Niners HC Kyle Shanahan said this week that RB Jerick McKinnon and LB Kwon Alexander have a "very good chance" of being on the field for the start of training camp. Each guy is coming off an ACL repair. McKinnon suffered his injury in August. He'll return to find a backfield that added Tevin Coleman and returns Matt Breida. McKinnon's touch outlook has obviously changed quite a bit from last summer. he still makes for a risky selection late in the single-digit rounds of current best-ball fantasy football drafts. Alexander is expected to start after signing a big free-agent contract. He should play full time and remain a solid IDP option, as long as the knee's good.
Niners rookie WR Deebo Samuel is missing minicamp with a hip injury, according to multiple reports. It doesn't appear to be a significant issue, however, and we're not worried about his status for the coming season as of now. We'll obviously watch his status into and through the summer to confirm. San Francisco heads toward training camp with a crowd of pass-catchers set to compete for some yet-undefined roles.
The 49ers will practice without top pick DE Nick Bosa for "the next few weeks" (according to NBC Bay Area's Matt Maiocco) because of a Grade 1 hamstring strain. That's the lowest level on the scale, so it's not a serious situation in May. But Bosa's hamstring will bear watching come training camp. His brother missed the 1st 4 games of his 2016 rookie campaign with hamstring trouble. Nick Bosa, of course, sat out nearly all of his final Ohio State season following sports hernia surgery.
49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has taken part in individual and 7-on-7 drills in OTAs this week but been held out of full-team work. HC Kyle Shanahan said Garoppolo won't be fully cleared from last September's torn ACL until training camp. Garoppolo seems happy with his progress, though, noting that he's lifting more and no longer experience swelling in that surgically repaired knee. He'll be over 11 months removed from the injury when the 2019 season kicks off.
49ers RB Matt Breida has a "slightly" torn pectoral, HC Kyle Shanahan said Tuesday. Breida avoided surgery, and while he'll miss OTAs, he's expected to be ready for training camp. Despite playing on a bum ankle for most of 2018, Breida averaged a big 5.3 yards per carry last year. It'll be interesting to see what kind of role he can carve out in a 2019 backfield that added Tevin Coleman and returns Jerick McKinnon from a torn ACL. Breida is just a late-round flier in early fantasy drafts.
The 49ers selected Baylor WR Jalen Hurd with the 67th overall pick. Hurd started his career as a RB at Tennessee before transferring to the Big 12. He made an immediate impact, catching 68 balls for 946 yards and 4 TDs. Hurd missed one game with a knee injury that required a procedure in December, but there’s been no indication it’s serious. While the 23-year-old is undoubtably raw, he’s an enticing project at 6’5, 226 pounds.
The 49ers added South Carolina WR Deebo Samuel with the 36th pick of the draft. Samuel had trouble staying healthy for the Gamecocks, missing 7 games in 2015 with a hamstring injury, 3 games in 2016 with more hamstring trouble and 10 games in 2017 with a broken leg. When he was on the field, though, Samuel contributed in multiple facets. He tallied 148 catches for 2,076 yards and 16 TDs across 30 career games, ran 25 times for 154 yards and 7 scores and averaged 29.0 yards with 4 TDs on kick returns. Samuel shows promise as a route runner and is tenacious after the catch. He reminds us of former ‘Niner Pierre Garcon. The 5’11, 214-pounder earned a 76th percentile SPARQ score at the Combine with a 4.48-second 40-yard dash and a 39-inch vertical. Samuel joins a fairly wide open 49ers WR corps and has a shot to carve out a significant rookie-year role.
The 49ers selected DE Nick Bosa with the 2nd pick of the NFL Draft. He'll quickly find time in a front 7 that sports DeForest Buckner primarily on the inside and just traded for Dee Ford. The Niners tied for just 22nd in the league in sacks last year (37). Bosa missed most of his final season at Ohio State but racked up 8.5 sacks and 16 tackles for loss as a 2017 sophomore. Expect him to be a productive player quickly, and he should be a high pick in dynasty rookie drafts with IDPs.
49ers TE George Kittle revealed that he suffered “fractured cartilage” to his rib cage on the 3rd play of Week 9's game against the Raiders. “It didn’t feel very good,” he said. “I wore two giant rib protectors for the rest of the season.” Kittle went for 108 yards and a score in that Raiders game and then ranked 3rd among TEs in fantasy points from Week 10 on. So the injury obviously wasn't a major factor. Kittle has missed just 1 game through his first 2 NFL seasons but was listed on the injury report with hamstring, calf, hip, chest, back, elbow and ankle issues as a rookie. He also suffered shoulder and foot injuries in his final college season. While he's shown the ability to produce through injuries, he might be a bigger durability risk going forward than he appears at first glance.
