum from the practice squad (via Evan Woodbery of while placing Murphy and cornerback Damian Swann on the IR (via Mike Triplett of

Hunter, a former fourth-round pick, has a solid first three seasons in the league backing up Frank Gore on the 49ers. The Oklahoma State product compiled 262 carries for 1,202 yards and seven touchdowns, as well as another 27 catches for 268 yards. Despite missing the 2014 season with a torn ACL, Hunter still earned a contract extension from San Francisco. However, the running back was waived less than a year later, and he’s yet to find a job since. The Jaguars, Seahawks, Patriots, and Jets had previously brought the 27-year-old in for an audition.

Murphy had established himself as a dependable return man this season, returning 28 punts for 261 yards and a score and 12 kickoffs for 300 yards. Swann, meanwhile, had 22 tackles in seven games with the Saints this season.

Opurum, an undrafted free agent in 2013, made his NFL debut earlier this season with New Orleans.

Workout Notes: Hunter, Housler, Mitchell

Running back Kendall Hunter has been a busy man as of late and his most recent audition came with the Jets on Tuesday, as Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. Hunter has also worked out for the Jaguars, Seahawks, and Patriots within the last month. Hunter, who has seen his NFL career derailed by injuries in recent years, was removed from San Francisco’s injured reserve list in September with a settlement, making him a free agent.

Here’s a rundown of the rest of Tuesday’s auditions:

  • Tight end Rob Housler and defensive lineman Tim Jamison also worked out for the Jets, per Costello.
  • The Bills tried out defensive tackles Kelcy Quarles and Toby Johnson on Tuesday, as Mike Rodak of tweets.
  • The Packers worked out cornerback Terrance Mitchell, a source tells Rob Demovsky of (on Twitter). The ex-Oregon player was on the Bears’ practice squad prior to his release last week.
  • The Chiefs worked out former Pats defensive back Dewey McDonald over the weekend, according to Aaron Wilson of The Houston Chronicle (on Twitter).
  • The Raiders worked out defensive end Glenn Foster, defensive end Gerald Rivers, defensive lineman Greg Scruggs, defensive lineman Davon Walls, and linebacker Tony Washington, Wilson tweets.

AFC Notes: Palmer, McCluster, Hunter, Jackson

Carson Palmer threatening to retire if the Bengals didn’t trade him would have been one of the top stories on Pro Football Rumors in 2010, but it hasn’t been more relevant to look back on than it is now that the 8-1 Bengals are hosting the 7-2 Cardinals, with both teams in prime position to earn first-round byes in their respective conferences. As a lead up to the event, Jim Owczarski, Paul Dehner Jr. and C. Trent Rosecrans of have put together an oral history of the saga that led to Palmer leaving the team, and the Bengals to draft Andy Dalton and A.J. Green.

Here are some other notes from around the AFC:

  • According to GM Ruston Webster, Titans running back and return man Dexter McCluster sprained his MCL in last night’s loss to the Jaguars (Twitter link via Terry McCormick of Head coach Mike Mularkey confirmed to reporters that McCluster will be sidelined for the next two or three weeks (Twitter link via Jim Wyatt of
  • Running back Kendall Hunter, who has worked out for the Jaguars and Seahawks within the last week or so, had another audition this week, earning a look from the Patriots, writes Mike Reiss of New England has tried out a handful of free agent backs, including Pierre Thomas, Robert Turbin, and Daryl Richardson, since Dion Lewis suffered a season-ending ACL injury, but the club appears content to stand pat for now.
  • The Ravens removed Asa Jackson from injured reserve with an injury settlement yesterday, and he has since gone unclaimed off waivers, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).

Workout Notes: Seahawks, Colts, Bears

The Kendall Hunter tour continues. On Tuesday, the Seahawks tried out the running back, as Field Yates of tweets. Hunter, who has seen his NFL career derailed by injuries in recent years, was removed from Sam Francisco’s injured reserve list in September with a settlement, making him a free agent. Last week, he tried out for the Jaguars, but that audition did not immediately lead to a deal.

Here’s a roundup of Tuesday’s notable workouts from around the NFL:

AFC South Notes: LeBeau, Jaguars, Griffin

With Ken Whisenhunt now out of the picture in Tennessee, it’s not clear whether the Titans will retain defensive assistant Dick LeBeau beyond this season, writes Paul Kuharsky of Titans interim CEO and president Steve Underwood said last week that he’d like to see the team target a “great offensive mind” in its search for a permanent head coach, suggesting that the defense would be in fine shape with LeBeau at the helm.

However, LeBeau initially joined the Titans in large part due to his relationship with Whisenhunt, and his contract expires at the end of the 2015 season. As the 78-year-old himself observes, there’s no guarantee that a new head coach wouldn’t want to bring in his own assistants.

While we wait to see whether LeBeau is one-and-done in Tennessee, let’s check in on some other items from out of the AFC South….

  • The Jaguars had former 49ers running back Kendall Hunter in for a tryout this week, according to Field Yates of (via Twitter). Hunter, who has seen his NFL career derailed by injuries in recent years, was removed from Sam Francisco’s injured reserve list in September with a settlement, making him a free agent.
  • Texans tight end Ryan Griffin, who was placed on injured reserve with the designation to return after Week 1, should be able to play Monday against the Bengals, head coach Bill O’Brien told reporters today (Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle). Griffin, who is returning from an MCL injury, would need to be activated to the 53-man roster by Monday afternoon to play this week.
  • Per Jim Wyatt of (Twitter link), Titans cornerback Jason McCourty is weighing the possibility of undergoing another procedure on his troublesome groin. Another surgery may be a season-ender for McCourty, who could also attempt to rehab the injury.

