49ers To Place Pierre Garcon On IR

The second of Pierre Garcon‘s two 49ers seasons will end with the veteran wide receiver on injured reserve. The 49ers will place Garcon on IR this week, Kyle Shanahan said (via the Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, on Twitter).

A knee injury has sidelined Garcon for the past four games. He will end a second straight 49ers slate having played in just eight contests.

Garcon will undergo arthroscopic surgery on the injured knee this week. This spate of injury trouble is new for the 11-year veteran, whose Redskins tenure concluded with 71 straight regular-season starts.

The former Colts and Redskins wideout generated trade interest before the deadline, but the 49ers opted not to move their then-healthy wideout. The 32-year-old pass-catcher will conclude his season with 24 receptions for 286 yards and one touchdown — his only score as a 49er thus far. Garcon posted a 40-500-0 season in 2017, doing so with Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard as San Francisco’s QBs.

A coveted free agent in 2017, Garcon chose the 49ers’ five-year, $47.5MM offer. He received $17MM fully guaranteed and would not provide the 49ers much in cap savings if they opted to move on after 2018. It would cost the 49ers $7.2MM in dead money if they cut Garcon after this season. Though, the 49ers are projected to hold more than $66MM in cap space and could absorb that cap hit if they wanted to go in another direction.

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Bills LB Matt Milano Done For Year

Bills linebacker Matt Milano is done for the year, according to head coach head coach Sean McDermott. Milano had surgery for a broken fibula on Monday, which will rule him out for the rest of the regular season and land him on injured reserve. 

Milano, 24, has been a staple of the Bills’ D since entering the league as a fifth-round pick in 2017. This year, he recorded his first sack in a huge upset win over the Vikings and came away with AFC Defensive Player of the Week honors for his performance.

Without Milano, the Bills will likely promote Deon Lacey to the starting lineup, putting him alongside middle linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and strong side linebacker Lorenzo Alexander. It’s a thin unit after that, so the Bills are likely to add another LB this week.

The Bills came out of Sunday’s loss to the Jets with a score of injuries, including day-to-day injuries for running backs LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and Chris Ivory (shoulder).

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Broncos Promote Trey Marshall

The Broncos will waive safety Shamarko Thomas in order to promote rookie safety Trey Marshall from the practice squad, league sources tell Mike Klis of 9News (on Twitter). While the Broncos value Thomas’ special teams acumen, they were compelled to make the move in order to prevent the Cardinals from signing Marshall off of the taxi squad. 

The Cardinals wound up with an open roster spot on Monday when they were forced to place defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche on injured reserve. Marshall won’t turn 23 until February and would have been worth a look for Arizona’s 2019 roster, but the Broncos stepped in to prevent that from happening. He’ll now have a chance to make his NFL debut with Denver after compiling 135 tackles, one sack, and six passes defensed while at Florida State.

Thomas, a fourth-round pick of the Steelers in 2013, will become a free agent if he is not claimed on waivers. He appeared in six games for Denver this year and recorded seven total tackles.

The Broncos are 6-7 after Sunday’s loss to the 49ers, but they technically still have a shot at reaching the playoffs as a Wild Card team.

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Cardinals To Place Robert Nkemdiche On IR

Cardinals defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche is going on IR, coach Steve Wilks announced on Monday. Wilks declined to give details on the injury, but he did say that Nkemdiche will require surgery. 

[RELATED: Cardinals Place D.J. Humphries On IR]

Nkemdiche, 24, was a first round pick of the Cardinals back in 2016. His bruising physique had the team excited back then, but he has been unable to put it all together as a pro. Injuries have kept him off the field for much of his three-year career and he’ll end this campaign with just 27 appearances out of a possible 48 games.

Nkemdiche recorded 4.5 sacks this year – including 2.5 agains the Chargers a few weeks ago – but his run defense has left much to be desired. Nkemdiche currently ranks as Pro Football Focus’ No. 102 ranked interior defender out of 118 qualified players.

The Cardinals will have Nkemdiche under contract for 2019 and they’ll have to decide on his fifth-year option for 2020 in May. Last year, the option cost for non Top-10 defensive tackles was $7.154MM. The cost will rise this year, and the Cardinals will have to think long and hard about whether they’re willing to roll the dice on Nkemdiche given his injury history.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 12/8/18

Here are Saturday’s minor moves:

Buffalo Bills

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

New York Jets

Eagles Place CB Jalen Mills On IR

The foot injury that was expected to shut down Jalen Mills for the season prompted the Eagles to place the third-year cornerback on IR.

