NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks


  • Per Kyle Odegard of the team website, Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury said the goal is to involve RB Kenyan Drake more in the passing game: “He’s hard to tackle one-on-one in space. So that’s an area we’d like to get him more involved in.”
  • Kingsbury said the team is still “working through” whether to put CB Robert Alford on season-ending injured reserve after his torn pectoral. (Josh Weinfuss)
  • Recovery time for that injury is usually around four to six months, so Kingsbury said if Alford’s on the shorter side of that, he could potentially be back this year. (Weinfuss)
  • Kingsbury added the team is open to signing a veteran to help boost the position: “We’ll continue to see what’s out there, particularly now that depth becomes an issue.” (Bob McManaman)


49ers WR Kendrick Bourne now seems to be the veteran amongst the receivers group as injuries continue to ravage the team’s wideouts this offseason.

“He’s almost the vet in the room right now, which is somewhat funny to us because (three) years ago he wasn’t close to that,” HC Kyle Shanahan said, via Matt Barrows of The Athletic. “I know some of the guys look up to him. He knows the offense really well.”

Shanahan also spoke about DE Dee Ford looking more explosive after the team has had to keep an eye on him following surgery.

“You could just tell from his aura and how he spoke that he felt a lot better,” Shanahan said of Ford. “Last year, we had to manage him a little bit, right away. And you could tell talking to him that it was always a little bit in the back of his mind.”

Following several concussions over the course of his NFL career, the team is keeping a close eye on recently signed TE Jordan Reed and attempting to get him ready for the upcoming season.

“We’re conditioning him, getting him ready to go out there and compete,” Shanahan said. “Just keeping him up on the offense. When he gets his opportunity, we’ll make sure he’s ready.”

  • Shanahan added CB K’Waun Williams has “calf tightness” but the injury wasn’t anything “too big.”
  • NLF Media’s Tom Pelissero reports Williams is specifically dealing with a Grade 1 calf strain.
  • Albert Breer of SI says that 49ers’ HC Kyle Shanahan‘s high assessments of rookie WR Brandon Aiyuk should be taken seriously since Aiyuk will now be in a featured role following the loss of receivers Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd to injury.
  • Per NFL Media’s Mike Silver, 49ers TE George Kittle was prepared to hold out this year had the two sides not reached an agreement. Kittle’s agent Jack Bechta made that clear in a sitdown with GM John Lynch this summer: “George isn’t playing for anyone in 2020 for $2.1 million.”
  • Bechta said he and Kittle discussed using the NFL’s opt-out for COVID-19 as a bargaining chip but ultimately decided against it: “We definitely talked about it, but it was never a real option, because of the principle, the spirit of what it was there for. It’s for people who potentially are in danger and are protecting their family, and we didn’t think it was fair to use it as a tool. In the end we decided, it’s not who we are.”
  • One of the big sticking points for Kittle was not having San Francisco’s usual April 1 trigger point for guaranteed, which essentially functioned as team options. He communicated that to Lynch personally and to Bechta: “Throughout the process, George was very clear with me about what he wanted. His attitude was, ‘I want to play like an angry bull and go to bed at night without worrying about anything. I want to play unbridled.’ He told me, ‘I don’t care about the vanity of the [average per year]. I’m not trying to win a vanity contest.'”
  • Bechta mentioned both he and 49ers salary negotiator Paraag Marathe were surprised by what they called an inaccurate report from about a six-year deal as they closed in on finalizing Kittle’s five-year, $75 million extension Wednesday: “We both said, ‘What the f— is this?'”
  • 49ers DC Robert Saleh said the No. 2 outside corner job is up for grabs between Ahkello Witherspoon, Emmanuel Moseley and Jason Verrett, who Saleh says looks more confident and comfortable. (Matt Maiocco)
  • 49ers C Ben Garland went down with an ankle injury during practice Tuesday. (Maiocco)
  • With center already a weak spot with multiple injuries, the 49ers have been in contact with former C Daniel Kilgore, though there’s no agreement yet between the two sides. (Barrows)


Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said LB K.J. Wright has made a “marvelous return” from shoulder surgery and is in “great shape.” 

“We’ll still look after him and take care of him, but he’s in great shape,” said Carroll via ESPN’s Brady Henderson.

Carroll mentioned that new S Jamal Adams is the “real deal” and has demonstrated “unique focus” since joining the organization. 

“He’s got a unique focus that some great players we’ve had really demonstrated. I just know he’s the real deal,” said Carroll via John Boyle of the team website.

Carroll added that the Seahawks plan on using seventh-round Stephen Sullivan at tight end. 

He looks like he fits. He’s almost 250 right now, so he’s plenty big enough,” said Carroll via Henderson.

  • Carroll mentioned Seahawks first-round LB Jordyn Brooks should return to practice Thursday from a slight groin injury. (Curtis Crabtree)
  • There’s still no timetable on Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny‘s return but Carroll said he’s making progress: “He is looking good, he feels great, he’s really excited about the progress he has made. His flexibility is all there… It’s about rebuilding his strength.” (Boyle)
  • Seahawks TE Will Dissly said his Achilles injury last year was “crushing” and he needed the support he got from teammates and family: “There was a week or so that I was in bad place, mentally.” (Boyle)

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