The Niners benched LB Gerald Hodges for Sunday's loss to the Falcons because of an unspecified violation of team rules. Michael Wilhoite started in Hodges' place next to Nick Bellore and collected a modest 6 tackles (5 solo). We'll see about Hodges' status for Week 16 at L.A.
The Vikings on Tuesday traded MLB Gerald Hodges to the 49ers. That likely turns him into a backup in San Francisco. More importantly, it finally clears the way for rookie MLB Eric Kendricks to start in the middle in Minnesota. The Vikings have seemed to be trending that way in recent weeks, and Kendricks began taking passing-down duty from Hodges back in the preseason. Kendricks tallied 9 solo tackles in the Week 3 win over San Diego and added 4 solos plus a sack at Denver last Sunday. He carries LB1 upside the rest of the way, and has already shot up or Rest of the Way IDP rankings.
The Vikings on Tuesday announced that LB Gerald Hodges will start in the middle Monday night against the Niners. Hodges enjoyed a nice preseason and has flashed good tackle potential in sparse previous starting chances. But Eric Kendricks replaced him in passing sub packages late in the preseason. That setup seems likely to continue, given Kendricks' skills in coverage. We'd still bet on the rookie taking over the starting gig before the end of the season. Hodges presents some tackle upside in the opener if you play in a particularly tackle-heavy format. But his likely 2-down role limits that scoring potential.