Cardinals LB Haason Reddick has been a cautionary tale as to what can go wrong with hybrid defenders when you don’t have a clear plan to use them, as he was largely ineffective his first three seasons. The Cardinals declined his fifth-year option this offseason but they also made it a point to use him more as an edge rusher, where he excelled in college. Reddick has been much better in 2020, highlighted by a five-sack performance against the Giants Sunday.
“He just continues to get better and better,” Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “I’ve said it all along, how much respect I have for him, the perseverance he’s shown. We tried to make him a stand-up linebacker for the past three years and it just wasn’t his deal. It’s not what he was phenomenal at in college and he’s getting more and more comfortable back to that outside rush. So, a guy like that who stuck with it, who didn’t let the noise get him down, didn’t let any sort of frustration get him down and just kept working, and now has a game like that, you couldn’t help but be happy for him. And he’ll keep progressing.”
- Cardinals DT Jordan Phillips likely won’t be able to play against the Eagles in Week 15 after injuring his hamstring in his first game back from injured reserve, per Kingsbury. (Darren Urban)
- Per the Athletic’s Matt Barrows, 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan says they’ve narrowed the running back rotation to Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson, with Tevin Coleman not all the way back and Jerick McKinnon as an emergency option: “Raheem and Jeff have kind of earned that, and they’ve been our top guys here, especially with Tevin not fully back. Jet carried the load for us while those guys were all out, which took a toll on him, but he dresses every week because we’ll use him if need be.”
- The 49ers are waiting for MRI results on WR Deebo Samuel‘s hamstring injury but Shanahan noted: “It didn’t look good.” (Matt Maiocco)
Rams second-round RB Cam Akers has burst onto the scene in recent weeks after a slow start to his rookie season, highlighted by his 171 yards rushing on Thursday night against the Patriots. Teammate and WR Cooper Kupp said it’s clear to see how the game is slowing down for Akers now.
“There’s been some level of the game slowing down to him. And whether it’s the game slowing down or him just being able to trust in his ability, I think he’s done an incredible job over these last couple of weeks,” Kupp said via Stu Jackson of the team’s official site. “His energy throughout practice, how he’s preparing as well, there’s definitely an added sense of urgency for him.”