49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers


49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive line will have a new member coming off of the bye week.

The 49ers claimed defensive lineman Sheldon Day of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday. The Jaguars waived Day on Saturday in order to make room for the return of rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook off of injured reserve. 

Day, a 2016 fourth round pick, posted 11 tackles and two tackles in 22 games over the last two seasons with Jacksonville. He played fewer than 30 snaps in all seven games with the Jaguars this season. 

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, and defensive tackle Chris Jones are all on injured reserve, while defensive lineman Aaron Lynch missed the 49ers' last game in Week 10.

San Francisco ranks 22nd in the league in sacks, 23rd in pass defense, and 31st in rush defense. 

How 49ers' D.J. Jones plans to add more consistency to his pass rush

How 49ers' D.J. Jones plans to add more consistency to his pass rush

The 49ers did not count on nose tackle D.J. Jones to provide much of a pass rush during his first three NFL seasons.

But with DeForest Buckner now with the Indianapolis Colts, the team will be looking for a combination of players to help compensate for the loss of the team’s top inside defensive force.

Jones believes he is capable of contributing much more in an expanded role from what he has been asked to do since entering the NFL as a run defender.

“I know I have it in me,” Jones said. “I just need the opportunity and I need to continue to work at my craft to get better.”

Jones was the starter on base downs last season before he sustained a high-ankle sprain in the 49ers’ Week 14 game at New Orleans. He was placed on injured reserve, ending his season before the start of the playoffs. Jones generally was taken off the field in passing situations.

Jones said his ankle is 100 percent healthy. He is running and cutting. He is training to play more snaps than ever before. And he has the voice of 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek ringing in his ears even from afar as the team goes through its virtual offseason program.

“If I don’t stop my feet, I feel like I can get to the quarterback,” Jones said. “The second my feet stop, I’m stuck in mud, and I’m not going to get to the passer. As long as I keep moving my feet, as my defensive line coach continues to tell me that’s what I’m working on, I can get to the quarterback.”

[RELATEDHow 49ers' Jones plans to raise game with ankle healthy]

Jones registered his first two NFL sacks last season while playing in 11 games. On each of his sacks, Jones showed he has the physical ability to get after the quarterback on a more regular basis.

He demonstrated his quickness at 305 pounds to track down Carolina Panthers quarterback Kyle Allen for a sack in Week 8. Then, he showed brute force in steamrolling Seattle center Joey Hunt en route to sacking Russell Wilson two weeks later.

Jones was on the field for 147 pass plays last season, according to Pro Football Focus, had had seven quarterback hurries, along with his two sacks.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' George Kittle named to Pro Football Focus' All-Clutch Team

49ers' George Kittle named to Pro Football Focus' All-Clutch Team

George Kittle is second to none when it comes to tight ends in the NFL. That includes in the biggest moments, too.

Kittle was the lone 49er named to Pro Football Focus' All-Clutch Team for the 2019 season. This team highlights who was the best at each position in the fourth quarter and overtime of one-score games (within eight points).

As the lights became brighter, Kittle upped his game. His 113 yards after the catch and 8.7 yards after the catch per reception in clutch moments were the best by a tight end in all of football.

To no surprise, Kittle was a monster in these moments. He had four forced missed tackles with the ball in his hands, and his run-blocking grade ranked second among tight ends.

Need some proof? Let's rewind to Week 14 when Kittle caught a pass on fourth-and-2, broke a few tackles and dragged safety Marcus Williams for a number of yards before being hauled down after a gain 39-yard gain to help set up the 49ers' last-second 48-46 win over the New Orleans Saints.

[RELATED: Watch this incredible Kittle block during college at Iowa]

That play perfectly exemplifies the kind of player Kittle is and displays his clutch gene. 

This is just one reason why Kittle is in for a massive payday in the near future, and why the 49ers want to keep Kittle in the Bay Area for a very long time.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]