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Golden Nuggets: The return of the injured reserve

Tuesday, February 20th, 2018 edition of the Golden Nuggets, a daily compilation of San Francisco 49ers links from the Internet

NFL: Denver Broncos at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The 49ers will be major players in free agency and will be after almost every major free agent. They are expected to compete next season and this free agency period will go a long way in determining their level of competitiveness. The change of culture that John Lynch and Kyle Shanahan produced in one season along with the Jimmy Garoppolo extension have the 49ers viewed as a team free agents want to sign with. That’s a major change from the last few years.

Free agency will be important, but the return of the players that were on injured reserve may be even more important. Safety Jaquiski Tartt was having a great season when he went down in Week 9. With the emergence of rookie Adrian Colbert and the return of Jimmy Ward, Tartt’s return could help the defense make another big improvement. Veteran linebacker Malcolm Smith missed the entire season and with the issues surrounding Reuben Foster, his return is even more important. His familiarity with Robert Saleh’s defense could make him a big contributor. He could also help straighten out Foster before he drastically hurts his career.

On offense, the return of Pierre Garcon will help Jimmy Garoppolo tremendously. Every quarterback needs that receiver that is their go-to guy to move the chains and Garcon is as reliable a receiver as there is in the NFL. He was half way to a 1,000 yard season before going down in Week 8. He never had a chance to catch passes from Jimmy this season and Jimmy will like to have a sure handed receiver to rely on. Lastly, having Trent Brown back on the offensive line will solidify the line. Having him back with Joe Staley and adding a player or 2 in free agency or the draft should allow Jimmy to excel.

49ers links

With the help of Shanahan, no reason to doubt he won’t adjust | Adjusting to defenses (Florio)

New mock draft (Biderman)

Solomon showed promise, but need more from the #3 pick | Year 2 leap (Williams)

Intriguing but pass | Marcus Peters? (Biderman)

Free agent pass rusher (Biderman)

Pass rushers in the draft (Barrows)

Come to Santa Clara and help the 49ers win a Super Bowl | Free agent destination (Branch)

Find Jimmy a weapon | Interest in Marcell Ateman (Biderman)