Tevin Coleman

49ers Rumors: Armstead, Running Backs, Thomas

In his 49ers mailbag, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports addressed Arik Armstead‘s impending free agency. The seventeenth overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft struggled early in his career with injuries and consistency but emerged as an integral part of San Francisco’s defensive line over the past two seasons. Armstead has the versatility to play the edge of defensive coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defense on early downs and then move inside on passing situations.

Armstead has started each of the 49ers last 35 games (playoffs included) and set career-marks this season in sacks (10.0), tackles for loss (11), quarterback hits (18), and tackles (54) as a part of the vaunted Niners defensive front. Now, set for unrestricted free agency, Maiocco downplays the chances San Francisco franchise tags the defensive lineman to trade him. He believes if the team has the cap space to apply the tag, they’ll work out an extension.

Here’s some more rumors out of Santa Clara:

  • Matt Barrows and David Lombardi of The Athletic continued their “State of the 49ers” series, this time looking at the team’s running backs. While no halfback amassed 1,000 yards on the season, the team’s depth at the position was obvious to anyone following the team. Tevin Coleman, Matt Breida, and Raheem Mostert all played like the team’s number one back at different points in the season. They place a primary focus on the future of Jerrick McKinnon-who missed the past two seasons with injuries-with the team. If he returns on a team-friendly contract, San Francisco may be comfortable letting Tevin Coleman pursue opportunities elsewhere.
  • Following their Super Bowl defeat, the 49ers now face a series of difficult salary-cap decisions. Patrick Holloway of Niners Nation speculates the team could attach a draft pick to defensive lineman Solomon Thomas to save more than $4MM in cap space. Since Thomas was selected with the third overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, his entire contract is guaranteed and the Niners cannot gain any cap relief from releasing him. However, if he were traded, his dead cap hit would be cut in half, saving the team half of his nearly $9MM cap hit.

Latest On 49ers RB Tevin Coleman

Tevin Coleman suffered a dislocated shoulder during the NFC Championship Game, but with two weeks to recover, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan previously said that there’s a “good chance” the running back plays. Coleman himself provided an update on Thursday, telling NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco that he’ll absolutely play if he’s cleared.

“I feel good,” Coleman said. “Still working, still trying to get my range of motion back. Just listening to the doctors and trying to get back…It’s weak. I’m not all the way there.

“I’m still working with the doctors and see what they tell me, listening to them and see how I feel next week…I’m going to try my best to get out there and play. This is the Super Bowl. I don’t want to sit out for that.”

Coleman also provided some more details on the injury, noting that his shoulder was out of its socket for nearly 30 minutes. The 26-year-old said the pain was so intense that he couldn’t walk, requiring the use of a cart. The running back also noted that he’d prefer to play without any type of harness, as he predictably doesn’t want his movements to be restricted in anyway.

While Coleman is a major part of the 49ers offense, the team is lucky to have incredible depth at the position. While Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida out-gained Coleman on the ground this year, the former Falcon still rushed for 544 yards and six touchdowns.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Hopeful For Tevin Coleman Super Bowl LIV Return

Tevin Coleman left the NFC championship game early, but the 49ers expect he will be ready to play in Super Bowl LIV.

Kyle Shanahan described the running back’s dislocated shoulder as being of the Lethal Weapon variety, with staffers able to pop Coleman’s ailing shoulder back into place (via Matt Barrows of The Athletic, on Twitter). While this process was quite painful for Lethal Weapon 2-era Martin Riggs without the threat of any tackling, Shanahan expects Coleman to have a “good chance” to suit up for his second Super Bowl.

I don’t want to speculate too much, but usually a week to rest it and usually gets back in and I expect him to have a chance to play,” Shanahan said Monday. “Can’t hold me to that. We’ll find out more, but I expect him to have a good chance to play.”

The 49ers have thrived on the ground despite their highest-paid running back, Jerick McKinnon, missing a second straight season. While Raheem Mostert and Matt Breida out-gained Coleman on the ground this year, the former Falcon rushed for 544 yards and six touchdowns this season. He returned from a high ankle sprain earlier this season but missed much of the 49ers’ historically dominant rushing day Sunday.

