There’s all sorts of reasons for Washington Redskins running back Adrian Peterson to want to surpass 1,000 yards rushing once again. It would further etch his name in history. It would prove what he can still do on the field as he approaches 35 years old.
And it would also allow him to make another half-million dollars.
With Derrius Guice sidelined because of another knee injury, the Redskins will lean even more on Peterson, which could be good for his pocketbook. If he rushes for 1,000 yards this season, Peterson will collect a $500,000 bonus. He needs 282 yards with three games remaining.
“It’ll happen,” he said.
Peterson rushed for 1,072 yards last season at age 33 — making him the oldest player since John Riggins cracked that mark in 1984 at age 35. But there was no bonus for Peterson last season. Instead, it earned him another two-year deal with Washington. And this season has fueled his desire to stick around a while.
His future will be determined, in part, by Washington’s next coach. Regardless, Peterson remains motivated.
“I’m going to keep going,” said Peterson, whose base salary is $1.03 million. “My body is feeling good. I’m still loving the game. Obviously I can still play and perform at a high level. Why walk away from it now? So, I’m going to keep going.”
Interim coach Bill Callahan said: “If you talk with him, he’ll play until he’s 40 years old. As long as he keeps producing, I don’t see why he can’t continue to play.”
Peterson, whose base salary is $2.25 million next season, signed a deal worth up to $8 million last offseason, loaded with incentives. But the most lucrative was rushing for 1,000 yards, which would be hard to do with a healthy Guice. But Guice tore his meniscus in the season opener, paving the way for Peterson to resume his role as a No. 1 back.
When Guice returned in Week 11, he and Peterson split the work. That could have ended his pursuit for 1,000 yards, but Peterson has another shot. His line let him know they wanted him to hit 1,000.
“Those guys up front were talking about it, ‘282.’ I heard another guy say, ‘282.’ I said, OK and I put it together,” Peterson said. “They definitely want me to get there, so it’ll happen.”
They also have taken notice of the potential payoff.
“That’s another reason,” center Chase Roullier said. “You’re always trying to help your teammates out with that, too.”
Peterson likely will need one big game. In the eight games under Callahan, Washington ranks 10th in rushing yards per game and fourth in yards per carry. And in the six games under Callahan in which Peterson has received at least 13 carries, he’s averaged 93 yards per game. That would leave him just short.
The hard part will be getting a lot of yards against the Eagles, though the Redskins do have confidence it can happen. Recent history doesn’t favor them: In the past five games against Philadelphia, all losses, the Redskins have averaged just 58.4 rushing yards per game. Peterson had a 90-yard touchdown run against the Eagles last season, but gained just eight yards on his other 12 carries against them.
He was inactive against them in Week 1, despite being healthy.
Regardless, barring injury he’ll soon move up the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He trails Curtis Martin by 65 yards for fifth place. It would take another season of 1,000 yards for him to move into fourth or possibly third.
“The ageless one,” Eagles coach Doug Pederson said. “Just the way he prepares. I think that’s one of the things that has kept Adrian on the field and kept him plugged in. As much as they’ve tried to maybe go with other players, he keeps coming right back.”
It’s why he topped 1,000 yards last season despite a banged-up line that featured at least 35 different combinations during the season. And it’s why he’s done it in 2019 while playing with a passing game that ranks last in passing yards with rookies at quarterback (Dwayne Haskins) and at the starting receivers (Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon).
“It’s the mentality I have,” Peterson said. “I’ve had it my entire career.”
The New England Patriots acknowledged that their production crew inappropriately filmed the field and sideline during Sunday’s game between the Bengals and Browns in Cleveland and accepted full responsibility in a statement released Monday night.
The crew was credentialed by the Browns to shoot video for a Patriots web series called “Do Your Job,” but the Patriots did not inform the Bengals or the NFL, which they called “an unintended oversight.”
“The sole purpose of the filming was to provide an illustration of an advance scout at work on the road,” the Patriots statement read. “There was no intention of using footage for any other purpose.”
The Patriots also said the production crew, which included independent contractors who shot the video, is not part of New England’s football operation.
The NFL has not yet issued a comment, but a source told ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the league has a copy of the video and is investigating the incident.
News of the incident first broke when, at Bengals coach Zac Taylor’s news conference Monday, longtime Bengals radio analyst Dave Lapham asked the coach about rumors that the Patriots had a videographer in the press box who was taping the sideline. Taylor said he was aware of the incident and that the league was investigating.
