Tony Jefferson

49ers Move DE Dee Ford To IR

Dee Ford missed his first game of the season last week, and the veteran edge rusher will make another trip to IR. The 49ers moved Ford off their active roster Saturday, doing so because of a troublesome injury lingering from last year.

The former Pro Bowl sack artist is still dealing with the back injury that wiped out all but one game of his 2020 season. The eighth-year defender suffered a flareup against the Colts and missed the 49ers’ Week 8 game in Chicago. While Ford must miss three games, it does not sound like the 49ers are certain he will be at full strength the rest of the way.

Interestingly, Ford got in a full practice Wednesday and was on the field in a limited capacity Thursday and Friday. This workload does not usually precede an IR trip, but the 30-year-old D-lineman has an extensive injury history. In addition to the back issue, Ford is battling neck trouble and has encountered concussion-like symptoms.

That’s never fully gone away. That’s something he’ll deal with most likely forever,” Kyle Shanahan said of Ford’s back problem. “So, something that’s on again, off again. The reason it’s mentioned for the first time is we think it came up with this concussion. Some of the symptoms presented as a concussion last week with the hit he took, but it acted up some stuff in the back that has been bothering him this week.”

The 49ers traded for Ford during the 2019 offseason and saw him play a key role in their Super Bowl LIV run, albeit with a part-time workload. But by the time this IR stint concludes, the former first-round pick will have missed at least 24 games in his three San Francisco seasons. Injuries also impacted Ford with the Chiefs. This season, Ford has three sacks and four quarterback hits as a rotational rusher. Ford’s absence follows Javon Kinlaw‘s IR trip. The interior D-lineman is out for the season.

In addition to the Ford transaction, the 49ers waived defensive lineman Zach Kerr and promoted safety Tony Jefferson and linebacker Tyrell Adams from their practice squad. Both Kerr and Jefferson were offseason adds. San Francisco also moved George Kittle and Robbie Gould from IR onto its active roster.

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49ers Place Tony Jefferson On IR

Tony Jefferson‘s season is over. On Thursday, the 49ers placed the veteran safety on injured reserve due to groin and hamstring issues.

Jefferson hasn’t played since 2019, when he tore his ACL. Then, the pandemic slowed his rehab, keeping him off the field throughout 2020. Under normal circumstances, Jefferson would have been mostly healed by April.

I was really getting into a groove with my workouts and my rehab,” Jefferson said in April. “Now, I’m waiting two or three weeks just to get a medicine ball.”

After spending the early part of his career with the Cardinals, Jefferson inked a four-year, $34MM contract with the Ravens in 2017. He started in all 35 of his games for Baltimore from 2017-2019, but the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus weren’t fond of his five-game 2019 season. The Ravens released Jefferson in February of 2020, but he wasn’t healthy enough to land a deal until this summer when the Niners added him on a one-year pact.

Jefferson was gearing up to support free safety Jimmie Ward and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt. Instead, he’ll have to rest, recover, and maybe even consider life beyond football. His snaps will be absorbed by Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who agreed to terms on Wednesday.

To take his place on the roster, the 49ers have signed defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes. The 26-year-old (27 in October) is hoping to see his first live action since 2019, when he appeared in three games for the Texans.

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49ers Working Out Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Bradley McDougald, Others

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix‘s visit schedule continued Tuesday. The former Pro Bowl safety made his way to San Francisco for a 49ers visit, joining a few others at the position at this audition.

The 49ers also worked out safeties Bradley McDougald, Andrew Sendejo and Clayton Geathers, according to ESPN.com’s Field Yates (on Twitter). Kyle Shanahan said starter Jaquiski Tartt is not expected to come off the team’s active/PUP list for a while, opening a door for a possible veteran addition.

Clinton-Dix’s 2021 itinerary has included trips to Indianapolis, Charlotte, Houston and Las Vegas. Clinton-Dix, 28, has not played since the 2019 season, when he played out a one-year contract with the Bears. The Cowboys signed the ex-first-round pick in 2020, but he did not make their 53-man roster.

The Seahawks used McDougald as a three-season starter but included him in last year’s Jamal Adams trade. With the Jets, McDougald started seven games before an injury shut him down. This Bay Area trek marks the first news involving the 30-year-old safety this year.

