Tue Oct 4 12:28am ET
By JOSH DUBOW
AP Pro Football Writer
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) runs toward the end zone to score against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)
San Francisco 49ers safety Talanoa Hufanga (29) returns an interception for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, top, runs against Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey (5) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (10) passes against the Los Angeles Rams during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Jed Jacobsohn)
San Francisco 49ers cornerback Charvarius Ward (7) breaks up a pass intended for Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Allen Robinson II (1) during the second half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) celebrates after scoring against the Los Angeles Rams during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)
San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa (97) reacts after sacking Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 3, 2022. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vsquez)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) A dominant defense and Deebo Samuel.
The formula that has been so successful for the San Francisco 49ers against the Los Angeles Rams delivered another convincing win.
Samuel turned a short catch into an electric 57-yard touchdown, Talanoa Hufanga returned an interception for a score and the 49ers beat the Rams 24-9 Monday night.
''We knew it would be an ice-bag game,'' Hufanga said. ''Every time we play these guys it's a physical matchup. For us as a defense, we want to be the rock. We want to be solid on defense, stand our ground and go out there and swarm.''
Jeff Wilson Jr. also scored on a 32-yard run that gave the Niners (2-2) their seventh straight regular-season win over their in-state rivals.
The Rams (2-2) won the matchup that meant most in last season's NFC championship game on the way to a Super Bowl title, but this meeting looked more like their recent regular-season meetings.
San Francisco used a relentless defense to slow down coach Sean McVay's offense and got enough big plays for the win.
Nick Bosa had two of San Francisco's seven sacks against Matthew Stafford to give him an NFL-best six on the season and Hufanga iced it with his 52-yard pick-6 in the fourth quarter. It was San Francisco's fourth pick-6 against the Rams in their last six regular-season meetings.
''The story of the night from an offensive perceptive was self-inflicted wounds,'' McVay said. ''Just above the neck errors where we're not doing the things that we are capable of and I expect us to be better than that.''
Samuel once again delivered the big blows offensively. The key play came late in the second quarter when he turned what looked to be an interception by Jimmy Garoppolo into a touchdown.
Derion Kendrick jumped the 5-yard route and nearly got the pick. But Samuel made the catch and that's when his work really started.
He broke tackles from Taylor Rapp and Jalen Ramsey and weaved his way through the Rams defense for the final 52 yards to give the Niners a 14-6 lead.
''It was just me and the ball out there,'' Samuel said. ''I just go out and break some tackles like I do all the time.''
Samuel has scored seven TDs and thrown another touchdown in eight career games against Los Angeles.
''He does that time and time again,'' tackle Mike McGlinchey said. ''There's a reason he's one of our best players. He delivers for us in our biggest moments at all times, and especially against that damn team.''
The Rams moved the ball efficiently down the field on the opening drive before a sack by Samson Ebukam stalled the drive and forced Los Angeles into a field goal.
Los Angeles struggled to move the ball consistently after that and the Rams couldn't finish drives when they did. They were held to field goals on three trips into the red zone.
San Francisco struck back with big plays that led to two long touchdowns. Wilson took advantage of string blocking on a 32-yard burst up the middle on the opening drive for the 49ers that made it 7-3.
Samuel added the second touchdown and Robbie Gould kicked a 25-yard field goal after a Niners drive stalled at the 1. Gould missed a 42-yarder midway through the fourth quarter to keep the Rams in the game until Stafford's interception on a screen that Hufanga anticipated perfectly.
''You can smell a rat when it comes to those things,'' he said. ''They've been running screens all night. I saw a different release than I'm used to. Instead of following man, I turned my head and the ball dropped to me.''
One of the biggest hits of the game was delivered to a protestor who ran out on the field late in the second quarter with a device letting out pink smoke.
As the protestor got close to the Rams sidelined, linebacker Bobby Wagner came off and flattened him with a big hit. The man was taken off the field by security and the game quickly resumed.
''I just saw someone running on the field,'' Wagner said. ''It looked like he wasn't supposed to be on the field so I saw security was having a problem so I helped them out.''
Rams: Coleman Shelton, filling in for injured center Brian Allen, left the game with an ankle injury in the first quarter. That forced third-string center Jeremiah Kolone into action.
49ers: Colton McKivitz, filling in for injured All-Pro LT Trent Williams, left the game in the second half with a knee injury and didn't return. ... DT Arik Armstead, who missed last week's game with a foot injury, left this game as well with an injured foot and didn't return.
Rams: Host Dallas on Sunday.
49ers: Visit Carolina on Sunday.
