Former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews signs contract with 49ers


Former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews signs contract with 49ers

The 49ers have added to their offense, signing former Eagles receiver Jordan Matthews. 

Matthews, at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, could be the big-body receiver that the team has been looking for. In his five seasons in the NFL, Matthews has spent time Philadelphia, Buffalo and one offseason with the Patriots.

The Patriots cut Matthews as a result of a significant hamstring injury during the 2018 offseason. He was later signed by the Eagles, where he appeared in 14 games. 

Matthews has 270 career receptions for 3,255 yards and 22 touchdowns. The majority of those touchdowns have been from inside the red zone, an area that’s been a challenge for coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. 

Upon signing with the team, Matthews spoke about why he chose the 49ers. 

“I had a huge interest in wanting to be at a place like this,” Matthews said. “It’s got everything you want, as far as the culture of the team already, young, vibrant, great quarterback in Jimmy (Garoppolo). So as a receiver, you couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

Matthews also has a unique connection to the team, being the cousin of Hall of Fame wide receiver, Jerry Rice. He recalled going to San Francisco when he was very young but not remembering much. 

When Matthews returned to the Bay Area a second time it was to attend a Raiders game when Rice was a member of the team. Matthews does remember wearing a 49ers hat for that Raiders-Broncos game.

Coach Kyle Shanahan has always expressed that the size of the receiver doesn’t matter as much as their ability to get open. Matthews believes that is one of the reasons the team signed him. 

“I feel like I do three things really well,” Matthews said. “I get open, I catch the ball, and I’m going to block in the run game. I feel like whenever I’ve been put in a position to make plays, I go out and make them. 

“Last year, going back to Philly, there were opportunities out there that they gave me, and every single time they gave me an opportunity, I made sure I capitalized on it.”

The 49ers have been on Matthews radar for a while. He spoke about what he has seen from the reviewing corps and how that made San Francisco an attractive landing spot. 

“I’m watching film and seeing guys like Trent Taylor have a great year (as a rookie), Kendrick Bourne being able to elevate his game in a short period of time. Even tight end. Look at what (George) Kittle was able to do and how they got him in space. 

“Marquise Goodwin is a player I’ve watched for a long time. When he came here, it seemed like his career really emerged. And so I feel like they do a ton of stuff just to get guys in open space, and that’s what I pride myself on. I’m going to get open. I’m going to catch the ball. I’m going to help the team win.”

Matthews has missed some time on the field due to injury but was adamant that he is currently healthy. 

“I’m feeling good,” Matthews said. “I’m feeling as good as I did coming into the league. This whole place is electric right now. Just walking into the building, you can tell there’s a lot of excitement around the 49ers.” 

[RELATED: 'Speed and violence' made 49ers add Ford, Alexander]

Matthews is reuniting with former teammate Miles Austin, who is now a member of the 49ers coaching staff. The two played together while members of the Eagles in 2015. 

"I told Austin, I feel like I’m 22 again walking around here," Matthews said. "I’m excited to get to work and get to know the guys in the locker room and try to build a winning culture.”

Jeff Garcia, like Joe Staley, broke fibula, explains recovery timeline


Jeff Garcia, like Joe Staley, broke fibula, explains recovery timeline

The 49ers won the battle. It remains to be seen if they lost the war.

San Francisco continued its strong start to the season, earning its second consecutive road win with a dominant 41-17 victory in Cincinnati on Sunday. The 49ers are 2-0 for the first time since 2012, and yet, the postgame locker room wasn't as joyous as one would naturally expect.

That's because stalwart left tackle Joe Staley suffered a broken fibula, which he says will keep him out the next six-to-eight weeks.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Jeff Garcia knows a thing or two about a broken fibula, having suffered the same injury in a 2005 preseason game with the Detroit Lions, and he revealed on 49ers Postgame Live following the victory that Staley's true recovery time might, in fact, take considerably longer.

"It took me a good eight weeks of just recovering, healing, when I thought I could step back out on the field, and I rushed it." Garcia recalled. "I was in a hurry to get back on the field, be the quarterback for the team, be a leader on the field and do what I'm supposed to be doing. But that being said, when I got out there, I was not nearly 100-percent. I ended up hurting it again and forced myself off the field once again."

A broken fibula is tough enough to recover from for any football player, but Garcia argues it's an even taller task for someone at Staley's position.