Sources told ESPN’s Dianna Russini that a Bengals employee flagged media relations and Bengals security staff after observing a videographer shooting the sidelines.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick told WEEI earlier Monday that the team’s football operations has nothing to do with the production side and that their scouts know the rules about what you can’t film at games.
“They 100% know. All of our scouts, all of our video people and everything, they know what that is,” Belichick said. “Again, I have nothing to do with the TV production shows and stuff like that. I have no idea what they do. Or what their projects are and everything else.
“As I understand it, they were videotaping him, trying to show kind of what an advance scout does, or something Iike that, I don’t know. You’ll have to wait to see the show I guess and see how it’s presented.”
In 2007, the Patriots were punished by the NFL for videotaping the New York Jets’ defensive playcalls on the sideline during a 2007 game at Giants Stadium, won by New England 38-14. The Patriots were forced to forfeit their first-round draft pick in 2008, and coach Bill Belichick was fined the maximum amount of $500,000. The Patriots also were ordered to pay $250,000 for the scandal, which was dubbed “Spygate” by the media.
The Patriots (10-3) visit the Bengals (1-12) on Sunday.
A day after the Dallas Cowboys lost their third straight game, a testy Jerry Jones addressed the team’s issues during a radio interview that was cut off midway after he cursed twice.
Jones, the Cowboys’ owner and general manager, told 105.3 The Fan in Dallas on Friday that he deserves his share of the blame for the losing streak that has kept Dallas (6-7) from taking control of the NFC East.
“There’s nobody in the NFL that’s any more responsible for what’s going on out on the field than me,” Jones said. “I certainly have that kind of frustration as well.”
The interview got off to a rocky start, with Jones telling the hosts to “get your damn act together” and saying he didn’t like their attitude. Later in the interview, Jones used the word “bulls—” twice, leading the call to be disconnected after a delay button was used in each instance.
The station’s program director confirmed the disconnect, saying Jones did not hang up.
After being reconnected, Jones said he understands the fans’ frustration with both him and coach Jason Garrett. But the owner said it may not help to move on from Garrett at this time.
“You’ve got to remember that when you quit on your coach, then you quit on yourself, because we’re all a part of this,” Jones told the radio station.
The Cowboys lost 31-24 in Chicago on Thursday night and now have 10 days to prepare for the Los Angeles Rams. Jones said there’s plenty of work to be done.
“When you have as many things that were off-kilter as we had last night, you’ve got a nice litany of places to start to correct,” Jones said.
A three-team parlay that included an Arizona Cardinals game led the NFL in part to suspend Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw for violating the league’s gambling policy, multiple sources told ESPN.
Shaw, who has been on injured reserve since August and has not played since signing with the Cardinals in March, made the parlay bet on Sunday, Nov. 10, at a Caesars sportsbook in Las Vegas, according to the sources. The bet was on the second halves of three Week 10 games, the sources said, and included the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who were leading the Cardinals 17-13 at halftime. The Buccaneers were 1-point favorites for the second half. They failed to cover the second-half spread but went on to defeat the Cardinals 30-27. Shaw’s bet lost, according to the sources.
The NFL announced Friday that Shaw is suspended through at least the 2020 season for betting on NFL games on multiple occasions. The league said its investigation found no evidence that Shaw used inside information to make his bets nor that any games were compromised. Parlay bets, because they require multiple correct picks, typically have not been associated with point-shaving or game-fixing schemes.
The NFL declined to comment on specifics of the wagers, with a league spokesman saying that neither the type of bet nor the games involved matter in terms of the league’s gambling policy.
Shaw, who is out with a shoulder injury, has not been around the Cardinals this season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Arizona was not aware that the NFL was investigating one of its players before Friday’s announcement, which was preceded by a leaguewide memo emphasizing the gambling policy and penalties for violating it.
“If you work in the NFL in any capacity, you may not bet on NFL football,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in the release announcing the suspension.
Nevada gaming regulations require sportsbooks to “take reasonable steps” to avoid accepting or paying any wagers made by or on behalf of an official, owner, coach or a participant or team in the event involved with the bet. The regulation has been in place since 2007.
According to gaming industry sources, Caesars contacted the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Nov. 10, and subsequently the NFL, shortly after discovering Shaw had placed the wager.
Shaw was open about his line of work when filling out his application for a betting account with Caesars, even listing “professional football player” as his occupation, the sources said.
