- According to ESPN’s Nick Wagoner and Tim Keown, multiple league sources believe 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo was the top offseason target for the Commanders until his shoulder surgery nuked his trade market.
- A source close to Garoppolo adds there was a strong belief the Browns would have been interested had San Francisco ended up releasing him.
- Wagoner and Keown write 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan and GM John Lynch held a meeting with 15 veterans they perceive as team leaders to explain what they were doing with keeping Garoppolo as a backup in an admittedly unprecedented scenario. The players were shocked, like most outside observers.
- Shanahan and Lynch opened things up for questions and the only big one was what would happen when expected starting QB Trey Lance struggled. Their response was that they were counting on the players in the room to support him.
- Said FB Kyle Juszczyk: “They stressed they wouldn’t be able to do this if they didn’t feel like we had such a strong locker room that can handle this kind of stuff.”
- Others told ESPN there wasn’t much awkwardness between Lance, Garoppolo and third-stringer Brock Purdy after the decision, the only awkwardness was when QB coach Brian Griese had to define their roles in a meeting: “Trey, this is your team — you’re leading it. Jimmy, you’re the backup. If anything happens, obviously we’re going to need you. You’ve led this team before, but now the circumstances are different…. The media and outside people are going to try to make it something crazy, but we all know that’s B.S. This is how we’re going to do it, and this is how we’re going to win.”
- Purdy added: “We were waiting for that conversation to be had, right? But when it happened, it was (takes a deep breath and sighs) OK, now we got that out of the way, let’s play ball. The only awkward moment throughout this whole process was having to have that be said.”
- 49ers third-round RB Tyrion Davis-Price has a high ankle sprain and will miss time. (Matt Barrows)
- 49ers TE Tyler Kroft has an MCL sprain and will miss some time, according to Shanahan. (Wagoner)
- Shanahan expects Lance to remain in San Francisco to rehab and doesn’t want him away from the team: “We don’t plan on Trey being away from us at all.” (Matt Maiocco)
- The 49ers are working out former Panthers WR Ra’Shaun Henry on Tuesday. (Aaron Wilson)
The Cardinals had big plans for LB Isaiah Simmons entering this season, giving him the green dot helmet to relay the play calls and planning for him to never come off the field at a variety of positions. That changed in Week 1 when the Chiefs picked on Simmons for most of the day en route to 44 points. His role went way down and he played in just 15 percent of the snaps in Week 2 — but one of those proved to be the game-winning forced fumble that was returned for a touchdown in overtime.
“We asked him to practice better and reduced his role this week and said ‘Hey, you’ve got to earn it back,’” Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury said via Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer. “He practiced his tail off, the best week of practice he’s had as a pro. And it showed up. He made the biggest play of the game, just really proud of him, really attacking that challenge the way he did.”
- Kingsbury said Simmons has all the potential to develop into a great player but needs to reaffirm his commitment and focus: “He can be as good as he wants…We’ve addressed that many times. It’s commitment to football, all day every day. We’ve seen the flashes.” (Darren Urban)
- The NFL is investigating a video that shows QB Kyler Murray being slapped in the face while high-fiving fans in the front row of Allegiant Stadium following the game-winning touchdown on Sunday. (NFL.com)
- The Cardinals worked out OL Jean Delance and OL Lachavious Simmons. (Aaron Wilson)
Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said that while they have understandably been operating conservatively with QB Geno Smith, he’s seen enough from the first two weeks to want to open up the offense more and trust Smith.
“After two weeks of watching Geno play, we don’t need to hold him back at all. I think Geno has got his game ready to go,” Carroll said via the Athletic’s Michael Shawn-Dugar. “We need to trust him and maybe give him more opportunities and stuff. We’ve been pretty solidly conservative, counting on running the football. When we didn’t run the football, we didn’t have much of a mix that we needed/ We can do better with that. Whether that’s right or wrong, that’s not the point. The point is we need to keep expanding. We have too many explosive avenues to go to and we’ve got to make sure these guys show up.”
Carroll specifically said they need to make more of a point to involve WR D.K. Metcalf, who has been limited to mostly short receptions through the first two games.
“We’ve got to make sure the ball is going to DK down the field. We gave him a shot; he makes a great play,” Carroll said. “We’ve got to make sure the tight ends are involved in getting the ball more. We know that they can play, and we love the heck out of them, we’ve just got to make sure that’s more of the attack. We have it, it just hasn’t really shown up. It always comes back to when you don’t convert, you don’t get that drive, you don’t get your extra chances – we had 40 freakin’ plays in the game. Last week we had three drives in the second half. That’s not enough plays and opportunities. That does go hand-in-hand with how you play on the other side of the ball, too, getting off the field. We have to just do a better job and compliment and then make sure we’re wide open as we’re capable of being. We can be more.”