NFC Notes: 49ers, Panthers, Seahawks


  • Regarding possible 2021 NFL Draft quarterback prospects for the 49ers, Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated writes that an NFL scout told him North Dakota State’s Trey Lance would be a “good fit” for 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan‘s offense.
  • Breer also mentions that BYU QB Zach Wilson has a “bunch of tools” that may be suitable for Shanahan’s system.
  • According to NBC Sports’ Matt Maiocco, 49ers WR Kendrick Bourne tested negative for COVID-19 on Thursday. Bourne was placed on the list after a positive test yesterday. 
  • However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter notes that this does not necessarily indicate Bourne’s result was a false positive, as there have been 104 similar instances in the league this year and 101 of those proved to be legitimate positives. 
  • NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport notes the NFL is conducting its standard review of the matter and is looking into how often Bourne has been wearing his mask. 
  • 49ers GM John Lynch was noncommittal when asked if DE Dee Ford would be able to return this season: “Dee is still very much up in the air. When you’re dealing with your back and things – the center of your body – there’s a lot of things that are unpredictable. Dee’s working hard, trying to find his way back.” (Eric Branch)
  • Lynch added the team was more “hopeful” CB Richard Sherman would be able to make it back after having an injection that needs time to work. 


Panthers QB Teddy Bridgewater praised WR Curtis Samuel for his production as a receiver in addition to playing out of the backfield. 

“He’s a great football player,” Bridgewater said, via Joseph Person of The Athletic. “Yeah, he’s making plays on third down. But he’s also scoring touchdowns on first and second down. Catching the ball, rushing the ball out of the backfield. Curtis is just so explosive, his first step. Once he gets the ball in his hands, he’s able to make guys miss.”

Samuel believes his flexibility to play out of the backfield adds to his value in the Panthers’ offensive system. 

“The way you get more involved in the offense or add more value to the team is learning different spots. Being able to be anywhere on the field,” Samuel said. “Just knowing multiple positions gives me the flexibility to touch the ball many different ways. Give defenses different looks. … Just scheme things around and move me around.”

Panthers HC Matt Rhule added that Samuel is proving he can produce as a ball carrier. 

Curtis catches the ball and gets up the field. He’s fearless. He’s a competitor,” Rhule said. “He produces in clutch situations.”

  • Rhule said if the Panthers were playing Thursday then RB Christian McCaffrey likely would be ready to go: “He looked good. He looked fresh and fast. So he recovered well from yesterday.” (Joseph Person)
  • Panthers second-round S Jeremy Chinn returned to a limited practice Thursday after missing Wednesday with a knee issue. (Person)
  • If Chinn can’t play this week against the Chiefs, Panthers DC Phil Snow said multiple players will have to fill Chinn’s role on defense. (Person)


The Seahawks made one of the bigger moves of the trade deadline when they acquired DE Carlos Dunlap from the Bengals. While Cincinnati almost never trades players in-season — Dunlap was just the second player the Bengals have traded mid-season in more than 30 years — a falling out between Dunlap and the coaching staff provided the circumstances for this deal to happen. 

“My time clearly was up (in Cincinnati),” Dunlap said via Pro Football Talk’s Curtis Crabtree. “The coaches came to that conclusion and we had to do we had to do. That’s part of the business. Guys are dealt throughout the year and, obviously, no longer because the trade deadline’s up, but for me it was just an opportunity to get a fresh start, to go to a team and an organization that wanted me, clearly, by the move that they made.”

The Seahawks were the beneficiary, as they desperately need pass-rushing help and the veteran Dunlap is a good fit for their system. 

“I feel like it’s a great fit,” Dunlap said. “I mean these guys fly around. I’ve been an edge defender my whole career. Been left end, been right end, been in the 4-3 style and this is what we’re doing here. I’m being asked to do what I’ve done my best football doing so it’s a win-win situation for me. I don’t know how to explain it in any clear terms, but this is definitely a win-win situation for me.

“I’m excited, excited and fired up to do what I do. And then being on the other side, and clearly you know with all the banners that they got up in here, they’re used to being in the big games and being on the better side of the big games and I want to compete with those guys and help them win those big games whatever it takes.”

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