Mostert’s 220 rushing yards rank second in NFL playoff history, and Breida averaged 5.1 yards per carry during the regular season. San Francisco’s second-ranked rush offense may have the option of all three backs facing the Chiefs, however. Coleman gained 35 scrimmage yards and caught a touchdown pass in Super Bowl LI.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers RB Tevin Coleman To Avoid IR

49ers running back Tevin Coleman suffered a somewhat serious injury during his team’s win over the Buccaneers yesterday. Fortunately, it shouldn’t keep him on the shelf for all that long.

ESPN’s Nick Wagoner tweets that Coleman suffered a high ankle sprain yesterday, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said a trip to the IR wasn’t a possibility. The 26-year-old will be out for next weekend’s game in Cincinnati, and the team will then treat the injury as week-to-week.

Shanahan also revealed that Coleman was injured during the first play of the game, and the ailment got worse as he remained in the contest. The running back was ultimately pulled at halftime after having compiled 23 rushing yards on six carries. He also hauled in two receptions for 33 yards.

Coleman was making his regular-season debut for the 49ers after having inked a two-year, $10MM deal with the team this past offseason. The running back had spent the first four seasons of his career with the Falcons, including a 2018 campaign where he compiled 1,076 yards on offense.

With Coleman joining Jerick McKinnon on the sideline, the 49ers are suddenly looking thin at the position. The team will likely lean on Matt Breida until Coleman returns, although the former undrafted free agent was underwhelming yesterday (37 rushing yards on 15 carries). Raheem Mostert is the only other running back on the roster, and Shanahan implied yesterday that Jeff Wilson Jr. could be promoted from the practice squad.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Mixon, Mayfield, Mahomes

Week 1 of the NFL season unfortunately saw a bunch of big names go down. Nick Foles is out indefinitely after breaking his clavicle, and Tyreek Hill will miss a few games with a shoulder issue. They weren’t the only ones to suffer potentially significant injuries, and we’ve got all the latest updates down below:

  • The 49ers already suffered a blow to their deep backfield when they placed Jerick McKinnon on IR prior to the start of the season, and now they’re down another member of the group. Tevin Coleman was knocked out of their Week 1 game against the Bucs by an ankle injury, and he left the locker room with a boot on his foot, according to Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports (Twitter link). Maiocco notes he’ll have an MRI on Monday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game he was “concerned” about Coleman’s ankle, Matt Barrows of the Athletic tweeted. Shanahan also implied the team will promote Jeff Wilson Jr. from the practice squad, and said the team will look at adding outside running back help. Matt Breida figures to take on a more prominent role in the meantime while Coleman is sidelined.
  • Speaking of running backs with ankle injuries, Joe Mixon suffered one of his own. The Bengals’ runner is “believed to have just an ankle sprain,” according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network, who tweets that “early reports [are] optimistic.” It’s unclear how sever the ankle sprain is, although fortunately it doesn’t sound like it’s going to be a longterm absence for the Oklahoma product.
  • Baker Mayfield had a rough game in his highly anticipated 2019 debut. He threw three interceptions, and to make matters worse also hurt his hand. Mayfield had his wrist and hand wrapped and went for an X-Ray after the Browns’ to the Titans, sparking some concern. Fortunately he suffered only a bruise and the injury is “not considered serious,” a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).
  • Fans were also left holding their breath when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went limping off the field. Mahomes returned to Kansas City’s win over the Jaguars, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the game Mahomes had a sprained ankle, according to Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). It doesn’t sound like Mahomes will miss any games, although his mobility may be limited moving forward.
  • The Falcons got blown out by the Vikings, and they also lost a key piece. The team fears that rookie first-round pick Chris Lindstrom fractured his foot, according to Jay Glazer of The Athletic (Twitter link). Lindstrom won the competition to start at right guard, and the organization thinks very highly of the 14th overall pick. Lindstrom’s rookie year could be over, as former NFL team doctor David Chao tweets the type of fracture “will determine if part of the season can be salvaged.” Even if he does make it back, it won’t be for a while.

