San Francisco 49ers Rumors & News

Which 0-2 Team Is Likeliest To Rebound?

Nearly three-quarters of NFL teams are in the win column this year while nine teams still in search of their first W. However, starting out 0-2 is not a death sentence. In each of the last four seasons, at least one 0-2 team has made the playoffs. In 2015, two teams (the Texans and Seahawks) both made the postseason, despite an 0-2 start to the year.

In the spirit of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, we want to know which team you think will turn over a new leaf starting in Week 3. Here’s the rundown:

Chicago Bears

The Bears took the defending NFC champion Falcons to the brink in Week 1, and though Week 2’s contest against the Buccaneers wasn’t as close, Chicago has shown signs of life. Rookie running back Tarik Cohen has emerged as a threat in the passing game following injuries to wideouts Cameron Meredith and Kevin White, and he could potentially former a thunder-and-lightning combination with Jordan Howard. Signal-caller Mike Glennon is 18th in quarterback rating and 22nd in adjusted net yards per attempt, so the calls for No. 2 overall selection Mitch Trubisky could come quickly.

Cincinnati Bengals

Moreso than any other team on this list, the Bengals have acted quickly to rectify their early-season woes, firing offensive coordinator Ken Zampese after they failed to score a touchdown in either of their first two games. Things won’t get any easier when Cincinnati travels to Green Bay in Week 3, but perhaps new offensive play-caller Bill Lazor will further implement rookies John Ross and Joe Mixon into the club’s gameplan. Additionally, Lazor will reportedly seek to install a quicker offense that will alleviate the Bengals’ offensive line concerns.

Cleveland Browns

2017 had always been viewed as another rebuilding season for the Browns, but Cleveland has been relatively competitive through two games (especially in Week 1, when it lost to Pittsburgh by only a field goal). A supposedly revamped offensive line still ranks near the bottom of the league in both run blocking and pass protection, and the Browns will need continued improvement from quarterback DeShone Kizer if they hope to compete this year. A broken hand for Corey Coleman — and a disappointing start by veteran pass-catcher Kenny Britt — aren’t helping matters, but a return from No. 1 overall pick Myles Garrett could spark Cleveland’s defense.

Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck won’t practice this week, and although the Colts had been eyeing an early October return for their star quarterback, it’s beginning to seem like it could be longer before we see Luck back on the field. If Indianapolis continues to struggle, will the Colts even bother with putting Luck back into the lineup? General manager Chris Ballard made a handful of low-cost defensive additions this offseason, and if No. 1 cornerback Vontae Davis gets healthy, the unit could mesh. But nothing will matter unless Luck can supplant Jacoby Brissett within the next few weeks.

Los Angles Chargers

The Chargers got smashed this week for being unable to fill a soccer stadium for their season opener. We’ll admit that it wasn’t a good look, but things will improve if they start winning and there is reason to believe that can happen soon. The Chargers are winless, but they lost to the Broncos and Dolphins by a combined total of five points. If rookie kicker Younghoe Koo had connected on one of his two missed attempts against Miami or if his 44-yard try against the Broncos was not blocked, the Chargers wouldn’t be on this list.

New Orleans Saints

A top-ten offense and a bottom-two defense by DVOA? We must be talking about the Saints. New Orleans hasn’t started out the season with the easiest schedule in facing the Vikings and Patriots, but improvement on the health front could help their offense in the coming weeks. Left tackle Terron Armstead is reportedly ahead of schedule, and his return could allow rookie Ryan Ramczyk to move to the right side to cover for the injured Zach Strief. Receiver Willie Snead, too, will come back in Week 4 following a suspension. Solutions on defense are less obvious, but development from young players such as corner Marshon Lattimore and linebacker Alex Anzalone is a start.

New York Giants

The Giants have limped out of the gate and head coach Ben McAdoo may be thinking about giving up play calling duties. That’s not the only change that could be coming on offense. Second-year pro Paul Perkins has been averaging just 1.9 yards per carry and the Giants could shake things up by handing things over to Orleans Darkwa, who has 5.2 yards per attempt in a smaller sample size. In theory, that could spark Eli Manning and the passing game, but the offensive line will have to do a better job of protecting its quarterback in order to move the chains.

