49ers-QB Platoon Football

Quarterback Trey Lance will be available for the 49ers opener against Detroit after dealing with a finger injury. Jed Jacobsohn/Associated Press

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Rookie quarterback Trey Lance made it through a week of practice with no setbacks to his injured right index finger and is cleared to play in the San Francisco 49ers’ season-opener at Detroit.

Lance suffered a small chip fracture in the index finger on his throwing hand in the exhibition finale on Aug. 29. He missed about a week of practice before returning Wednesday. He was limited the past three days but has been able to throw and take snaps and has no injury designation for the game Sunday.

He is expected to be available if Coach Kyle Shanahan opts to use him in a situational package to complement starter Jimmy Garoppolo.

The Lions will be without a key player of their own with left tackle Taylor Decker ruled out for Sunday with a finger injury. Decker injured himself pass blocking in practice and will likely need surgery.

WASHINGTON: Washington is putting Curtis Samuel on short-term injured reserve because of a lingering groin injury, meaning the wide receiver will miss at least the first three games of the season.

Coach Ron Rivera confirmed Samuel’s upcoming absence. Samuel had been listed as “did not practice” on the mandatory injury report each of the previous two days, and it was looking increasingly unlikely he’d play this weekend in the season opener against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Samuel missed all of training camp with the groin injury and stint on the NFL’s COVID-19 list. Rivera insisted surgery was “not on the table” and that the team wanted to give Samuel time to get healthy after pushing him too much this week.

CHARGERS: Running back Austin Ekeler is questionable due to a hamstring injury after being a limited participant in Friday’s practice. Coach Brandon Staley said Ekeler tweaked the hamstring during Monday’s practice, which caused him to miss Wednesday and Thursday.

Last season Ekeler injured his hamstring during the first quarter of a Week 5 game against Tampa Bay and proceeded to miss the next six games.

COWBOYS: Right tackle La’el Collins was suspended five games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

The suspension came a day after Collins played his first game since 2019 in the Cowboys’ opener, a 31-29 loss to defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay. Collins missed all of 2020 because of a hip issue that required surgery.

Collins won’t be eligible until Week 8 against Minnesota, after Dallas’ open week. The absence means the Cowboys will go at least 22 consecutive games without their top three linemen playing together.

Four-time All-Pro right guard Zack Martin, who played a career-low 10 games last year because of a calf injury, missed the opener after testing positive for COVID-19 five days before the game.

Left tackle Tyron Smith, a seven-time Pro Bowler, was limited to two games last season while undergoing neck surgery.

TELEVISION: The NFL came into kickoff weekend looking for increased audiences over last season. After one game, the league is off to a strong start with the most-watched opener in six years.

Thursday night’s 31-29 victory by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the Dallas Cowboys averaged approximately 26 million viewers on NBC, Peacock and the NFL’s digital platforms according to preliminary data from Nielsen and Adobe Analytics.

It is a 20% increase over last year’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans and the largest audience for an NFL opener since the Pittsburgh Steelers-New England Patriots game in 2015 averaged 27.4 million.

JETS: Wide receiver Jamison Crowder will miss the season opener at Carolina on Sunday while he continues to recover from COVID-19.

Crowder, who led the Jets in receptions the last two seasons, was placed on the COVID-19 list last after testing positive for the coronavirus. Crowder is vaccinated, but is still working through symptoms.

GIANTS: Roughly a year after tearing his right ACL, indications are Saquon Barkley is going to play for the New York Giants in the season opener against the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Coach Joe Judge said the 2018 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year had a good week of practice, terming the workouts encouraging and promising. The second-year head coach said the running back will need final approval from the team’s medical staff to play.

BROWNS: Odell Beckham Jr.’s playing status for Sunday’s opener at Kansas City remains up in the air. Jadeveon Clowney’s good to go.

Beckham, who has mounted a quicker-than-projected comeback from knee surgery, was limited in practice Friday and coach Kevin Stefanski said the star wide receiver is questionable to face the AFC champion Chiefs.

CHIEFS: Tyrann Mathieu remained in the COVID-19 protocol and the Kansas City Chiefs remain uncertain whether their All-Pro safety will be cleared in time for their season opener against the Cleveland Browns.

RAVENS: Baltimore is putting running back Gus Edwards and cornerback Marcus Peters on injured reserve with knee injuries.

Coach John Harbaugh announced the moves, describing the injuries as season-ending, non-contact ligament tears from practice.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.