Indianapolis Colts running back Phillip Lindsay spent all the offseason with Indy before being a final cut during training camp. Now, Lindsay is back with the Colts and could start factoring into their gameplan. Head coach Frank Reich mentioned that Lindsay would begin getting into the equation, assuming Jonathan Taylor (ankle) is unable to play on Thursday Night Football. It's a short week, so the Colts might not want to push it with Taylor. Instead, Nyheim Hines and Lindsay would be the focal point in the backfield, assuming Taylor is out. It's hard to imagine Lindsay being a reliable streaming option against the tough Broncos defense.
Chicago Bears kicker Cairo Santos (personal) missed the Week 4 matchup against the New York Giants. The 30-year-old was dealing with a personal matter and was away from the team for a week. Now, Santos has returned and should resume his role as the primary kicker in Chicago. Michael Badgley started in his place on Sunday and connected on four field goals in the loss. The expectation is that Badgley will return to the practice squad, but someone might scoop him up soon after that performance.
San Francisco 49ers star defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot), who came into the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams questionable with his foot injury, aggravated his foot injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game in the fourth quarter. The 28-year-old has been dealing with plantar fasciitis in his foot, and on a short week heading into Week 5 against the Carolina Panthers, Armstead might have a tough time getting cleared to play. With Armstead and Javon Kinlaw (knee) injured on the interior of the 49ers defensive line, backups Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgeway have been pressed into more playing time on Monday against LA.
San Francisco 49ers left tackle Colton McKivitz (knee), who was filling in for All-Pro Trent Williams (ankle), is out for the rest of the Monday night game against the Los Angeles Rams with a knee injury. Jaylon Moore is now filling in, with Blake Hance on deck. When Moore was forced to enter last Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, the Broncos defense destroyed the Niners' offensive line and came after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. San Francisco might have to devote some more help to Moore on Garoppolo's blind side for the rest of this Week 4 game to avoid something similar happening against the Rams strong defense.
New Orleans Saints practice squad RB Latavius Murray will be signed to the Denver Broncos 53-man roster, according to a source.
Fantasy Spin: The Broncos have lost Javonte Williams to injury, so Murray should have a role right away. Murray likely will be behind Melvin Gordon in terms of workload, but he could be a flex option against certain opponents.
Linebacker Blake Martinez is signing a deal to join the Las Vegas Raiders according to The Score's Jordan Schultz. Martinez was released by the New York Giants right before the season started after a two-year tenure in the Big Apple. He will rejoin former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham, who is now with the Raiders. Martinez posted four straight seasons of at least 144 tackles from 2017 to 2020 and could have some value in IDP leagues if he garners a full-time role with the Raiders. The terms of the deal have yet to be posted.
Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Coleman Shelton left Week 4's Monday night game against the San Francisco 49ers with an ankle injury and was ruled out for the remainder of the game shortly after. Shelton injured his ankle during the first quarter and then tried to play on the following drive but ultimately ended up heading back into the locker room. Shelton was replaced on the offensive line by Jeremiah Kolone at center. Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford will have his hands full for the remainder of the game against the San Francisco defense.
The Denver Broncos signed running back Latavius Murray off of the New Orleans Saints' practice squad on Monday. Murray logged 11 rushes for 57 yards and a touchdown for the Saints against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 4 but he will now head to Denver to help fill out the running back room following the season-ending injury to Javonte Williams. Murray will join Melvin Gordon III and Mike Boone with the Broncos. It remains to be seen if Murray will have a role, or even suit up, against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 5's Thursday night game after he just played in London on Sunday. Murray will be worth monitoring in fantasy in case he carves out a significant role with the Broncos.
New Orleans Saints RB Latavius Murray and TE J.P. Holtz were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Cole Beasley was returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Houston Texans TE Jordan Akins and Mason Schreck were returned to the practice squad Monday, Oct. 3, after being on the active roster for the Week 4 game.
Dynasty | Treylon Burks has been diagnosed with turf toe after being carted off the field in Sunday's game. Dynasty Analysis: The injury looked to be much worse than turf toe, but this is going to keep Burks off the field for a while. This is one of the most difficult injuries to return from during a season, so we'll keep an eye on his rehab starting this week. This is just the latest setback for Burks, who has struggled to stay on the field during his rookie season, let alone produce at a high level. He's in danger of falling out of the top ten rookies should others continue to step up while he's out of the lineup. Dynasty managers have no choice but to hold on to him for the moment.
