Here is the latest out of San Francisco. More injuries have cropped up for the 49ers, causing them to alter a previous strategy. But the 4-3 team received good news on the health front as well.
Dante Pettislooks to be off the trade block. The 49ers lost Deebo Samuel and Richie James to injuries during their win against the Patriots, and Kyle Shanahan said the team is now no longer likely to trade Pettis, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News (on Twitter). Shanahan previously confirmed the team was trying to deal the 2018 second-round wideout, who has fallen out of favor after showing flashes as a rookie. Pettis may receive another chance soon. The ex-Washington Husky standout has played sparingly on offense and special teams this season but has not caught a pass in nearly a year.
As for Samuel, he is set for another multiweek absence. The second-year receiver suffered a hamstring strain that will keep him out of Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Shanahan expects his No. 1 wideout to miss San Francisco’s Week 9 game against Green Bay as well. Samuel has not enjoyed much time to build on his strong rookie season, with this hamstring setback coming after he missed a few months because of a foot fracture.
While Jeff Wilson became the latest 49ers running back to go down, the team received good news regarding one member of its backfield. The 49ers designated Tevin Coleman to return from IR Wednesday, opening the door to the veteran back playing in Seattle after a six-week absence. Should Coleman return, the 49ers will only be down two backs — Wilson and Raheem Mostert. The 49ers also designated Jordan Reed and K’Waun Williams to come off IR. The team has three weeks to activate its IR-DTR players.
The fifth of San Francisco’s running backs to see time this season, JaMycal Hasty, opted to stay in San Francisco despite offers to leave. Three teams expressed interest in poaching Hasty off the 49ers’ practice squad, per agent Scott Casterline, but the rookie UDFA preferred to stay and wait for an opportunity with a team that has been known to use running back committees under Shanahan, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes. Hasty, now on the team’s 53-man roster, has averaged 5.2 yards per carry in three games.
TonyBergstrom is returning to Washington. The organization announced that they’ve re-signed the offensive lineman. Terms of the deal were not announced.
Following a standout career at Utah, Bergstrom was selected in the third round of the 2012 draft. The lineman proceeded to spend the first four seasons of his career with the Raiders since bouncing around the NFL. Since 2016, the 32-year-old has had stints with the Texans, Cardinals, Ravens, and Redskins.
Fortunately for Bergstrom, he’s apparently found a home in Washington. Since joining the Redskins midway through the 2017 season, the lineman has appeared in 22 games. He played in 13 games (eight starts) last season, seeing action at both center and guard.
Considering his versatility, Bergstrom should at least be a key backup on the Redskins offensive line next season. The Redskins have added one free agent offensive lineman in EreckFlowers, but the team’s line should pretty much look the same as 2018.
The Giants‘ opponent Sunday will be dealing with a greater volume of injury replacements, but the Big Apple’s NFC team will be missing its biggest star. Odell Beckham Jr. will not play in Week 14. The Giants ruled out Beckham for their Redskins rematch because of a bruised quadriceps. Although Beckham practiced this week on a limited basis, the Giants are sitting him for the first time this season. New York’s 4-8 record may well be contributing to the decision. This season has not gone well for Big Blue, but Beckham has enjoyed a productive slate after an ankle injury wiped out most of his 2017 season. He has five 100-plus-yard performances and exited Week 13 with 1,052 receiving yards, six receiving scores and two touchdown passes.
Here’s the latest from the Eastern divisions:
In addition to three 2018 arrests, Redskins linebacker Reuben Foster was briefly detained by Santa Clara, Calif., police this year, A.J. Perez of USA Today reports (on Twitter). In October, police were dispatched to Foster’s place of residence following a 911 call. A neighbor indicated he heard a “loud disturbance” from Foster’s residence. The woman whose domestic-abuse accusations led to two of Foster’s arrests this year, Elissa Ennis, was with the embattled defender at the time of the detainment, per the police report. Ennis told police Foster was her boyfriend and “nothing happened.” Ennis this week expressed shock the Redskins claimed Foster, whom Tampa police arrested last month for alleged domestic violence.
Darron Lee has not made the Jets‘ 2016 first-round investment look too good, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com does not expect the team to pick up the inside linebacker’s fifth-year option (Twitter link). It would cost the Jets around $10MM to keep Lee under contract through the 2020 season, and Cimini believes it would be an ill-advised decision for Gang Green to exercise the now-suspended linebacker’s option. Lee’s played better this season but has been inconsistent throughout his career.
Washington may be planning to go with tackles Austin Howard and Ty Nsekhe at guard against the Giants, per Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Jay Gruden has this option at his incredibly depleted guard spot, or the fifth-year Redskins coach could deploy Luke Bowanko or Zac Kerin. Gruden indicated he may use a rotation. The NFC East leaders for most of this season, the Redskins lost Jonathan Cooper — also an in-season replacement — for the year and will be without Tony Bergstrom. Howard, Bowanko and Kerin were in-season pickups for a Redskins team that now has five offensive linemen on IR. Washington is 6-6 and on the verge of seeing this injury-plagued season veer off the playoff course.
Escobar, 26, never lived up his to second-round draft status, as he managed only 30 receptions and 333 yards over four seasons with the Cowboys. He inked a minimum salary benefit contract with the Chiefs in March, but was part of the club’s final cutdowns in September. Since then, Escobar has been on the workout circuit, and while he’s auditioned for a number of clubs, he hadn’t found a deal until now.
Baltimore currently has four tight ends on its roster, with Ben Watson, Nick Boyle, Maxx Williams, and Vince Mayle serving as the club’s depth at the position. Watson and Boyle have done most of receiving work for the Ravens this year, while Williams was inactive for Sunday’s contest with an ankle injury. Williams’ health questions could have conceivably led Baltimore to inking Escobar.
Bergstrom, meanwhile, was sent to Baltimore in a preseason trade but has since bounced on-and-off the Ravens’ roster. He’s appeared in four games this season but played just 32 total snaps.
The Ravens have added some reinforcement on the offensive line. According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter), the team has re-signed offensive guard Tony Bergstrom. To make room on the roster, the Ravens have waived cornerback Tony McRae.
Baltimore has already placed three offensive lineman on the injured reserve this year, including Marshal Yanda, Nico Siragusa, and Alex Lewis. Backup guard/center Matt Skura was also listed as a DNP on Thursday’s injury report due to a knee ailment, effectively leaving Luke Bowanko as the Ravens’ lone backup lineman.
Fortunately, Bergstrom is plenty familiar with Baltimore’s scheme. The 2012 third-round pick was traded to the Ravens in early September, with the organization sending a conditional seventh-rounder to Arizona. He proceeded to play in three games for the Ravens before being released earlier this week. Over his six-year career, the 31-year-old has appeared in 43 games (four starts). It’s worth noting that Bergstrom has only played 45 total snaps this season, and if continues to solely serve in a backup role, there’s no guarantee that the conditional pick will translate.
A 2016 undrafted rookie out of North Carolina A&T, McRae saw the field for five games this season, compiling a single tackle. His release leaves first-rounder Marlon Humphrey and undrafted rookie Jaylen Hill as the lone backups on the cornerback depth chart.