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Golden Nuggets: Could Witherspoon be on the move at the trade deadline?

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday, October 17, 2020.

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Miami Dolphins v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

The good news is that Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t on the injury report. The bad news is that Ronald Blair had a setback and the team will be without him, Weston Richburg, and Jullian Taylor until Week 10 at the earliest. Kyle Shanahan made it sound like that’s when the team would open their practice windows.

NFL trade deadline primer: Which teams will be buyers, which will be sellers?

Keep an eye on: Wide receiver Dante Pettis, who has been in and out of Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse since last season, was a healthy scratch on Sunday. The 2018 second-round pick also was a healthy scratch in the Super Bowl as the 49ers chose to dress just four wide receivers instead of their usual five. He’s been targeted once this season and has no catches.

They also might be willing to part ways with Ahkello Witherspoon despite their dearth of cornerbacks. He, too, has been removed from the lineup at different times in the last three seasons. At 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, and with excellent speed and footwork, Witherspoon is the 49ers’ most physically gifted cornerback. But he has frustrated coaches at times and a fresh start might be best for the 2017 third-rounder.

Top 49ers QB options if Jimmy Garoppolo isn’t the long-term answer

If you thought Newton was done, clearly you were wrong. After finding a home with the Patriots, the 2015 NFL MVP has shown he still has plenty left in the tank, leading New England to two victories in the three games he has played.

Unlike Ryan, Cousins and Stafford, Newton isn’t under contract beyond the current season. He will become an unrestricted free agent at the start of the offseason, so it wouldn’t cost the 49ers anything to bring him in, other than his salary. Considering they’d only be forced to eat such a small amount in dead money by cutting Garoppolo, San Francisco would be able to afford it.

Shanahan tends to favor pocket-passers over mobile quarterbacks, but given the way the league is trending, perhaps he might consider pivoting.

49ers players select Arik Armstead as the 2020 Perry/Yonamine Unity Award recipient

49ers players selected defensive lineman Arik Armstead as this year’s Perry/Yonamine Unity Award for his off-field community efforts and work with the Armstead Academic Project. A $10,000 donation will be made to his charity of choice, the Players Philanthropy Fund.

This season, Armstead has made an effort to spread awareness of social injustice and systematic discrimination. He begins each of his media availability sessions by discussing issues that are important to him in the hopes of contributing to change.

The Perry/Yonamine Unity Award is named after former 49ers players Joe Perry and Wally Yonamine, who demonstrated the power of unity to make a difference on the field and in the community.

Last year’s winner was offensive lineman Ben Garland, and running back Raheem Mostert was the recipient the year before.

49ers’ Week 7 game vs. Patriots could be impacted by COVID-19 results

The 49ers are scheduled to play the New England Patriots in Foxboro on Oct. 25. But as COVID-19 continues to spread through the NFL, that game potentially could be in jeopardy.

New England had another positive COVID-19 test among team personnel on Friday morning and canceled practice, ESPN’s Mike Reiss and Field Yates reported citing sources.

The 49ers’ schedule is yet to be affected by a COVID-19 test, but if more positive results come in for the Patriots over the few days, that could change quickly.

49ers-Rams: 3 key matchups

Rams corners vs 49ers receivers

One player who was on LA’s roster in Week 16 but not Week 6: Jalen Ramsey. His presence had an immediate impact on the rivalry, intercepting Jimmy Garoppolo for his first pick as a member of the Rams. Fitting that he replaced Marcus Peters, who picked off Garoppolo in Week 6. Not left out of the party is Darious Williams, who also intercepted Garoppolo in Week 16.

Garoppolo threw two interceptions at the end of the half in Week 5, getting benched for Nick Mullens against the Miami Dolphins. He also threw two interceptions in the 49ers Super Bowl loss to the Chiefs. He has thrown two picks in three of his last eight starts.

Ramsey hasn’t had an interception since that one against Jimmy Garoppolo. Williams has had several. They would both like more and if the Rams can create two more turnovers off of San Francisco’s QBs — whoever they end up being that day — it could be the play that changes the outcome of the game.

4 free agents the SF 49ers should call right now

No. 2: Safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

At first glance, this addition may seem unnecessary. When looking at the SF 49ers secondary, cornerback is the position of need most fans think of. However, the cornerback room should be back to health soon. Once No. 1 corner Richard Sherman returns, the 49ers should have a good group of corners again and can keep Brian Allen far away from the field.

The 49ers should look to add some depth to their secondary, but they should look to add it to the safety position.

They should look no further than former Chicago Bear Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.

Clinton-Dix is a former Pro Bowler from his time with the Green Bay Packers and is only 27 years old. He has plenty of good football ahead of him. Clinton-Dix signed with the Dallas Cowboys in the offseason but was cut after training camp.

Perhaps Clinton-Dix had a poor training camp, but his resume shows he can still add value to the Niners. When compared to the current starting strong safety for the Niners, Jaquiski Tartt, Clinton-Dix had more interceptions last season, as well as more tackles. Clinton-Dix could bring valuable experience and ability to the 49ers secondary, and assist in getting the Niners’ defense back to an elite level.