49ers Waive Kendall Hunter

The 49ers have reached an injury settlement with running back Kendall Hunter, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). Hunter will become a free agent if he passes through waivers unclaimed.

Hunter, 27, hasn’t played since 2013. He missed all of 2014 with a torn ACL, but he returned to practice this summer and played in the 49ers’ last two preseason games. They subsequently placed him on injured reserve, however, and this injury settlement means he’ll be able to look for work elsewhere. He still could end up back with the 49ers, Matt Maiocco of tweets, though they’ll have to wait at least six weeks to re-sign him (Twitter link).

Hunter has appeared in 43 games since the 49ers used a fourth-round pick on him in 2012, racking up 1,202 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on an impressive 4.6 yards per carry.

49ers Put Kendall Hunter On IR, Set Roster

Linebacker Ahmad Brooks, facing a sexual battery charge, remains on the 49ers’ roster following the team’s cuts today. As Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group tweets, general manager Trent Baalke issued a statement saying that the club is continuing to let the legal process under the league’s personal conduct policy. According to Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link), the NFL has announced it has no basis for placing Brooks on the commissioner’s exempt list for now.

After announcing six cuts yesterday and then acquiring center Nick Easton from the Ravens today, the 49ers required 17 roster moves to get down to 53 players. The most notable among those 17 transactions might have been the decision to place running back Kendall Hunter on injured reserve for the second straight year. Here are the rest of the Niners’ moves, via a press release:


  • WR DiAndre Campbell
  • CB Marcus Cromartie
  • G/C Dillon Farrell
  • RB Kendall Gaskins
  • TE Xavier Grimble
  • CB Leon McFadden
  • LB Nick Moody
  • DT Kaleb Ramsey
  • OL Justin Renfrow
  • DL Marcus Rush
  • NT Garrison Smith
  • QB Dylan Thompson
  • G Andrew Tiller
  • S Jermaine Whitehead

Placed on injured reserve:

  • TE Rory Anderson
  • RB Kendall Hunter


  • WR Jerome Simpson

Additionally, the 49ers made a move with a player who had been removed from their active roster already, reaching an injury settlement with linebacker Desmond Bishop, per Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). Bishop, who had been on San Francisco’s injured reserve list, is now a free agent and is healthy enough to contribute right away if he finds a new team.

Sunday Roundup: NFC North, ‘Fins, 49ers

Golf takes its yearly ascent to the forefront of many sports fans’ minds today, but before the battle for the Green Jacket begins, let’s take a look at some links from around the NFL:

  • The Packers are one of the teams that do not announce which prospects they will bring in for their allotted 30 pre-draft visits, but Rob Demovsky of provides a list of players–compiled by ESPN and other outlets–that have visited, or will visit, with Green Bay.
  • The Lions need a new tailback after losing Reggie Bush to free agency, but Kyle Meinke of says the team is not targeting a specific type of runner; speed, power, and hybrid backs are all on the table.
  • Dan Wiederer of The Chicago Tribune examines the pros and cons of drafting one of this year’s elite wide receiver prospects, which the Bears have the opportunity to do with the No. 7 overall selection.
  • There is a deep class of cornerbacks for the Ravens to choose from in this year’s draft, writes Clifton Brown of In addition to wide receiver, the secondary is a major area of concern for Baltimore.
  • James Walker of wonders if the Dolphins should trade up from their No. 14 overall pick in the draft to land one of this year’s elite receivers or linebackers, and he lists the costs and benefits of such a move. Walker ultimately notes (via Twitter) that Miami has too many holes and too few draft picks to consider trading into the top 10.
  • After acquiring Jeron Johnson and Dashon Goldson over the past couple of weeks, Tarik El-Bashir and Rich Tandler of wonder if Washington should nonetheless invest an early-round pick in a safety, which has been a weakness for the team in recent seasons.
  • The Eagles brought in Penn State offensive tackle Donovan Smith for a visit, writes Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun.
  • Despite losing Frank Gore to free agency, the 49ers have a talented pair of running backs in Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush, and as Cam Inman of The San Jose Mercury News observes, Kendall Hunter will return to the field following an ACL tear that ended his 2014 season before it started. San Francisco’s roster also includes Jarryd Hayne, a former Australian rugby star who is trying to “convert” to American football and is expected to compete as a return specialist and possibly a backup running back. As Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk writes, all of the team’s rushing talent suggests that the 49ers will continue to be among the league leaders in rushing attempts, as they have been in each of the past four seasons.

49ers Extend Kendall Hunter Through 2015

WEDNESDAY, 12:16pm: Hunter’s deal includes $200K in up-front guaranteed money, and has a max value of $1.75MM for next season, tweets Field Yates of

MONDAY, 4:34pm: As one of their injured running backs contemplates whether or not to continue his NFL career, the 49ers have locked up another injured back to a contract extension. The Niners announced today that they’ve signed Kendall Hunter, who is currently on injured reserve, to a one-year extension that will keep him under team control for the 2015 season.

Hunter, who had been entering the final year of his rookie contract in 2014, tore his ACL during training camp, wiping out his season. However, he had played well as Frank Gore‘s backup during his first three years in San Francisco, totaling 1,202 rushing yards on just 262 carries, good for an average of 4.6 yards per carry. He also added seven touchdowns, reaching the end zone multiple times in each of his three seasons.

Having drafted Carlos Hyde this past spring, the Niners will have Hyde and Hunter under contract for 2015 at the very least. Gore’s future with the team is up in the air, as he’s eligible for unrestricted free agency at season’s end, and 2013 draftee Marcus Lattimore is reportedly leaning toward ending his comeback attempt and retiring, though he has yet to officially announce a decision.