NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks


49ers HC Kyle Shanahan‘s doghouse for high draft picks on offense is becoming infamous, and right now the main tenant is third-round RB Trey Sermon. San Francisco traded up to get Sermon in April but Shanahan says right now sixth-round RB Elijah Mitchell and veteran Jeff Wilson have just been better. 

“You guys have asked that a lot and right now, it’s nothing against Trey,” Shanahan said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “Trey had an opportunity when guys got hurt and I thought he got better in each game with that. But he didn’t do enough for us to put him ahead of Elijah or Jeff.”

Injuries could open up another chance for Sermon, as Mitchell is dealing with a broken finger right now. San Francisco is optimistic Mitchell will be able to play, though, and the rookie has impressed with how he’s already been gutting through a rib injury. His team-leading 560 yards rushing at 4.8 yards per carry don’t hurt either. 

“For him to battle the way he has through injuries — and all the guys are dealing with that — but he’s done a good job of that stuff,” 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo said. “It’s impressive.”


Cardinals TE Zach Ertz said DE J.J. Watt is still acting as a leader around the locker room despite recovering from a shoulder injury. 

“I have so much respect for the guy, not only on the field but off the field,” tight end Zach Ertz said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “I know he’s doing everything he can to get as healthy as he can. Obviously it’s a big loss for our football team, but he’s still leading. Even though he’s not physically on the field he’s still leading in the locker room, he’s still leading in the meeting room. He’s still heavily involved. That’s no surprise to me.” 


After a horrendous start to the season, the Seahawks’ defense has stepped up in a big way in recent weeks. They’ve allowed 15 points per game in their past four after surrendering 25 per game in their first five. It’s not the only reason, but that shift has coincided with the entry of fourth-round CB Tre Brown into the lineup. He’s helped solidify a cornerback spot that Seattle has been trying to fix all year. 

“The biggest thing is the way that he studies the game, that’s what gives him his confidence,” Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner said via the Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar. “He plays with no fear. When he sees something, he goes. That was something that you noticed when he first got here, he wasn’t afraid to take a chance. Sometimes when you have a young guy or a rookie come in, they want to do right, and they want to be like the playbook so bad that it almost makes them scared to be instinctive. That was the first thing I noticed when he got here: He wasn’t afraid to be instinctive.”

  • ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler says Seahawks RB Chris Carson wants to play but he’s also cogent of his long-term future while dealing with a neck injury. 
  • Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf did not practice Wednesday with a foot injury. Metcalf has missed Wednesday practices for most of this season but has not missed any game action. (Bob Condotta)
  • Seahawks QB Russell Wilson said Thursday his injured finger is feeling recovered: “I feel great. Everything’s great in my hand and I feel great there.” (Adam Jude)

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