West Rumors: Miller, Celek, 49ers, RBs

Von Miller turned 30 this offseason and will soon start his ninth NFL season, but it doesn’t look like the Broncos will need to consider making plans for a near-future Miller retirement. Denver’s all-time sack leader said (via USA Today’s Lila Bromberg) he wants to play long enough to make a run at Bruce Smith‘s NFL record. That will be quite difficult, with Miller (98 sacks) having averaged 12.25 sacks per season (a figure weighed down by his 2013 suspension-shortened slate) and Smith having recorded 200 during his 19-year career. Miller would need to average 10.2 sacks over the next 10 seasons to get there. However, Miller sits second among active NFLers in sacks — trailing only Terrell Suggs (132). While the odds are against him eclipsing the Smith standard that has stood for 16 years, it is notable the likely Hall of Fame-bound pass rusher plans on playing for several more seasons. Three seasons remain on Miller’s six-year, $114.1MM contract.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions, shifting to the NFC West:

  • The back surgery 49ers tight end Garrett Celek underwent this month features an approximate two-month recovery timetable, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, adding that it no longer appears certain the 31-year-old skill-position cog will be able to continue his career. Celek ended last season in concussion protocol, where he remains for procedural purposes, and the extension he signed in 2016 has just one more season remaining on it. The 49ers prepared for this possibility by signing Levine Toilolo, drafting Kaden Smith in the sixth round and adding Wyoming product Tyree Mayfield as a UDFA.
  • Tevin Coleman‘s history with Kyle Shanahan, and the time Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida missed this offsason, makes him the best bet to be San Francisco’s top back, Maiocco writes. McKinnon is expected to return for the start of training camp, but it has been a while since the former Vikings running back — who received $18MM guaranteed in 2018 — has played. The 49ers will likely make one of these players a healthy scratch on game days, with Maiocco adding the presences of Kyle Juszczyk and top special-teamer Raheem Mostert will force Shanahan to deactivate one of his top three backs. This situation bears monitoring during the preseason, as it would seem a trade could benefit the 49ers.
  • Robert Nkemdiche‘s recent arrest may spell the end of his underwhelming Cardinals stay.
  • More clarity emerged on the Todd Gurley front, but the two-time All-Pro Rams running back’s situation figures to remain murky until we near the regular season.

Eagles Pursued Tevin Coleman

Eagles top personnel executive Howie Roseman‘s track record with respect to expenditures for, and evaluation of, running backs is not a strong one, which we discussed a bit last week. Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer, in reviewing that track record again, said that the Eagles did go after a running back in the first wave of free agency this year, but for some reason they fell short in their pursuit.

McLane reports that Philadelphia had targeted former Falcons running back Tevin Coleman, whom running backs coach Duce Staley said was the best back on the market (even though the market also included Le’Veon Bell and Mark Ingram). Coleman, though, ultimately signed a modest two-year pact with the 49ers, and McLane is unsure as to why Roseman was unable to close the deal. Coleman may have preferred to reunite with Kyle Shanahan, the former Falcons OC who is now San Francisco’s head coach, but Roseman had the money and the playing time opportunity to entice Coleman.

Now, Philadelphia still needs to upgrade the position, which is probably the weakest on the roster. McLane suggests that the club could look to trade for the Bears’ Jordan Howard or the Browns’ Duke Johnson, though he questions how willing Roseman would be to give up even a late-round draft pick for backs that are available for a reason (plus, while the team does not necessarily need a lead runner in the traditional sense, Johnson is an imperfect fit given that he is better as a receiver than as a running back).

Similarly, McLane does not believe the remaining backs on the free agent market — currently headed by T.J. Yeldon and Isaiah Crowell — are legitimate targets for Roseman. He thinks the Eagles, who have two picks in the second round and two in the fourth, could use one of those selections on an RB, especially given that this year’s draft class of running backs offers plenty of talent in the middle rounds. But given Roseman’s past, even that is far from a sure thing.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

49ers Sign Tevin Coleman

The 49ers have signed running back Tevin Coleman to a two-year, $10MM deal, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

San Francisco was surprisingly in the running back market even after inking Jerick McKinnon to a four-year, $30MM contract last offseason. McKinnon, of course, missed the entire 2018 season after tearing his ACL, and it wouldn’t result in a significant financial hit for the 49ers to part ways with him. SF reportedly also pursued Le’Veon Bell before he signed with the Jets.

For Coleman, a $5MM annual value is the disappointing result of a disappointing campaign. Coleman witnessed the Falcons give starting running back Devonta Freeman an $8.25MM annual average on a 2017 extension, all but ensuring Coleman wouldn’t be back in Atlanta when his contract expired. When Freeman went down in 2018, Coleman wasn’t able to capitalize with his expanded work load on the ground. While he managed 4.8 yards per carry, Coleman was also among the least efficient backs in the league, per Football Outsiders‘ metrics.

