NFC Notes: 49ers, Cowboys, Saints


49ers’ TE George Kittle is looking forward to the competitions in training camp, including the one between QB Jimmy Garoppolo and third-overall pick QB Trey Lance.

“I’m looking forward to this competition in camp just like everybody else is. I can’t wait to see it,” Kittle said, via Cam Inman of Mercury “I know Kyle (Shanahan) said it, and I think I’ve said it, too: that was the best I’ve seen Jimmy look in an OTA (spring) practice for that month and a half. I fully see him continuing to throw and play at a high level. Jimmy loves the competition. He always has. He played behind Tom Brady for a long time. Every day, he’s going against one of the greatest of all time but he’s trying to beat him out for his job, and I know Jimmy feels – I hope Jimmy feels — like he’s in the same position with just some competition behind him. And I hope Trey is going after Jimmy’s job because that’s what makes and breeds great football.”

Kittle knows that competition can lead to team success and adds that he hopes tight ends Charlie Woerner and Ross Dwelley competes as hard as he can to attempt to take his spot in the lineup.

“We’re not going to shy around and say, ‘I hope Jimmy’s not sensitive to it,’ because we draft tight ends, quarterbacks, offensive linemen to try to make your team as good as it can get and you’re trying to win Super Bowls,” Kittle said. “So the competition is the thing that breeds success. I hope Ross Dwelley is trying to compete and go for the No. 1 spot because that pushes me to get better every day. I hope Charlie Woerner is doing the same thing and that’s why he’s trained with me.”


Cowboys’ QB Dak Prescott says his ankle was never a concern during his practice and also adds that he isn’t thinking about anything physically hindering him.

“There was no part of the practice that I thought about my ankle, thought about any physical thing holding me back, to be honest with you,” Prescott said, via Todd Archer of ESPN. “I definitely want to play. As far as giving you a number or quantity of how much I need to, I just want to obviously get back out there and get some reps before it’s real. Just to have a live defense coming at me, hopefully not take too many licks because I have great protection, but that’s part of the game, and I think it would obviously be great to get up from that, wipe it off and be just another process of burying the injury. I think it will be huge.”

Cowboys’ HC Mike McCarthy continues to back Prescott and says it appears as if nothing has changed with the star quarterback.

“He looks no different today than my experience with him in live training camp action last year,” McCarthy said. “That’s the consistent comparable I think for everybody that’s been involved with his rehab. As we go into padded practices, I think clearly that will be a threshold that he’ll get over, particularly with the bodies around him as we get into the teamwork. I watched him closely in the teamwork live by design. He didn’t flinch. It looked like he never left. So that’s a good point.”

  • Cowboys’ OC Kellen Moore said the team has moved on from evaluating Prescott’s mechanics coming off the injury: “Mechanically, there is nothing that we are focusing on from that standpoint.” (Michael Gehlken)
  • Moore also said that WR CeeDee Lamb’s usage was limited last season due to the shortened offseason: “He’s going to play all over the field and we’re going to have a lot of fun doing it.” (Gehlken)
  • Cowboys’ ST coordinator John Fassel said K Greg Zuerlein should be ready for Week 1 following back surgery and may see time during the preseason. (Calvin Watkins)


  • According to Ian Rapoport, Saints WR Michael Thomas (ankle) is expected to miss the first month of the season after undergoing “somewhat major” surgery recently in June. 
  • Mike Garafolo reports that the Saints have begun scouting free-agent receivers now that Thomas is expected to miss the first month of the season. 
  • Adam Caplan mentions that the Saints are “very high” on WRs Marquez Callaway and Tre’Quan Smith, who both could have increasing roles with Thomas out. 

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