Like Clinton-Dix, Geathers did not play in 2020. The former Colts second-round pick has not been connected to a team in a while, despite being a 34-game starter in Indianapolis. The 29-year-old defender will need to catch on with a team at some point soon in order to stay on the NFL radar. Sendejo played the 2020 season in Cleveland, working as a full-time starter for a Browns team that lost Grant Delpit in training camp. Sendejo is an 11-year veteran who will turn 34 next month.

San Francisco is set to redeploy Tartt and Jimmie Ward as its starting safeties. Tartt, however, is battling a toe injury Shanahan confirmed is not rapidly improving. The veteran starter has been dealing with this toe problem since November of last year, which certainly presents a problem for the 49ers. They signed Tony Jefferson earlier this summer, but he is dealing with an injury as well. It would seem likely at least one of the veterans at Tuesday’s workout will be called upon to stick around.

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49ers To Sign Tony Jefferson

Tony Jefferson is back. On Monday, the 49ers agreed to sign the veteran safety, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets

Jefferson hasn’t played since 2019, when he tore his ACL. Then, the pandemic slowed his rehab, keeping him off the field throughout 2020. Under normal circumstances, Jefferson would have been mostly healed by April.

I was really getting into a groove with my workouts and my rehab,” Jefferson said in April. “Now, I’m waiting two or three weeks just to get a medicine ball.”

After spending the early part of his career with the Cardinals, Jefferson inked a four-year, $34MM contract with the Ravens in 2017. He started in all 35 of his games for Baltimore from 2017-2019, but the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus weren’t fond of his five-game 2019 season. The Ravens released Jefferson in February of 2020, but he wasn’t healthy enough to land a deal elsewhere.

Jefferson will surely play for less than his last contract, but he has an opportunity to restore his stock in San Francisco. If all goes well, the 29-year-old could be the first safety off of the bench behind free safety Jimmie Ward and strong safety Jaquiski Tartt.

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49ers To Meet With Tony Jefferson

The 49ers are set to meet with Tony Jefferson this week (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler). The veteran safety has not played in nearly two years, but he could mount a comeback with the 49ers if he passes his physical.

An ACL tear in October of 2019 sidetracked Jefferson’s NFL career. Then, the pandemic interfered with Jefferson’s rehab. Under normal circumstances, Jefferson would have been mostly healed by April. Instead, he was unable to see his physical therapist or gain access to the equipment he needed.

I was really getting into a groove with my workouts and my rehab,” Jefferson said. “Now, I’m waiting two or three weeks just to get a medicine ball.”

After spending the early part of his career with the Cardinals, Jefferson inked a four-year, $34MM contract with the Ravens in 2017. He started in all 35 of his games for Baltimore from 2017-2019, but the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus weren’t fond of his work in 2019 (the five-game season). The Ravens went on to release Jefferson in February of 2020, but he wasn’t healthy enough to land a deal elsewhere.

Jefferson will have to settle for less than his last contract, but he’ll be better positioned next year if he can turn in a healthy season. After all, he’s still just 29 years old with five-plus seasons worth of starting experience to his credit.

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49ers To Host S Tony Jefferson On Visit

Tony Jefferson has not played in a game since October 2019, when an ACL tear sidetracked his career. But after missing the entire 2020 season, the veteran safety is planning to play in 2021.

The 49ers will meet with Jefferson about a comeback, with veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweeting the sides will visit at some point within the next three weeks. The former Cardinals and Ravens defender is arranging visits, per Anderson.

Regarded as one of the league’s better safeties prior to his knee injury, Jefferson was not permitted to make visits during the 2020 offseason. The Ravens released him in February 2020. While he did end up meeting with the Colts during the season, nothing materialized from that summit. Jefferson is unlikely to come close to the value of the four-year, $34MM deal he inked with the Ravens in 2017, but he is still just 29 and has five-plus seasons’ worth of starting experience.

A fit with San Francisco would point Jefferson to a depth role. The 49ers have Jimmie Ward signed long-term, and the team just reached an agreement to re-sign Jaquiski Tartt.