“As a matter of policy, we do not confirm or deny that an individual is a Caesars customer,” Richard Broome, executive vice president of communication for Caesars Entertainment, said in a statement to ESPN.
In January, the NFL announced a partnership with Caesars Entertainment, making the company the league’s first official casino partner. The partnership, however, does not include sports betting initiatives.
Shaw’s suspension is the first reported violation of a major professional league’s gambling policy since a 2018 ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court that opened a path for states to authorize sports betting. Since the ruling, legal sportsbooks have opened in a dozen states outside of Nevada.
The NFL includes language in player contracts regarding the gambling policy, and the NFL Players Association has increased its efforts to educate players on the new sports betting landscape since the Supreme Court ruling.
In 1996, Jon Stark, a rookie quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens, was suspended for gambling after the NFL received an anonymous tip. Stark never played in an NFL game.
On a more high-profile level, Baltimore Colts quarterback Art Schlichter was suspended in 1983 for betting on NFL games, and in 1963, Paul Hornung of the Green Bay Packers and Alex Karras of the Detroit Lions were banned for an entire season for betting on NFL games. Both were reinstated the following season.
Shaw is represented by Elite Athlete Management. Messages left with the agency were not immediately returned.
The Denver Broncos will put rookie quarterback Drew Lock in uniform Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers and coach Vic Fangio said Friday it’s still a possibility Lock will start the game.
“We haven’t decided yet [on a starter], but we’re definitely going to activate Drew [Saturday],” Fangio said after Friday’s practice. “He’ll be dressing on Sunday for sure.”
While Fangio did not make a formal announcement about a starter on Friday, it can be noted Lock has taken most of the snaps with the starting offense in practice this week and has been the first quarterback in line in drills during the open periods of practice as well. If he does start, he will be the third starting quarterback for the Broncos this season after Joe Flacco (now on injured reserve) and Brandon Allen.
Fangio said he wanted to look at the video from Lock’s work in practice this week, including Friday’s, “more extensively” before making the decision. Fangio added he had not yet told the players who would start at quarterback on Sunday.
The Broncos have a walk-through practice on Saturday.
If he starts Sunday, Lock — who was a second-round pick in April’s draft (42nd overall) — would be the Broncos’ seventh different starting quarterback since Week 9 of the 2017 season, when Brock Osweiler started in place of an injured Trevor Siemian. It would be the ninth change overall at the position in that span of 36 games.
The potential move comes as the Broncos’ offense has struggled much of the season. The Broncos are coming off a 134-yard performance in a 20-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills last Sunday — the team’s lowest single-game output since 1992 and eighth-lowest in franchise history.
The Broncos, at 3-8, have scored more than 16 points just four times this season, and they are ranked 28th in the league in scoring and 27th in total offense.
Fangio was asked on Monday if Lock entering the starting lineup was a possibility and said: “It’s possible, yeah … As far as this week goes, all options are on the table … We’re just going to make a decision in the next couple days.”
Lock has been on injured reserve since the start of the regular season. He suffered a right thumb injury in the Aug. 19 preseason loss to the San Francisco 49ers and did not participate in a full practice again until Nov. 12. The Broncos had until Tuesday to decide to either move him onto the roster or to keep him on injured reserve for the remainder of the season.
“It gets to the point where you just can’t take not doing anything any more,” Lock said earlier this week. “That hit me about four weeks ago … As far as me actually thinking I’m ready … I felt good after [last] week, I felt like if needed I would be able to come in, I would be able to compete, I would be able to complete balls.”
Fangio had repeatedly said the 12 weeks Lock did not practice impacted the rookie’s ability to be ready to play. This week marked the eighth, ninth and 10th full practices — Wednesday, Thursday and Friday — Lock had participated in.
“I think he’s made progress each and every day,” Fangio said Friday. “When you go from getting, basically, 10 out of 40, or 42 reps, to getting 32 out of 42 three days in a row, you should be a little better, a little more comfortable and I think he is.”
When asked earlier this week what he would need to see from Lock to consider starting him Sunday against the Chargers, Fangio said: “Just see some more practice … just to make sure he’s OK, physically, which he is, and that he’s prepared mentally and emotionally to play,”
In his third start for the injured Flacco, Allen struggled mightily against a Bills defense that opened the week No. 3 in the league in scoring defense. Allen finished 10-of-25 passing Sunday for 82 yards to go with an interception. He also was sacked four times and the Broncos closed out the loss with five consecutive three-and-outs.
