NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, J.J. Watt, Seahawks


49ers TE George Kittle had high praise of LT Trent Williams and feels he doesn’t get enough respect around the league. 

“The lack of respect Trent Williams gets, I think, is outrageous,” said Kittle, via Matt Barrows of The Athletic. “I know that he gets highlights posted every once in a while, but you just watch every single game, every single clip, he just physically dominates every single person that’s across from him. And the fact that he’s not talked about more, I think it’s outrageous. He’s a hell of a football player who needs way more recognition.”

49ers FB Kyle Juszczyk pointed out that Williams helped open his running lane on a six-yard touchdown carry in Week 15. 

“I didn’t necessarily see what Trent did,” Juszczyk said. “I saw a massive hole. But we’ve run that play probably 12 times in the last two years and we’ve scored, I think, four touchdowns on it. And it’s not a highlight for me, I promise. It’s a highlight for Trent Williams and (guard) Laken Tomlinson. Those two have absolutely teed off on people every time we’ve run that play.”

Kittle continued his recognition of Williams’ production and added that he provides a lot of energy in the huddle. 

“You can feel it when there’s just a giant hole where the C gap or B gap should be and Trent is just looking at a guy (and) like laughing at him,” Kittle said. “And when Trent’s rolling, too, you can feel his energy in the huddle.”


Cardinals DE J.J. Watt (shoulder) said he’s been working hard to return from injured reserve and is “feeling really good” with his rehab. 

“It’s going really well,” Watt said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “It’s going much better than we could’ve hoped or expected for it to go at this time. I’m feeling really good. I’m doing a lot of stuff to try and push it as hard as I can to smartly and safely get back as fast as I can.”

Watt said he tore “everything in my shoulder” against the Texans in Week 7 and was given a four-to-six month recovery window. 

“I tear everything in my shoulder against the Texans in October,” Watt said. “My first reaction is, “Damn, I’m on a team that’s 7-0, we’re finally looking like we have a great team and have an opportunity to do something special and now I blow my shoulder out. Dang, all this work for nothing, and now I’m done.’ They tell me I’m done, I have to get surgery and it’s going to take four to six months. I’m sitting there and I can easily pout and easily say, ‘Woe is me, four-to-six months, I’ll do what I have to do.’ But instead I said, ‘Nah, I’m not going to accept that.'”

Watt added that he still feels “a little pain” in his shoulder but remains focused on his rehab. 

“There are days when I struggle, feel a little pain, and you get a little down on yourself,” Watt said. “But then you remind yourself of the bigger goal. You remind yourself how lucky you are to be in the position you’re in.  Many more people in the world have bigger problems than I have. So if I’m complaining, I’m doing something wrong.”

  • Cardinals’ RB James Conner said he is confident he will play Saturday against the Colts, adding that he believes his ankle is fine and that the decision will come down to how well he can manage the pain. (Josh Weinfuss)
  • Cardinals’ QB Kyler Murray will see his fifth-year option increase by $2.9 million due to his Pro Bowl appearance this season. (Brad Spielberger)


  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that he’s starting to think Russell Wilson‘s time with the Seahawks could be coming to an end.
  • Breer thinks both Wilson and Seattle might benefit from a clean slate after what will be the first losing season of Wilson’s career.
  • Breer mentions Wilson’s contract should be “very tradable” next year with two years and $50 million remaining on his deal.
  • Seahawks’ OC Shane Waldron on WR Tyler Lockett‘s return from COVID-19: “I know it took him a little while to get over COVID. It’s a real thing. So his safety and his health were that first priority. But it’s great to get him back out here. He was running around and says he feels great again.” (Brady Henderson)
  • Seahawks’ QB Russell Wilson didn’t have much to say when it came to his ankle injury against the Packers:“Was I 100 percent? Definitely not. I felt really good but I’ve played banged up before and felt I could play.” (Bob Condotta)

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