Philadelphia will shelve Mills for the rest of the season, and Adam Schefter of tweets the team will promote defensive tackle Bruce Hector to its active roster.

Mills joins Ronald Darby as Eagles corners on IR. Clinging to NFC East title hopes going into a crucial game in Dallas, the defending champions aren’t as depleted as they recently were at this position. Sidney Jones returned to the Eagles’ lineup on Monday night. However, Avonte Maddox did not practice this week and is not expected to play. Jones and Rasul Douglas are expected to be Philadelphia’s top corners against the Cowboys.

A 2016 seventh-round pick, Mills has not played since October. Pro Football Focus graded Mills, Jones and Douglas near the bottom of the 2018 cornerback contingent. The Eagles rank 19th in pass defense DVOA. That said, Philly has managed back-to-back wins over NFC East competition — the second of which coming against a more injury-damaged Washington team.

One more season remains on Mills’ rookie contract. Hector is a rookie UDFA who has played in six games this season.

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Browns Activate DB Terrance Mitchell From IR

Terrance Mitchell is back. The Browns announced that they’ve activated the defensive back from the injured reserve. To make room on the roster, the team placed TE Pharaoh Brown on the IR.

Mitchell signed a three-year, $12MM deal with the Browns this offseason, and he proceeded to start each of Cleveland’s first three games. The 26-year-old was productive during the early stretch of the season, compiling 19 tackles, three passes defended, two forced fumbles, and one interception. This followed a 2017 campaign where he established career-highs in tackles (53), passes defended (18) and interceptions (four) with the Chiefs.

Mitchell ended up fracturing his wrist in late September, landing him on the injured reserve. With the former seventh-rounder back on the active roster, he’ll be joining a cornerbacks corps that currently features T.J. Carrie, Denzel WardPhillip GainesTavierre Thomas, and Juston Burris.

Brown has split the season between the Browns’ active roster and practice squad, and he’s been listed as inactive for Cleveland’s past five games. The move now leaves the Browns with four tight ends in David Njoku, Darren FellsSeth Devalve, and Orson Charles.

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Dolphins Cut CB Dee Delaney

Dee Delaney‘s stint with the Dolphins lasted only four days. Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that Miami has cut the defensive back. Cornerback Jalen Davis has been promoted from the practice squad to take the open roster spot.

Delaney, an undrafted rookie out of the University of Miami, caught on with the Jaguars after the draft. He eventually landed on the team’s practice squad, and he was promoted to the active roster in late October. He ended up appearing in two games with Jacksonville, playing mostly on special teams.

He was waived by the Jaguars earlier this week, and the Dolphins ended up claiming the 23-year-old. The team placed tight end A.J. Derby on the practice squad to create an open roster spot.

Davis, an undrafted rookie out of Utah State, has spent the majority of the season on the Dolphins’ practice squad. He’ll be sliding into the bottom of a cornerbacks depth chart that already features Xavien Howard, Bobby McCainCornell Armstrong, and Torry McTyer (2017 third-rounder Cordrea Tankersley was previously placed on the injured reserve).

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Titans TE Jonnu Smith Done For Year

Titans tight end Jonnu Smith is going to miss the rest of the season with an MCL injury, a source tells’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter). Smith, 23, went down while blocking for Derrick Henry on his historic 99-yard touchdown run and the injury proved to be serious. He’ll be placed on injured reserve this week in order to open up a spot on the roster.

Smith has largely been utilized as a blocker in Tennessee, though he has flashed his hands on occasion. In a November loss to the Colts, Smith had six grabs for 44 yards. He also scored three touchdowns during the month of November. His season ends with 20 catches for 258 yards and three TDs,

Smith, a third-round pick in the 2017 draft, has two more years to go on his rookie contract. He’s scheduled to count for $845K next season and $933K in 2020, the final year of his deal.

The Titans kept their playoff hopes alive with Thursday’s win, thanks in large part to an all-time great performance from Henry. They currently have a 27% chance of reaching the postseason, according to Five Thirty Eight, with a pair of winnable matchups on deck against the Giants and Redskins.

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