Dynasty | Tua Tagovailoa will not play for the Dolphins this week against the Jets. Dynasty Analysis: It seems the Dolphins may have received the memo from the rest of America wondering why he was ever on the field last week in the first place. Tua is dealing with a significant concussion and while his date to return to the field is unknown, there is little to no chance we see him until he's more than 100% ready to play. Miami has come under fire for how they've handled his injuries this season and are clearly under the microscope. As for Tua, his ranking of QB16 is secure, but we'll need to see him back on the field before moving him up.
Dynasty | With Brian Robinson set to return from IR, Antonio Gibson's grasp on the starting running back job is tenuous at best. Dynasty Analysis: Robinson was clearly in the lead for the job this summer and Gibson hasn't really done anything to likely convince the Washington coaches he should be the answer. While Robinson may be eased into the job, it seems unlikely Gibson will hold him off for long. Gibson has posted just 173 yards this year, averaging averaging a pedestrian 3.3 yards per carry in the process. At this point, savvy owners are likely looking to peddle him before his ranking of RB21 starts to tank.
Denver Broncos defensive end Randy Gregory (knee) is undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery and will be sidelined anywhere from two to six weeks, depending on how he recovers, according to a source. The good news for Gregory is that his ACL is still intact, so he'll be able to return after a few weeks of rest and recovery. The 29-year-old pass-rusher has been a big force on Denver's defensive line through the first four weeks, compiling two sacks, nine tackles (six solo), seven QB hits and two forced fumbles, so his absence is surely bad news for a Broncos defense that got dominated by the division-rival Las Vegas Raiders in their Week 4 loss. The Broncos defense/special teams unit won't be anything more than a low-upside streaming option in Week 5 against the Indianapolis Colts.
Washington Commanders defensive end Chase Young (knee) will not be activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list this week, according to head coach Ron Rivera. Young will miss at least one more game and probably more as he continues to recover from ACL and MCL tears in his right knee last November. The 23-year-old former first-rounder made the Pro Bowl in his rookie season in 2020 when he had 7.5 sacks and 44 tackles (32 solo), but he played in only nine games in 2021 and finished with just 1.5 sacks and 26 tackles (15 solo). At full health, he will be a big boost to the Commanders' pass rush and he should be worth a look in IDP formats down the stretch as well.
Denver Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett said quarterback Russell Wilson (shoulder) would have been limited on Monday if the team had a real practice. Hackett said Wilson "got dinged up a little bit" in the Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday. It's something to keep an eye on, but Wilson doesn't appear to be in any danger of missing the Week 5 contest against the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday night. The 33-year-old QB accounted for three touchdowns on Sunday (two passing, one rushing), but he threw for only 237 yards on a season-low 25 attempts. Against a Colts defense that's allowing 16.2 fantasy points per game to signal-callers through four weeks, Wilson will be in play as a low-end QB1 in fantasy.
Washington Commanders head coach Ron Rivera said that rookie running back Brian Robinson (knee) will come off the Non-Football Injury list and the team will start his 21-day clock to return on Wednesday. Robinson was cleared by doctors to practice, and Rivera said it looks "very promising" that the 23-year-old could make his NFL debut in Week 5 against the Tennessee Titans. It wouldn't be surprising if the Commanders take it slow with Robinson, but once he is ready to contribute, it will be bad news for both Antonio Gibson and pass-catching back J.D. McKissic. Before being shot in an attempted robbery in D.C. just before the start of the regular season, Robinson was trending towards leading Washington's backfield. If he remains available on your league's waiver wire, scoop him up now and stash him.
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said that wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) was dealing with a foot injury in the second half of the Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, which is why he was not on the field in the fourth quarter. The Ravens are listing Bateman as day-to-day for now, so fantasy managers will need to keep an eye on his practice status throughout the week leading up to a Week 5 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football. Unless the 22-year-old suffers a setback this week, he should be on track to suit up this week. He played a season-low 44 percent of the snaps on Sunday and caught just three of six targets for 17 yards. With better health in Week 5, fantasy managers will be hoping he can bounce back after scoring touchdowns in each of the first two weeks.
With Denver Broncos running back Javonte Williams (knee) out for the season due to a torn ACL, the Broncos will have to rely more on Melvin Gordon III, who has fumbled five times in his last 44 carries over five games. Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders marked the third time a Gordon fumble has been returned for a touchdown in the Broncos' last 12 games. The 29-year-old was listed as limited on Monday's practice estimate with a neck injury, but he should be fine ahead of Thursday night's Week 5 game against the Indianapolis Colts, where he should lead Denver's backfield despite his fumbling issues. Mike Boone might be involved as well the rest of the way, but Gordon should be Denver's primary back, giving him RB2 upside moving forward.