In those last five possessions — 15 plays from scrimmage — the Broncos had 2 net yards combined. Allen’s interception also ended the Broncos’ only drive that made it to the Bills’ 25-yard line.
Should he start any of the Broncos’ remaining five games, Lock would be the seventh Broncos quarterback since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 to start at least one game in his rookie season in franchise history. The team has gone 3-4 in those debuts with Tommy Maddox, Jay Cutler, Tim Tebow and Paxton Lynch having made their first rookie starts in losses while John Elway, Gary Kubiak — Elway and Kubiak each started games as rookies in 1983 — and Craig Penrose made their first rookie starts in wins.
The Bengals made their second quarterback change of the season on Monday.
Cincinnati will go back to veteran Andy Dalton starting with the Week 13 game against the New York Jets, Bengals coach Zac Taylor said Monday. Dalton will replace rookie quarterback Ryan Finley, who started the previous three games after Dalton was benched after Week 8.
“It was not an easy decision any time we’ve had to make it, which has been twice this year,” Taylor said. “But it’s in the best interest of the football team to do this and get Andy back out there.”
The switch comes as somewhat of a surprise after Taylor appeared to indicate that three games was too short of a window to evaluate a rookie quarterback. However, after more time had passed following the Bengals’ 16-10 loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, the first-year coach said he felt a change was necessary.
In three starts, Finley completed 47.1% of his passes for 474 yards, two touchdowns and five total turnovers. Against Pittsburgh, the NC State standout was 12-of-26 passing for 192 yards, one touchdown and a lost fumble, his third in three games.
When Taylor made the switch to Finley after the Bengals’ Week 8 loss to the Los Angeles Rams in London, part of the reasoning was to evaluate Finley as long as possible as the franchise prepares for the 2020 draft. The Bengals (0-11) are the lone remaining winless team in the NFL and have a two-game advantage on the rest of the pack for the No. 1 pick.
“He said he has to think about the future with the draft and we have to see what we have in Ryan,” Dalton said regarding his conversation with Taylor when he was benched initially. “That’s what it came down to. It’s been voiced to me I wasn’t the reason for the way the season has gone.”
But after the offense failed to score more than 13 points during any of Finley’s starts and averaged a mere 4.4 yards per play, Taylor opted to make the switch. The coach said it was hard to pinpoint why Finley struggled during his three-game tenure as the starter.
“You could plug a lot of guys in there and it’s not going to be that much of a different outcome, really, the way that those games played out,” Taylor said.
Up until he was benched this year, Dalton had been Cincinnati’s starting quarterback since the Bengals drafted him with a second-round pick in 2011. In eight starts this year, Dalton completed 60.4% of his passes for 2,252 yards, nine touchdowns and eight interceptions. Dalton is second in franchise history in passing yards (30,352) and is tied with Ken Anderson for the most passing touchdowns (197).
Taylor said the conversations between Dalton and him have been very positive in recent weeks. The veteran will be the Bengals’ primary quarterback option as they try to find their first victory.
“Now we are relying on him to help us win games,” Taylor said. “He’s going to take that and run with it.”
Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said defensive end Jadeveon Clowney was away from the team Friday getting treatment on a sore hip that has him questionable for Sunday’s game at Philadelphia.
Clowney will meet the team in Philadelphia and will be a game-time decision, according to Carroll. He didn’t specify the nature or extent of Clowney’s hip injury nor where he was receiving treatment, only saying it was off-site. The injury stems from the Seahawks’ win over the 49ers two weeks ago, which preceded Seattle’s bye.
“Something he felt in the game, came out of the game with a little something,” Carroll said. “Just checking him out, making sure he’s OK.”
Clowney missed practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The Seahawks weren’t required to detail player participation in their “bonus Monday” practice.
Clowney has been the Seahawks’ best pass-rusher this season — he’s fifth in the NFL in ESPN’s Pass Rush Win Rate at 26.6% — and arguably their most impactful defender. His dominant performance against the 49ers included a sack, five quarterback hits and his second defensive touchdown of the season.
Tyler Lockett, the Seahawks’ No. 1 receiver, is expected to play Sunday after being limited in practice the last three days. He spent two nights at Stanford Hospital as a precautionary measure last week after suffering a lower leg contusion against the 49ers, which sidelined him for overtime.
“At this point it’s not a dangerous injury now,” Carroll said. “He had a real contusion in his lower leg that just needed some time. There was enough time fortunately. We had the week off. I don’t know if he would have made it now if we had played last week. That would have been hard to see that happening. But he’s ready to go now. He’s fine.”