Where Coleman does excel is in the passing game. He’s posted at least 25 receptions in each of the past three seasons, while FO ranked him as a top-20 back in terms of receiving efficiency. Matt Breida, who took over as the 49ers’ starting back once McKinnon went down, isn’t much of a pass-catcher, so Coleman would complement him well. But if Coleman is taking over as San Francisco’s receiving back, McKinnon might not have a role (or a job).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Rumors: Coleman, Panthers, Olsen

Falcons general manager Thomas Dimitroff gave an indication on the future status of running back Tevin Coleman, ESPN’s Vaughn McClure writes.

“Tevin’s going to do well, wherever he is,” he said.

The stumble of words just goes to confirm what many have expected: That Coleman will not be back with the Falcons in 2019. Projected as the No. 2 free agent running back behind Le’Veon Bell, the Indiana product is due for a big payday. That wasn’t likely to come from the Falcons, who already have the league’s third-highest-paid running back on the roster in Devonta Freeman.

The Falcons also have a capable backup ready to take Coleman’s role in Ito Smith, who gained 315 yards and four touchdowns as a rookie. While it won’t be with the Falcons, Coleman is sure to command a primary back role with another team after showcasing a dual-threat skill set in his time in Atlanta.

Here’s more from around the NFC South:

  • If the Panthers are to bring in a new quarterback in 2019, head coach Ron Rivera said it is more likely to come through the draft rather than free agency, Panthers team writer Bill Voth tweets. That would take them out of the hunt for a proven veteran backup to Cam Newton, who dealt with injuries throughout the 2018 season.
  • Sticking with the Panthers, tight end Greg Olsen has met with ESPN about opportunities but that does not include the Monday Night Football post that was vacated yesterday when Jason Witten returned to the Cowboys, The Athletic’s Joseph Person writes. Those talks could eventually come, but the Panthers fully expect the veteran tight end to return to the field in 2019.
  • The Falcons view Ty Sambrailo as the team’s starting right tackle over Ryan Schraeder, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s D. Orlando Ledbetter writes. Sambrailo moved past Schraeder on the depth chart last season and started the final game at right guard. He will stay at right tackle because it’s easier to find guards and Sambrailo’s ability to pass protect, head coach Dan Quinn said.
  • The Saints have hired Declan Doyle to be an offensive assistant coach, Josh Katzenstein of the Times-Picayune writes. Doyle previously worked as an offensive student assistant at the University of Iowa.

NFC South Notes: Falcons, Coleman, Bucs

Here’s a look at the NFC South:

  • Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff says that he has no interest in trading running back Tevin Coleman this offseason (Twitter link via Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com). Previously, Dimitroff indicated that he could see a scenario of extending Coleman even though the team has already paid Devonta Freeman. Last year, Coleman totaled 628 rushing yards and four touchdowns plus 27 catches for 299 yards. For what it’s worth, that’s 122 less receiving yards than he had in 2016 and his 4.0 yards-per-carry average was down from 4.4 over the previous two seasons.
  • Pending Buccaneers free agent T.J. Ward is a player to watch in free agency, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Ward started only five of his 12 games for the Bucs last year and graded out as the No. 58 ranked safety in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. That’s a big dropoff from his three straight Pro Bowls from 2013-2015 and his January arrest doesn’t help matters either. Still, in a shallow safety pool, Rapoport expects Ward to draw interest. Whether that comes to fruition or not, it’s not expected that Ward will be back with the Bucs.
  • The Falcons know that they’ll have some tough choices to make as they create room for quarterback Matt Ryan‘s next deal. “We all know that as we start nearing the signing of quarterbacks in this league, and especially quarterbacks of Matt Ryan’s status, you have to be very creative,” Dimitroff said on 680 The Fan (via D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). “There are going to be some difficult moves for us to make probably early next week and into next week.” Ledbetter notes that left guard Andy Levitre ($7MM in savings) and defensive end Brooks Reed ($3.6MM in savings) are both cap casualty candidates. Other cap casualty candidates include quarterback Matt Schaub ($3.25MM), defensive tackle Derrick Shelby ($3.2MM), wide receiver Mohamed Sanu ($3.1MM,) and tight end Levine Toilolo ($2.5MM).