49ers

49ers sign Jordan Matthews with Jalen Hurd, Jason Verrett on IR

49ers sign Jordan Matthews with Jalen Hurd, Jason Verrett on IR

The 49ers on Thursday morning placed rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd and cornerback Jason Verrett on injured reserve.

It is not known whether either player has a chance to return this season. Under NFL rules, players who go on injured reserve during the season must sit out eight games before they are eligible to return to action.

Wide receiver Trent Taylor, defensive lineman Kentavius Street, Hurd and Verrett are eligible to return this season, but the team can activate no more than two players off IR during the course of the season.

The 49ers re-signed veteran cornerback Dontae Johnson, the team announced. The club also announced they re-signed wide receiver Jordan Matthews. NFL Network was the first to report the plan to re-sign Matthews.

Johnson and Matthews were among the 49ers’ final cuts before the start of the regular season.

Hurd has not practiced or played since the 49ers’ first preseason game, Aug. 10, against the Dallas Cowboys. The third-round draft pick from Baylor caught two touchdown passes in his preseason debut. But he has missed nearly two months with a stress reaction in his back.

Verrett missed all of training camp after sustaining an ankle sprain on Aug. 7 in practice. He was inactive for the first two games of the season and entered in Week 3 against the Pittsburgh Steelers after Ahkello Witherspoon sustained a foot sprain that is expected to keep him out more than a month.

Verrett was called for a 32-yard pass interference penalty, then surrendered a 39-yard touchdown to Steelers wide receiver Dionte Johnson. Second-year cornerback Emmanuel Moseley replaced Verrett and is in line to start Monday night when the 49ers return to action against the Cleveland Browns at Levi’s Stadium.

[RELATED: 49ers' D-line, Garoppolo have impressed Browns' Kitchens]

Verrett, 28, has appeared in just 26 NFL games since entering the NFL as a first-round draft pick of the Chargers in 2014. The past four seasons, he has appeared in just six games. He missed all of last season with a torn Achilles. The 49ers signed Verrett to a one-year contract with $1.1 million in base salary. Under the terms of his deal, he receives $93,750 for every regular-season game he plays.

Johnson takes Verrett’s spot on the roster. He returns to the 49ers after entering the NFL in 2014 as a fourth-round draft pick. In four seasons with the 49ers, he appeared in 63 games with 22 starts. After leaving the 49ers, he spent time with Seattle, Buffalo, Arizona and Kansas City.

This stat shows 49ers star George Kittle's receiving, blocking mastery

This stat shows 49ers star George Kittle's receiving, blocking mastery

George Kittle is a one-of-a-kind tight end, and one stat from football analytics site Pro Football Focus is the latest indication why.

The 49ers star has been, in PFF's estimation, one of just two tight ends since 2018 to rank among the best at his position in receiving and run-blocking.

Kittle's 2,430 receiving yards over the last two seasons are second-best at his position behind Kansas City Chiefs counterpart Travis Kelce, and the Iowa product's per-game average of 81 yards actually topped Kelce. The 26-year-old also set the single-season record for receiving yards by a tight end (1,377) in 2018, even as quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was sidelined for all but four games with a torn ACL. 

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

But the 49ers recognize Kittle is much more than a playmaker, equally valuing his contributions to the team's dominant running game.

“I mean, he had more yards in the pass game as a tight end in the history of the NFL last year,” coach Kyle Shanahan said in January (H/T Jennifer Lee Chan). “So, any time you have a guy like that who's one of the best players on your team who's always just talking about running the ball and playing the physicality in the game and giving everything you can, it helps you hold everyone else a lot more accountable, and rarely do you have to."

While Kittle's skills make him a complete tight end, he reportedly doesn't want to be paid like one. NFL Media's Mike Silver said Friday on "NFL Total Access" that Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, "[doesn't] care about the tight-end market" in contract-extension negotiations with the 49ers and thinks his client's new deal should reflect Kittle's unique, all-purpose value. 

"I'm being paid to do a George Kittle deal," Silver recalled Bechta saying.

The 49ers and Kittle aren't "close at all" on a new deal as a result, according to Silver.

[RELATED: 49ers' Jimmy G absorbs Montana's wisdom about winning]

There's still plenty of time for the 49ers and Kittle to reach an agreement, as he's entering the final year of his rookie deal. The 49ers, of course, can also use the franchise tag on him heading into the 2021 season.

If the two sides are going to reach a long-term deal, it sure seems like Kittle wants his receiving and blocking contributions reflected in it.

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo absorbs Joe Montana's wisdom about winning

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo absorbs Joe Montana's wisdom about winning

Throughout NFL history, of quarterbacks to start at least 100 career games, only Tom Brady (.773) and Roger Staubach (.746) have posted better regular-season winning percentages than 49ers legend Joe Montana (.713). So, when it comes to knowing the secrets to victory, he's a pretty good source of advice.

Montana won 117 of his 164 career regular-season starts, precisely 100 victories of which came with San Francisco. On Wednesday, he posted a photo on Instagram from the final one of those wins with the 49ers, in which he offered up a secret to his success.

"Winners, I am convinced, imagine their dreams first," Montana wrote. "They want it with all their heart and expect it to come true. There is, I believe, no other way to live."
As of the time of this writing, that post had received 15,685 likes, one of which came from another 49ers quarterback who happens to have a knack for winning as well -- Jimmy Garoppolo.

[RELATED: Where Jimmy G, Carr rank among NFL starting quarterbacks]

Jimmy G, of course, displayed his penchant for winning immediately upon joining the 49ers, winning his first five starts after San Francisco acquired him midway through the 2017 season. Across 24 regular-season starts with the 49ers, he has posted a 19-5 record (.792). Not to mention, he arguably was one missed completion away from winning Super Bowl LIV.

Garoppolo might have his own secrets to his success, but it certainly can't hurt if he picks up a thing or two from Joe Cool.

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