The Seahawks on Friday placed veteran tight end Ed Dickson back on injured reserve, officially ending his season two days after he was activated off IR. The Seahawks had to activate Dickson this week in order to make him eligible to play this season. They promoted Tyrone Swoops from their practice squad while putting Dickson back on IR.
Tight end Luke Willson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Sunday, though Carroll came up with his own designation, calling him “probable-doubtful” in reference to Willson’s history of being a quick healer. Jacob Hollister and Swoops are the only healthy tight ends on Seattle’s roster, though backup tackle George Fant also plays a de facto tight end role.
The 32-year-old Dickson will have missed 22 of 32 regular-season games over his first two years with the Seahawks. He’s set to count almost $4.3 million against the cap next season in the final year of his deal.
“Eddy, he’s just not ready, and it’s unfortunate and I feel bad for him and all,” Carroll said. “It’s just the right thing to do. He’s not ready to play yet. He was ready to get back to practice. He did that. When we pushed it up, we could tell. So we had to move him back to IR. We had to activate him on Wednesday to make him available. He had a good day’s work and you could tell. I sat with him .. talked through it and he understood. He could tell he doesn’t quite feel as ready as he needs to be.”
Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens said Monday that the Browns will continue to support suspended defensive end Myles Garrett while also not excusing Garrett for his actions Thursday against Pittsburgh.
“Myles Garrett’s a good person,” Kitchens said. “We’re not going to pile on Myles. He had a bad lapse in judgment and that’s it. I’m still a Myles fan and I’m going to support him. Our organization is going to support him, his teammates, coaching staff will support him.”
The NFL suspended Garrett indefinitely, including for the rest of this season and any playoff games, for ripping the helmet off quarterback Mason Rudolph and clubbing him in the head with it in the final seconds of the game.
“There’s no excuse for that to happen on a football field,” Kitchens said. “I know that. Myles knows that. All the players in the locker room know that. That’s it. There’s no excuse. But, in saying that, we’re going to support Myles Garrett going forward in any way that he needs support.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Garrett’s appeal of his indefinite suspension will be heard Wednesday morning by appeals officer James Thrash, and that Garrett will attend to state his case in person. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that the Browns are hopeful that what led Garrett to anger, notably whether Rudolph connected with Garrett in the groin, will help Garrett’s appeal.
Kitchens declined to offer his opinion on the specifics of what happened between Garrett and Rudolph, only saying, “You all saw the tape.”
Browns defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson, however, countered Monday that Garrett was “defending himself” from Rudolph.
“Of course he was,” Richardson said. “If a guy scratching at your face, what you going to? The helmet is overboard, let’s get that clear. But defending yourself, I don’t blame him for defending [himself] at all.”
Richardson said Rudolph should’ve been suspended at least one game for his role in the incident.
“You can’t antagonize a fight and then claim bullying. … you get what’s coming to you,” Richardson said. “Of course Myles overreacted. … He was protecting himself. I don’t blame him. Guy keeps rushing me, even with the helmet off, he’s asking for it. Just leave it at that.”
League sources told Schefter over the weekend that the NFL will be issuing mass fines to about 10 players for leaving the bench area and running onto the field. Rudolph, who was not suspended for his role in the fight, is expected to be fined. The fine schedule calls for a player to be fined $35,096 for a first-time fighting offense.
The NFL also suspended Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi for one game for shoving Rudolph in the back and to the ground, shortly after Garrett struck the Steelers quarterback with the helmet. Ogunjobi’s appeal was being heard Monday. Pittsburgh center Maurkice Pouncey, who jumped into Garrett, kicking and punching him after Rudolph had been struck, was suspended for three games.
Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson had his best week of practice this season, coach Kliff Kingsbury said Friday, following a late-game benching last weekend.
But that wasn’t enough for Kingsbury to install Johnson as the clear-cut starting running back.
Johnson will continue to split snaps and touches with Kenyan Drake, whom Arizona acquired on Oct. 28. Drake has 145 yards and one touchdown on 25 carries in his two games with the Cardinals.
Johnson, who returned Sunday after missing the previous two games and the majority of a third, had just 2 yards on five carries against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
“It’ll be by committee,” Kingsbury said. “Both guys will have packages and do certain things, and we’ve talked to them about that. So that’s how it’ll go on Sunday.”
