An undrafted free agent out of Penn State from 2019, Givens has slowly earned the trust and confidence of the coaching staff in San Francisco. After factoring into the team’s defense as a rotation piece off the bench for much of his first three years, Givens was given plenty of starting opportunities in 2022.
With injuries plaguing the position room and holding players like Javon Kinlaw and Arik Armstead to a combined 15 total games this past year, Givens heard his named called. Givens started 11 games for the 49ers this season in their absence. He could’ve started a few more if not for a few games missed with a sprained MCL. He matched or tallied career-highs in total tackles (20), tackles for loss (7), quarterback hits (3), and sacks (2.0). Givens struggled in run defense, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), but graded out much better as a pass rusher.
Givens doesn’t provide the 49ers with a top-level of play on the defensive line, but the team isn’t asking him to give that. They expect that high-level of play from their top draft picks and acquisitions like Hargrave, and Givens is expected to fill in as an injury or rotation replacement without missing a beat. Givens provides that for San Francisco, and his success when called into action this season has been rewarded with another one-year deal.
A pair of 49ers players suffered injuries during Week 17, but it sounds like the organization got good news on the duo. Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters that guard Aaron Banks and linebacker Dre Greenlaw won’t miss much time with their respective injuries.
“As bad as both of them (injuries) looked, (we) didn’t know if it would be for the whole season or not,” Shanahan said (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area). “Feel like we got some good news on that so far.”
Brooks is dealing with ankle and knee sprains that will force him to miss the regular season finale, but the offensive lineman is expected to be back for San Francisco’s first playoff game. The 2021 second-round pick has settled into a starting role for the 49ers this season, starting all 16 of his appearances. Pro Football Focus ranks Brooks 40th among 79 qualifying offensive guards, with the site giving him particularly good grades for his pass-blocking ability.
Greenlaw exited Sunday’s win over the Raiders with a back injury, and while the player still hasn’t gotten a full evaluation, he’s not expected to miss a whole lot of time. After being limited to only three games in 2021, Greenlaw has stormed back this year, leading the 49ers with 127 tackles. PFF ranks Greenlaw seventh among 84 qualifying linebackers, including a top-five mark in coverage.
Elsewhere on the injury front, Shanahan recently revealed that defensive tackle Kevin Givens should be back for the start of the playoffs, per Maiocco on Twitter. The defensive lineman hasn’t played since suffering a knee injury in Week 14.
DECEMBER 13: Shanahan expects Samuel to miss around three weeks, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. Considering the trouble the 49ers have had with MCL sprains, a possible Week 18 return would represent a big victory for the team. The 49ers face the Seahawks, Commanders and Raiders over the next three weeks. They close the regular season with a home game against the Cardinals.
DECEMBER 12: Deebo Samuel will miss time for the 49ers, and an update Monday indicated the 2021 All-Pro is dealing with multiple injuries. But the team is expecting him to come back before the regular season ends.
The recently extended wideout/running back moonlighter suffered an MCL sprain and a sprained ankle, Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets. While the 49ers have encountered extensive trouble with MCL sprains this season, it appears Samuel has run into a fairly mild one.
Kyle Shanahanmentioned Sunday this could be a high ankle sprain, but reports Monday have left the word “high” out of the equation. High ankle sprains can linger for several weeks, and the 49ers have seen MCL sprains sideline multiple players for more than a month this year — Elijah Mitchell, Azeez Al-Shaair, Colton McKivitz. Samuel suffering both an MCL sprain and a high ankle issue would seemingly threaten his playoff availability, so it certainly represents good news a regular-season return is expected.
Samuel has a history of significant injuries, having suffered a foot fracture during the 2020 offseason and later that year running into multiple bouts of hamstring trouble. While 2020 effectively turned into a lost season for Samuel (and other 49ers), he bounced back to play 19 games last season. Samuel, 26, zoomed to All-Pro status in 2021, providing tremendous help to the 49ers’ backfield in addition to his receiving duties. After a 59-carry 2021, the former second-round pick has logged 41 carries this year. He suffered the injury on a handoff up the middle.
The 49ers placed a considerable bet on Samuel this offseason, inking him to a three-year extension worth $71.55MM. This situation transformed in the team’s favor, after Samuel requested an offseason trade. He returned to the team and is pairing with fellow stars George Kittle and Christian McCaffrey in a rare three-All-Pro skill-position armada. Kittle and McCaffrey have extensive injury pasts as well, giving the 49ers risks to manage weekly.
