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NFL Notes: 49ers, Cowboys, Falcons & Redskins

 

49ers

ESPN’s John Clayton reports that “early word out of San Francisco” is that veteran RB Frank Gore could see his total carries reduced by 50 this season.

Clayton admits that the big question is who could cut into his workload. Rookie Carlos Hyde and Marcus Lattimore are two interesting guys to watch, but Kendall Hunter will probably enter camp as the No. 2 back.

The 49ers’ backfield remains crowded as their enter training camp with rookie Carlos Hyde, Marcus LattimoreKendall HunterLaMichael James and Jewel Hampton all competing for roster spots and playing time.

Last year, Gore carried the ball 276 times for 1,128 yards rushing (4.1 yards per carry) and nine touchdowns.

Cowboys

According to Calvin Watkins of ESPN Dallas, Justin Durant remains the favorite to win the Cowboys’ starting middle linebacker job now that Sean Lee is officially done for the season.

Watkins mentions that the Cowboys like Durant’s ability to play the run effectively, but they also have concerns about his pass-coverage skills.

With this in mind, Watkins believes rookie Anthony Hitchens remains a player to keep an eye in the coming weeks. DeVonte Holloman and Rolando McClain are in the mix as well.

Falcons

Vaughn McClure of ESPNwon’t be surprised” if the Falcons announced that S Zeke Motta is done for the season with a neck injury before the start of training camp.

Motta, 24, suffered a cervical fracture back in December of last year and was subsequently placed on season-ending injured reserve. However, he hasn’t been able to make a full recovery in the last seven months or so, and it sounds like an announcement could be coming in the near future.

During his rookie season, Motta appeared in 10 games and totaled 16 tackles and a pass defensed.

Redskins

Mike Jones of the Washington Post writes that fifth-round pick OLB Brandon Jenkins has gone from a steal of pick to a long shot to make the final 53-man roster in just one year.

Former Redskins HC Mike Shanahan said after the 2013 draft that Jenkins would have been a second or third-round selection had he not suffered a serious injury during his senior year at FSU.

However, Jenkins wasn’t able to display the kind of ability to convince the coaching staff he was ready to see game action. On top of that, Jones mentions that Jenkins “struggled mightily during special-teams practice.

There is no question that Jenkins will need to have a much better training camp this year as there is a new coaching staff in place. As things stand right now, Jenkins is competing for a roster spot with Adam Hayward, Adrian Robinson, and Rob Jackson.