Kingsbury said starting in his offense doesn’t matter much because of the various personnel groupings and packages he utilizes.
“We change personnel groups a ton,” Kingsbury said. “I think our guys understand we’re going to put our different personnel groups out based on certain plays and it has nothing to do with whether they’re a starter or not.”
Johnson didn’t play a snap in the fourth quarter of Arizona’s loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday after fumbling late in the third quarter. Johnson, speaking to the media Friday for the first time since last weekend’s game, said getting benched was “tough” but “sometimes you have off games.”
“Just a bad game, just a bad game,” Johnson said. “Not everyone’s perfect and the biggest thing is what you do after a bad game.”
That ended up being his best week of practice of the season.
“Felt great,” Johnson said. “Bouncing back, getting back to the groove of things, pay attention to detail and keep that energy high.”
Kingsbury said he was proud of Johnson’s effort and focus and likes “where his head’s at.”
“He’s responded well,” Kingsbury said.
Johnson was coming off a tough three-week stretch Sunday. He played just three snaps in Week 7 against the New York Giants and missed the next two games with an ankle injury.
Johnson, who has rushed for 302 yards and gained 323 yards receiving, said he’s good with his current role in the Cardinals’ offense.
“Wherever they need me, whatever opportunities, make the most of them,” Johnson said.
Johnson said he has been trying to do too much on his runs, something he noticed on film. He said he tries to “make too many reads instead of running.”
“Just trying to do as much as I can, read the hole too much instead of just playing football,” Johnson said.
The solution, he said, was to be “more decisive.”
Already awaiting tight end George Kittle’s return from knee and ankle injuries, the San Francisco 49ers will now also be monitoring the progress of their other top receiving option.
Niners coach Kyle Shanahan announced Tuesday that wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders suffered some cartilage damage in his ribs against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday night. X-rays taken at Levi’s Stadium were inconclusive, leading Sanders to have an MRI on Tuesday morning.
The results of further testing revealed the cartilage damage, which Shanahan said will put Sanders’ availability for this week’s game against Arizona up in the air but isn’t something the Niners expect to be a long-term issue.
“He’ll be day-to-day and probably end up being a game-time decision,” Shanahan said.
Sanders was hurt early in the game but attempted to play through it. Those efforts ended early in the second quarter when Sanders departed for the locker room and did not return.
The 8-1 Niners traded for Sanders on Oct. 22 with hopes that he could be the missing piece the offense needed to push them to Super Bowl contender status. Sanders wasted no time making an impact, posting 14 catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns in his first two games.
Sanders had a pair of catches for 24 yards before leaving Monday’s game with the injury. Kittle was a pregame inactive with his knee and ankle injuries and it’s possible he could be out again this week, as Shanahan said that nothing has changed about his status from last week.
Without Sanders and Kittle, the 49ers offense struggled to find a rhythm and the replacement pass catchers struggled with drops against Seattle.
“They’re our two best playmakers so it definitely takes a toll,” Shanahan said after the game. “We knew that coming in with George, we kind of realized that was going to happen today. And Emmanuel was out there battling, had that happen with his ribs. He tried to go a few more series longer but he had to go out. Other guys came in and some guys stepped it up at times. We just didn’t have the consistency there.”
In other, more serious, injury news, 49ers defensive lineman Ronald Blair III will miss the rest of the season with a torn ACL in his right knee. Blair has been a key backup, accumulating 14 tackles and three sacks while playing all over the line. The Niners plan to work out some free-agent edge rushers in the next couple of days as potential replacements.
Left tackle Joe Staley, who made it through his first game back from a broken fibula without any issue, has a broken finger and is seeking a second opinion. Shanahan said Staley could require surgery that would cost him a couple of weeks.
Defensive tackle D.J. Jones, who left Monday’s game with a groin injury, is expected to miss at least a week and linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair will be in concussion protocol before he can be cleared to return.
Like Kittle, kicker Robbie Gould will again be questionable throughout this week and a game-time decision as he works back from a quad injury. Running back Matt Breida also aggravated a previous ankle injury and will be considered day-to-day.
As for rookie receiver Jalen Hurd, who is on injured reserve with a back issue, he is eligible to begin practicing this week. However, Shanahan said they monitored his workouts last week and Hurd did not “meet the requirements” the training staff had set forth to open his practice window, so he does not expect Hurd to begin practice this week.
The 49ers do not have to decide on Hurd’s status in the immediate future as they still have both designations for players on injured reserve available.