San Francisco has lost Samuel and Jimmy Garoppolo over its past two games. The team is not expected to place Garoppolo on IR, due to the faint hope the veteran passer can return late in the playoffs and its IR situation having become complicated. Samuel should not be expected to land on IR, either, given the prospect he could return within the next month. The 49ers (9-4) are now up two games on the Seahawks in the NFC West. They already routed the surprising contenders in Week 2, when Garoppolo replaced an injured Trey Lance. A win Thursday would effectively lock up the division for San Francisco.
The 49ers also received good news on Brock Purdy, who battled through an oblique injury in Week 14. They are calling the rookie quarterback “day to day.” The team did lose defensive lineman Kevin Givens to an MCL sprain; Shahanan said the fourth-year contributor will be out a few weeks. Givens has worked as a starter in place of Javon Kinlaw, who remains on IR. The team has used the former as an 11-game starter this season.
An ex-UDFA, Givens has remained in the lineup since Arik Armstead‘s recent return. The 49ers are already down D-linemanHassan Ridgeway; this Givens issue will further thin out their D-line interior. The team, which also lost veteran backup cornerback and special-teamer Dontae Johnson to an ACL tear, has maintained its No. 1 defensive ranking despite a spate of injuries. T.Y. McGill remains in the picture at D-tackle, but given the issues affecting Ridgeway and Givens, it should be expected the 49ers will make a move here soon.
Tartt should not be expected to miss the rest of the season, having suffered a knee contusion against the Colts. But the veteran safety is down for at least the next three games. A seventh-year veteran, Tartt has made 56 regular-season starts but has dealt with injuries for most of his career.
This is a familiar transaction for Tartt, who missed time due to injury in each of the 49ers’ past four seasons. A broken arm moved Tartt to IR in 2017, and a shoulder malady shelved Tartt for part of the 2018 season. A rib injury cost Tartt four games in 2019, though he returned for the 49ers’ three playoff contests, and a turf toe bout ended his 2020 campaign. The turf toe issue dragged into this summer’s training camp, with Tartt beginning on the 49ers’ active/PUP list. He returned in time for Week 1, but more injury trouble has intervened.
Overall, Tartt missed 28 games from 2017-20. These setbacks have not shaken the 49ers’ confidence in Tartt. They extended the former seventh-round pick in 2018 and gave him another new deal this year. The most recent Tartt contract only runs through season’s end, however.
Tartt joins Kinlaw and linebacker Dre Greenlaw on IR. The 49ers will also be without Dee Ford and starting linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair for Week 8. Rotational defensive lineman Kevin Givens is back on San Francisco’s active roster, however, after his IR stay. The 49ers also promoted tight end Jordan Matthews and safety Kai Nacua from their practice squad.
According to an affidavit signed by the alleged victim, Hayden Bosley, Givens and Bosley were at a Sheraton hotel in Baltimore with several other friends. Bosley says that Givens became upset with the other members of the group, and ultimately the two men got into an altercation that culminated with Givens tackling Bosley, resulting in black eyes, scrapes, and four hours in the emergency room.
The details are a bit fuzzy, but court records indicate that a trial date is set for April 26. The 49ers have said that they are gathering facts and will continue to monitor the situation.
Givens, a 2019 UDFA out of Penn State, appeared in just one game in his rookie campaign after spending most of the year on the practice squad. But he played a much larger role last season, seeing time in 13 games (one start) while accumulating 19 tackles and a sack. He served as the primary backup to D.J. Jones, who recently re-signed with the 49ers and who offered some high praise for Givens.
“I look up to Kevin Givens,” Jones said. “Nobody’s talking about him, but they will be soon.”
As a recent UDFA who has yet to truly establish himself in the league, Givens can ill-afford a criminal charge of any kind. If the accusations have any veracity, his spot on the 49ers, and perhaps even his playing career, could be in jeopardy.
Listed below are the Sunday roster moves for the four NFC West teams. Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline yesterday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters, claiming players off waivers or signing guys who clear waivers. Those transactions for the Cardinals, Rams, Seahawks and 49ers are noted below.
Additionally, teams can begin constructing their 10-man practice squads today. You can check out our glossary entry on practice squads to brush up on those changes, as well as all the other guidelines that govern the 10-man units, whose players practice with the team but aren’t eligible to suit up on Sundays.
Here are Sunday’s NFC West transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.