New York Jets

Wait, wait – hear us out. Yes, the Jets are behind the 8-ball after losing wide receiver Quincy Enunwa for the season and cutting valuable vets like Eric Decker and David Harris. However, they kept the score close in their Week 1 game against the rival Bills and things didn’t get too out of hand against the Raiders until a muffed punt late in the first half. Next up, the Jets have a home date with the Lawrence Timmons-less Dolphins followed by a pair of (dare we say) winnable games against the Browns and Jaguars. We know you won’t pick the Jets, but we hope we at least gave you something to think about.

San Francisco 49ers

Brian Hoyer has been dreadful in his first two games under center for SF and the Niners are hoping that he’ll do better on Thursday night against the Rams. If San Francisco is lucky, defensive tackle Aaron Donald will still be shaking the rust off on national television. However, even if they are able to avoid an 0-3 start, the odds are probably still against this rebuilding club in 2017.

So what do you think? Which of these nine clubs has the best chance to rebound from its poor start in order to earn a postseason berth? Vote in the poll below!

NFL Workout Updates: 9/19/17

Today’s workout updates:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Eric Reid Has PCL Sprain

  • The 49ers will be without safety Eric Reid on Thursday night as he recovers from a PCL injury, and the 25-year-old defensive back will likely miss additional games, head coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters, including Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter links). Luckily, Reid won’t require surgery on his injury knee, limiting the period of his absence. Reid, who’s playing in his contract season, missed six games in 2016 following a biceps tear.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/18/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Philadelphia Eagles

  • Signed: WR Greg Ward
  • Released: T Victor Salako

San Francisco 49ers

Latest On Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick has been criticized by some for not publicly stating his desire to play in the NFL. On Sunday, Kaepernick broke his silence and made his intentions clear. NFL: San Diego Chargers at San Francisco 49ers

Yes,” Kaepernick said when asked by Shaun King of the Daily News (Twitter link) if he wants to play . “I’ve never stopped. I’m ready right now. Working out daily.

Kaepernick is reportedly working out five days a week and is back to his 2013 weight of 230 pounds. This offseason, the 29-year-old was knocked for his slender frame and for not announcing that he wants to get back into football. He has now checked those boxes, but it’s not clear if or when he will get an opportunity to play. It’s possible that Kaepernick could get a call from a contending club in the event of an injury, but that would require him to learn someone’s playbook on the fly.

For now, it sounds like it’s NFL-or-bust for Kaepernick. But, if the NFL doesn’t come calling and he has a change of heart, he could have a place on the Montreal Alouettes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/16/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jason Verrett‘s impending injury absence will cause the Chargers to add cornerback depth. The Bolts signed cornerback Michael Davis from their practice squad and cut wideout Geremy Davis, Eric Williams of ESPN.com reports. The Chargers signed Geremy Davis on Monday as Dontrelle Inman insurance, but he didn’t play in Los Angeles’ Week 1 game. Michael Davis is a rookie UDFA out of BYU.
  • The 49ers promoted cornerback Asa Jackson from their practice squad and waived fellow corner Keith Reaser to clear a roster spot, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com tweets. A fifth-round 49ers pick in 2014, Reaser played in 29 games for the team — including last week’s loss to the Panthers — but didn’t start any. San Francisco signed Jackson, an ex-Ravens starter, in August and stashed him on the practice squad after the preseason.
  • Nose tackles Kyle Peko and Tyrique Jarrett will once again trade places with the Broncos. Denver will promote Peko from its practice squad and waive Jarrett, Nicki Jhabvala of the Denver Post tweets. A rookie UDFA out of Pittsburgh, Jarrett saw Week 1 work on a depleted Broncos line. Peko, a cousin of Broncos starting nose Domata Peko, was waived last weekend.
  • The Colts promoted linebacker Darnell Sankey from their practice squad, cutting wide receiver Matt Hazel to make room, Mike Chappell of IndySportsCentral.com reports (via Twitter). Both Antonio Morrison and Anthony Walker are dealing with injuries, making this an insurance addition.
  • The Jets signed outside linebacker Freddie Bishop and defensive lineman Lawrence Thomas from their practice squad, Brian Costello of the New York Post tweets. The team also waived linebacker Edmond Robinson with an injury settlement.

Colin Kaepernick’s CFL Rights Go From One Team To Another

It’s not clear how or when this happened, but Colin Kaepernick‘s CFL rights have been transferred from one team to another. At one point, his rights were held by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Now, the Montreal Alouettes have dibs on him if he ever plays in the CFL, according to CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora (on Twitter). "<strong

La Canfora adds the rather obvious caveat of “not that he’s going,” but were the 29-year-old quarterback be interested in a CFL path, it appears Montreal would be his destination.