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Colts To Host S Tony Jefferson On Visit

Tony Jefferson will have a chance to show he is ready to return to NFL action. The veteran safety is headed to Indianapolis for a Colts visit, veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson tweets.

The former Cardinals and Ravens defender suffered a torn ACL nearly a year ago. Although he was not ready to pass a physical during training camp, it appears he is close to being ready for workouts. Should Jefferson be healthy, he should not have trouble landing a gig soon. No Colts workout is scheduled, however, per Anderson, who adds (via Twitter) Jefferson’s visit is set for Friday.

Jefferson, 28, was a full-time starter during his Cardinals contract year and in each of his three Ravens seasons. The Ravens released him earlier this year but continue to hold him in high regard.

The Colts have run into injury trouble at Jefferson’s position. Fourth-year starter Malik Hooker‘s season-ending injury thinned out Indianapolis’ safety corps, though the team drafted Julian Blackmon in Round 3 this year. The Colts have 2019 fourth-round pick Khari Willis as a starter and signed fifth-year safety Tavon Wilson in August. Blackmon and Willis started the Colts’ Week 3 game on Sunday.

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Ravens-Tony Jefferson Reunion In Play?

The Ravens released Tony Jefferson in February, but their safety depth chart has obviously changed since then. After the team’s Earl Thomas release, Baltimore may be shorthanded at one of its back-line positions this year.

Jefferson expects to be pass a physical in around two weeks, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, who adds the Ravens hold their three-year starter in high regard. A reunion between these parties is not out of the question, La Canfora notes.

Jefferson has no intentions of playing for another AFC North team and has interest in a Ravens staff position after his career concludes, La Canfora adds. Regarding his on-field status, Jefferson last played in October 2019. His season ended after he suffered an ACL tear. Jefferson’s health timeline could impede a potential Ravens reunion, however, at least by the season’s outset.

As of now, DeShon Elliott has secured the first crack at replacing Thomas alongside Chuck Clark. Elliott, a 2018 sixth-round pick, has played in just six NFL games. Jefferson is still just 28 and started 35 games for the Ravens from 2017-19. The ex-Cardinals starter signed a four-year, $34MM Ravens deal in 2017, choosing Baltimore over interest from Cleveland. Pro Football Focus did not grade Jefferson’s 2019 season (just five games) well but viewed the safety’s 2017 and ’18 work in a more positive light.

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Tony Jefferson On Free Agency, Recovery

Tony Jefferson is still a free agent, and the safety is one of the biggest names left on the market. During a recent interview with Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic, Jefferson spoke about his situation, and how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted his ability to find a new home.

Jefferson tore an ACL back in October, and the Ravens released him in February. COVID-19 has made it harder for teams to get a clear picture of his health, and for Jefferson to continue his rehab.“I was really getting into a groove with my workouts and my rehab,” Jefferson said. “I was really turning the corner and then, this comes.” Once he was no longer able to see his physical therapist, he struggled to get all of the stuff he needed for his workouts. “Most of it is sold out because I guess everybody is trying to use the (in-home) equipment now,” Jefferson explained. “I’m waiting two or three weeks just to get a medicine ball.”

Still he isn’t getting too down about it, and he indicated that he has been in touch with multiple interested teams. “I know that my knee is feeling fine, and I know that I have teams that are ready. I’ve just kind of let my agent do his thing. We’re just waiting for this virus to settle down, and I think something will happen quickly.” A Bucs beat writer floated Jefferson as a potential fit in Tampa due to his time spent with Bruca Arians in Arizona, but other than that we haven’t heard anything about him since his release.

The Oklahoma product is just one example of players with serious medical concerns who have had their markets impacted. There’s been a lot of talk that Jadeveon Clowney‘s offers have been underwhelming in part because team doctors haven’t been able to examine him and make their own determinations on his length medical history.

Zrebiec also notes that Jefferson is on track to be able to return to the field around the beginning of training camp, assuming training camp happens in late July and isn’t pushed back or canceled. Jefferson entered the league as an undrafted free agent in 2013, and quickly became a starter with the Cardinals. He then signed a four-year, $34MM contract with the Ravens in 2017. He started all 35 games that he appeared in across his three years in Baltimore. While he’ll certainly end up signing somewhere, it doesn’t sound like it’s likely to come before the draft.

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