49ers

49ers' DeForest Buckner motivated by being left off NFL top players list

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USATSI

49ers' DeForest Buckner motivated by being left off NFL top players list

SANTA CLARA -- DeForest Bucker says getting snubbed from the NFL’s top 100 players list is only more motivation for him. 

Throughout joint practices in Denver, Buckner was a huge challenge for the Broncos offensive linemen. He disrupted the pocket enough for Broncos offensive coordinator and former 49ers quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello to make a comment. 

“He’s one of probably the three or four best interior players in this league,” Scangarello said. "So yeah, he’s always going to be tough to block and if you’re not planning around him, he’s going to cause problems.”

Buckner being left off the list was a surprise to many 49ers fans, players and even to Buckner himself. 

“Yeah, I know, it’s crazy, right?" Buckner said. “You know, it is what is. Honestly at the end of the day, if I’m doing my job and contributing to my team, it’s all that matters to me, and the respect will come. 

Buckner will use the omission as reason make a bigger impression on the league.

"I mean it’s just more fuel to the fire, you know what I’m saying?” 

Buckner, who will make his preseason debut in Kansas City on Saturday, is excited to finally see the field after nearly eight months. He has been impressed with what he has seen from the defense thus far especially in Denver.

“I saw guys were flying around, playing physical,” Buckner said. “I thought the defense looked really good as a whole. Obviously, there are some parts we can fix up on all ends of the field, but I know overall the guys played hard.” 

Much has been noted about the increased speed of the defensive line with the addition of free-agent pass rusher Dee Ford and first-round pick Nick Bosa. Even without the pair of edge rushers playing in Denver, Bucker said the evolution is apparent. 

[RELATED: 49ers backup QB decision won't be made until final cut]

“Most definitely,” Buckner said. “I see a lot more guys confident in their ability and their assignments. Guys are just flying around and hitting anything moving and it’s exciting to see.” 

Buckner plans on playing through the first half of the team's third preseason game in Kansas City. Kick-off is at 5 p.m. PT. 

NFL rumors: Panthers' Cam Newton likely to practice before 49ers game

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AP

NFL rumors: Panthers' Cam Newton likely to practice before 49ers game

The Carolina Panthers reportedly could have a decision to make before they play the 49ers in Week 8. 

Quarterback Cam Newton is "expected to be ready to practice after the team's bye this week," ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday night citing a league source. 

The Panthers started 0-2 with Newton under center, but turned their season around after undrafted second-year pro Kyle Allen took over under center. Carolina has won each of its last four games, and Allen has completed 65.6 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns and no interceptions. Allen has been aided by running back Christian McCaffrey during that time, as McCaffrey has scored seven touchdowns and accounted for 661 yards from scrimmage over the last four weeks. 

A hobbled Newton struggled in his first two starts, and he said in a self-published video last month that he hid the extent of his foot injury. Newton, when healthy, is one of the NFL's best QBs, but season-ending shoulder surgery in 2018 and his early-season foot injury has led to questions about how much he has left in the tank.

[RELATED: Staley, Witherspoon closest to return among injured 49ers] 

If he returns in Week 8, Newton will have his hands full with the 49ers' revamped defensive line. Six San Francisco d-linemen have multiple sacks this season, and the 49ers were tied for eighth in the NFL in sacks entering Monday. 

The 49ers are riding high, and San Francisco is 5-0 for the first time since 1990. In Week 7, the 49ers will play 1-5 Washington at FedEx Field before returning to Levi's Stadium to host Newton or Allen and the Panthers. 

49ers injury report: Ahkello Witherspoon, Joe Staley closest to return

49ers injury report: Ahkello Witherspoon, Joe Staley closest to return

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers do not expect to get any of their injured players back this week, but cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon and left tackle Joe Staley are the closest to their returns.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday that Witherspoon, who sustained a foot sprain on Sept. 22 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, could return as early as the team’s Oct. 27 game against the Carolina Panthers. Emmanuel Moseley has played well in place of Witherspoon.

Staley also is making good progress from a fractured left fibula that he sustained on Sept. 15 at Cincinnati. Staley might miss only two more games. Justin Skule has started three games in place of Staley.

“I’m still hoping for Arizona,” Shanahan said, referring to the possibility that Staley could return for the 49ers’ Oct. 31 game at the Arizona Cardinals on "Thursday Night Football."

Wide receiver Deebo Samuel (groin) and nose tackle D.J. Jones (hamstring) sustained injuries in the 49ers’ 20-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday that will have them questionable entering Sunday’s game against Washington. Shanahan said both Samuel and Jones are day-to-day.

Cornerback Richard Sherman (shoulder stinger) and nickel back K’Waun Williams (hand) both checked out fine after the game. Both players should be available for practice on Wednesday.

[RELATED: Kittle now knows why Jimmy G had five-pick day against 49ers D]

Here is the complete list of 49ers injured players and when they could be available to return (teams are allowed to bring back only two players per season off injured reserve):

CB Ahkello Witherspoon

Foot sprain, Sept. 22
Out: 4 weeks
Possible return: Oct. 27 vs. Carolina

OT Joe Staley

Fractured left fibula, Sept. 15
Out: 6 to 8 weeks
Possible return: Oct. 31 at Arizona

OT Mike McGlinchey

Knee cartilage, Oct. 7
Out: 4 to 6 weeks
Possible return: Nov. 11 vs. Seattle – Dec. 1 at Baltimore

FB Kyle Juszczyk

MCL sprain, Oct. 7
Out: 4 to 6 weeks
Possible return: Nov. 11 vs. Seattle – Dec. 1 at Baltimore

WR Trent Taylor

Foot surgery
Injured reserve: Before Week 3
Possible return: Any point after Nov. 17 vs. Arizona

WR Jalen Hurd

Stress reaction in back
Injured reserve: Before Week 5
Possible return: Any point after Nov. 24 vs. Green Bay

CB Jason Verrett

Knee
Injured reserve: Before Week 5
Possible return: Any point after Nov. 24 vs. Green Bay

DL Kentavius Street

Knee
Injured reserve: Before Week 1
Possible return: Any point after Oct. 31 vs. Arizona

TE Garrett Celek

Back
Physically unable to perform
Possible return: After Week 6, the player must be allowed to return to practice, placed on injured reserved or released within five weeks. Once the player returns to practice, the team has three weeks to decide to place him on the active roster or on the injured reserve list.