"Granted, we all have to play through injury," Garcia continued. "We all have to play through pain. But when your legs are your survival, especially at the left tackle position -- being able to plant and being able to utilize that leg to stop the rush, to adjust to the rush, the speed coming off the edge -- that's a major thing. And you're talking about a 300-pound man, now, on a broken fibula. So we're hoping that it can heal within that eight-week period time, but that's really just getting back to, 'Okay, I can jog now. I can do some things that are more physically active.' That doesn't mean you can step on the field and play against some All-Pros coming off the edge."

[RELATED: What we learned about 49ers in Week 2 road win over Bengals]

Eight weeks from Sunday would be the day before San Francisco's Week 11 home game against Seattle and newly-acquired edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney. Even if Staley does indeed return at or before that date, it seems unlikely he'll be in top shape for what is looking increasingly like a crucial divisional rivalry game.

49ers takeaways: What we learned in 41-17 Week 2 win over Bengals


49ers takeaways: What we learned in 41-17 Week 2 win over Bengals

CINCINNATI – The 49ers, a team that did not win away from Levi’s Stadium a year ago, left Santa Clara on Sept. 6 and will be returning home Sunday night with a 2-0 record.

After finding a way to win their season opener despite a flawed performance, the 49ers dominated in Week 2 from start to finish. The 49ers’ 41-17 thrashing of the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium gives the 49ers their first 2-0 start since 2012.

The last time the 49ers opened with back-to-back wins on the road was 1989. This year was only the third time after 1989 the schedule-makers called for the 49ers to play their first two games away from home.

Now, the 49ers look to keep it going next Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Levi’s Stadium. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger left the Steelers’ game Sunday against Seattle with a right elbow injury. Mason Rudolph replaced him at the start of the second half.

Here are three takeaways from their victory over the Bengals (0-2):

49ers look well-rested, start fast

Did the 49ers’ decision to remain in the Eastern time zone pay off? It might be impossible to tell, but they definitely came out strong in building a 24-10 lead at halftime.

The 49ers spent five days in Youngstown, Ohio, following their Week 1 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After three practices, the club made the short flight to Cincinnati.

The players and coaches were exhausted during the week, but coach Kyle Shanahan said he was confident that everyone would feel energized by the time the weekend rolled around. And that’s is exactly how it looked Sunday.

The 49ers’ defense came out strong with a three-and-out, including Arik Armstead’s sack of Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton. Then, the 49ers took over and immediately went 51 yards on four plays for a touchdown. Jimmy Garoppolo hit Marquise Goodwin on a 38-yard touchdown pass.

And the 49ers kept the momentum going at the beginning of the second half with a seven-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that Garoppolo capped with a 3-yard touchdown pass to rookie Deebo Samuel.

The 49ers put together a near-perfect offensive showing, rolling up 574 of total offense. Garoppolo completed 17 of 25 passes for 297 yards with three touchdowns and one interception.

Who are these guys?

You might not remember, but the 49ers of 2018 collected just seven takeaways, including two interceptions.

This year’s defense looks nothing like that group. Linebacker Kwon Alexander dropped an interception in Week 1 against the Buccaneers before he got ejected for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Jameis Winston. On Sunday, he got another chance and he made the most of it.

Alexander intercepted a Dalton pass late in the first half. The 49ers drove 52 yards on 10 plays to cap the first half with Robbie Gould’s 33-yard field goal for a 24-10 lead.

The 49ers’ defense made life difficult for Dalton with four sacks. Armstead, Ronald Blair, DeForest Buckner and Solomon Thomas each recorded sacks on the day.

Return of the run game

The 49ers did not get much going on the ground in Week 1 against the Buccaneers. The 49ers gained just 98 yards on 32 carries (3.1-yard average).

They had a lot more success on Sunday, as Matt Breida took over the starting job due to Tevin Coleman’s ankle sprain. Breida got to the outside repeatedly and turned on the speed en route to 121 yards rushing on 12 carries.

In the first half alone, Breida gained 67 yards on six rushing attempts. Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson rotated into the game and combined for three touchdowns.

Mostert showed his speed when he took a screen pass from Garoppolo, split the Bengals defense and scored on a 39-yard pass. Wilson was promoted Saturday from the practice squad. Wilson scored his first two career touchdowns on runs of 2 and 4 yards.

Mostert gained 83 yards on 13 carries, while Wilson added 34 yards on 10 rushes.