The 49ers have signed WR Jordan Matthews to a 1-year deal. The 2014 2nd-rounder racked up 225 catches and 2,673 yards over his first 3 NFL seasons. But he's mustered just 45 grabs and 582 yards across the past 2, dealing with injuries and playing for 3 different teams. Matthews turns just 27 in July, though, and is capable of playing both outside the numbers and in the slot. There's opportunity for him to carve out a significant role in San Francisco amid a largely unproven WR corps.
The 49ers have signed RB Tevin Coleman to a 2-year deal worth a "maximum" of $10 million. Coleman spent his first 2 NFL seasons with 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan in Atlanta, which will certainly help as he makes this move. Coleman joins a 49ers backfield alongside RB Jerick McKinnon, who got a 4-year, $30 million deal last offseason. We'll see how much a factor those contracts are when these guys start to battle for playing time. But we're likely looking at a committee backfield considering neither McKinnon nor Coleman profiles as a workhorse.
The 49ers have agreed to send a 2020 second-round pick to the Chiefs for OLB Dee Ford, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson. The Niners will also reportedly give him a 5-year, $87.5 million contract. Ford enjoyed a breakout 2018, tying for 7th in the league with 13 sacks and tying for 5th in total QB hits (29). The move should switch Ford to DE in the Niners' 4-3 base, which would add significant IDP value. Kansas City, meanwhile, has jettisoned the only 2 OLBs who played more than 41% of the defensive snaps last year. Breeland Speaks and Tanoh Kpassagnon are prime replacement candidates for Ford and Justin Houston. We'll see what else the Chiefs add this offseason.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports that the 49ers have reached a 4-year, $54 million deal with LB Kwon Alexander. They can't finalize the contract until Wednesday afternoon. Alexander will join a LB corps that saw rookie Fred Warner play mostly on the inside last year. We'd bet on Alexander taking over the middle, though, and Warner playing the weak side. There's room for both to produce quality IDP numbers. Alexander is coming off a left ACL tear, but the new contract indicates little concern over his recovery. We'll certainly keep an eye on his progress through the spring and summer. We'll also see whether the Bucs stick with 2018 rookie Adarius Taylor at MLB or go in another direction.
49ers HC Kyle Shanahan confirmed from the Combine on Wednesday that Jerick McKinnon remains his lead back. Matt Breida impressed with 5.3 yards per carry and 9.7 yards per catch last year, despite battling injuries. But the 'Niners paid McKinnon $18 million guaranteed last offseason and owe him another $3.7 million this year. Shanahan said that McKinnon's recovery from last September's torn ACL is "on track." He remains mostly unproven as a lead back, but his athleticism and an improving San Francisco offense give him intriguing upside. McKinnon's ADP is sitting in the early 5th round as the 24th RB off the board in February FFPC drafts.
Niners WR Trent Taylor tells NBC Sports Bay Area that he never felt fully healthy throughout 2018 following offseason back surgery. Taylor had the procedure before OTAs but said the situation kept him from going through a normal offseason and kept him short of 100% throughout the year. He says he's "back to normal" now, though, and looking forward to a proper offseason. Taylor could also benefit from the coaching staff adding Wes Welker, who spent the past 2 years as a Texans assistant. With Pierre Garcon gone and QB Jimmy Garoppolo returning, 49ers WRs make for interesting later shots to take in 2019 best-ball drafting. Dante Pettis and Marquise Goodwin figure to occupy the top 2 depth-chart spots. But Taylor, Kendrick Bourne and Richie James could compete for the #3 role and primary slot duty.
49ers RB Jeff Wilson suffered a shoulder injury in the 1st half of Sunday's game against the Rams and is questionable to return. He was filling in for RB Matt Breida today. Wilson's absence leaves Alfred Morris as San Francisco's lead back.
49ers WR Marquise Goodwin (calf) is out for Sunday’s finale against the Rams. With WR Dante Pettis (knee) also out, San Francisco is down to Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Richie James. Bourne is the best fantasy bet but not more than a WR4. Look for TE George Kittle to lead the ‘Niners in targets.
Falcons RB Tevin Coleman (groin) is not listed on the final Week 17 injury report. He only got in a limited practice on Friday but will play against the Bucs this weekend. Coleman could cede work to RB Brian Hill, making him a risky fantasy play.
Falcons RB Tevin Coleman (groin) was listed as "did not participate" in Thursday's practice. It's a surprise after HC Dan Quinn said earlier in the day that Coleman would put in a limited workout. It now looks like he won't be available for this weekend's game against the Bucs, leaving Brian Hill as Atlanta's lead back.
Falcons RB Tevin Coleman (groin) returned to a limited practice on Thursday. That gives him a shot to play against the Bucs this weekend, which would knock RB Brian Hill out of consideration. We'll get another update on Coleman tomorrow.
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