This news comes after La Canfora reported Johnny Manziel has a legitimate path to the Tiger-Cats. So it appears a Manziel-to-Hamilton route has formed, while a Kaepernick-to-Montreal path seems much less likely.

ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert reported in March the Tiger-Cats acquired Kaepernick’s rights, with both he and Robert Griffin III residing on the team’s exclusive negotiation list.

Kaepernick has been a free agent since he opted out of his 49ers contract; the team would have released him had he not done so. A visit with the Seahawks did not produce a contract, and not much has emerged on a Kaepernick NFL job since. Although, that subject’s produce plenty of ire, and protests, due to the number of less accomplished quarterbacks currently on teams’ rosters.

Sam Robinson contributed to this post.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Work Out Seven Defenders

The 49ers hosted a few established defensive linemen on Wednesday, working out free agents Ahtyba Rubin, Jaye Howard, Kendall Langford and Tony McDaniel, according to Field Yates of ESPN (Twitter link). They also tried out defensive tackle Stefan Charles and a pair of defensive backs – Devonte Johnson and Josh Thornton – per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.

Ahtyba Rubin

Rubin, perhaps the most notable of the bunch, spent the previous two years in the 49ers’ divisio – the NFC West – with Seattle. The Seahawks, who play the 49ers this week, released Rubin at the outset of the month, and his only known interest prior to his meeting with San Francisco came from the Bills. The 31-year-old DT started in all 32 appearances with the Seahawks, registering 75 tackles and three sacks, and previously started in 75 of 99 games as a Brown from 2008-14. Kyle Shanahan, the Niners’ rookie head coach, was Cleveland’s offensive coordinator during Rubin’s last season there.

Howard, 28, worked out for the Lions this week before his visit to San Francisco. The former Chief has been on the hunt for a job since the Bears released him Sept. 2. Howard didn’t play a down in Chicago, which signed him in May after the Chiefs released him, and is coming off an injury-played 2016. After Howard posted back-to-back 16-game seasons and combined for 24 starts from 2014-15, a hip ailment limited him to eight and five in those categories last year.

Like Rubin and Howard, Langford and McDaniel earned summer releases from their previous employers. The Colts cut Langford with a failed physical designation in August, indicating that the 31-year-old hadn’t recovered from the knee injury that ended his 2016 campaign in October. He was, however, the picture of durability from 2008-15 with the Dolphins, Rams and Colts, appearing in eight straight 16-game seasons. Langford’s also just two years removed from a career-high seven-sack showing.

McDaniel, whom the Saints released at the beginning of the month, is an 11-year veteran who spent three of the previous four years in Seattle. The 295-pounder is familar with first-year 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, who worked on the Seahawks’ staff during one of McDaniel’s seasons with them (2013). McDaniel started a personal-best 15 games that season and notched 53 tackles (a career mark) and two sacks.

It’s unclear if the 49ers will sign any of these players, but doing so would perhaps improve a defensive line that didn’t generate much pressure during their 23-3 loss to the Panthers in Week 1. The 49ers hit Panthers quarterback Cam Newton just twice and failed to register a sack in Saleh’s debut atop their defense. They did, however, hold Carolina to a measly 3.1 yards per rush on 38 attempts.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/13/17

Today’s minor moves:

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

  • Promoted to active roster: OL Adam Pankey

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings 

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

  • Released from IR: RB Joe Bacci, DL Jimmy Staten

49ers Sign LB Elijah Lee Off Vikings’ PS

The 49ers have signed linebacker Elijah Lee off the Vikings’ practice squad, according to Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press (Twitter links).

San Francisco had interest in signing Lee to its practice squad following final cutdowns, but the Vikings increased his salary above the $7,200 per week minimum in order to convince to stick in Minnesota. Lee, whom the Vikings selected in the seventh round of the 2017 draft, spent three seasons at Kansas State. Last year, he appeared in 13 games and managed 110 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and two interceptions.

The 49ers are searching for linebacker depth following the news that rookie Reuben Foster is expected to be sidelined for at least one month with a high-ankle sprain. While San Francisco worked out veterans Sean Spence and Donald Butler earlier this week, the club has decided to go with a less experienced option in Lee.