If there’s an injury to a quarterback at any point this season, expect Jimmy Garoppolo’s name to come up. Most recently, Colts QB Carson Wentz suffered a foot injury that involves a bone and a ligament, which could cause Wentz to miss at least five games.
Financially, it doesn’t make sense for the Colts to make a move for Garoppolo and his $26.4 million cap number. The Colts are on the hook for Wentz’s $20 million cap number this season. If they make a move, it’ll be for a quarterback that’s on a cheap deal, like Gardner Minshew.
It also wouldn’t make sense to make a move for Garoppolo if Wentz is only going to be out for a month or two.
Plus, Garoppolo is the 49ers starter. Trey Lance is the future, but there’s going to be an adjustment period as he transitions to the NFL. As of today, the team isn’t going to get rid of the QB that gives them the best chance to win unless a team is desperate and overpays.
The Jets worked out free agent tight end Jordan Matthews this week. The 49ers are signing Matthews, Mike Garafolo of NFL Media reports.
Matthews, 29, spent time with the team the past two seasons, appearing in three games for the 49ers. He saw action in two games in 2020 but had no receptions.
He added 30 pounds and spent the summer working out at Louisville with receivers coach Gunter Brewer and assistant tight ends coach Stu Holt as he converted from receiver. Matthews weighed 215 pounds as a receiver.
—Edge rusher Arden Key showed up as a pass-rusher. On one play, he beat rookie left tackle Jaylon Moore to hurry Lance into an incompletion.
—Defensive end Samson Ebukam had another good day as an edge rusher with at least two would-be sacks. He also is learning a lot while going up against left tackle Trent Williams.
“It’s so exhausting to rush against him every single play,” Ebukam said. “Win or loss, I’m always learning something from the film.”
2. Wide receiver/punt returner Brandon Aiyuk.
Didn’t catch any passes during team drills, but did practice returning punts, which is great news, because Aiyuk is the best punt returner on the team. The 49ers need to let him return punts the way Arizona State let him. After practice, Aiyuk said he wants to return punts and is working to prove to the coaching staff that he’s ready. Good for him.
3. Running back Elijah Mitchell.
The only running back on the team who had any success today. The other running backs kept trying unsuccessfully to run around the outside. Mitchell was the only runner who consistently ran between the tackles and gained yards. Look for him to be an effective interior rusher.
Here’s what happened on Lance’s 10 attempts.
1. Threw an ugly one-hopper to George Kittle over the middle. Lance’s first throw usually is his worst throw.
2. Completed a 20-yard pass over the middle to Bennie Fowler. The pass was an absolute rocket — it traveled on a line to the receiver. Lance has the strongest arm a 49ers quarterback has had since Colin Kaepernick.
3. Threw an incomplete pass to River Cracraft running a deep out. Marcell Harris leaped and tipped the ball away. Lance needed to use touch to loft the pass over Harris’ head.
We won’t be listing any sort of stat line for the quarterbacks — at the very least until pads and situational drives are incorporated in 11-on-11s — but there were at least four poor or questionable throws by Lance on Friday. He underthrew River Cracraft down the left sideline, and Marcell Harris, who’s looked dynamic in a pure linebacker role, leaped to break it up.
His next throw was a near interception after Arden Key — who had at least one would-be sack and created pressure on at least a handful of occasions — forced Lance out of the pocket and on the run. It should have been a throwaway, but Lance tried to fit the ball into a nonexistent window to Josh Pederson, who had to play defensive back in order to break up a near interception by Azeez Al-Shaair, who’s showing all sorts of range in camp.