The agent for Brees (foot) and Saints' general manager Mickey Loomis have talked about a contract extension, which head coach Sean Payton thinks "will get done very easily," reports the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Brees' contract is not set to expire until 2017, but an extension would permit the team to lower his huge salary cap number and presumably allow the Saints to be more active in free agency. Further reading between the lines, the fact that there has been no recent mention of the torn plantar fascia he suffered at the end of last season is likely a good sign for Brees' offseason prognosis. As such, there is little reason to believe that Brees will not be healthy and ready for action when official offseason training activities begin later this spring.
Ellerbe (undisclosed) said he will be 100 percent healthy for the start of training camp in late July, The Times-Picayune reports.
Traded from Miami to New Orleans last year, Ellerbe had 39 tackles (34 solo) in six games, after playing just one game in his final season with the Dolphins. His injury struggles forced him to accept a pay cut in the offseason, even though he could still have a three-down role if he's able to stay healthy. There's been no indication he's dealing with anything serious, but he did miss some practices during OTAs and minicamp while nursing a couple of minor issues. If healthy, Ellerbe will likely join Stephone Anthony and James Laurinaitis in the base defense, but it's unclear which player would get most of the snaps next to Anthony in nickel packages.
Jordan (back) practiced without limitations Thursday, Larry Holder of the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports.
Jordan underwent back surgery in February and wasn't expected to rejoin the team until training camp. However, Jordan was much farther ahead in his recovery than expected and was able to return to the practice field in full for the team's OTAs on Thursday. Jordan is coming off a 10-sack Pro Bowl season and with the back injury finally behind him, he'll have the chance to improve on his numbers.
Lewis (hernia) participated in team drills during the Saints' OTAs and should be ready for training camp, The Oregonian reports.
Lewis underwent sports hernia surgery in January, his third time under the knife since last season. Nonetheless, having taken reps in team drills just five months after the surgery bodes well for his availability for training camp. His return to the fold in the Saints' secondary should presumably bolster a unit that ranked near the bottom of the league in nearly every major defensive category in 2015, including an NFL-record 45 surrendered touchdown passes.
Steward has been placed on injured reserve due to a back injury suffered in Sunday's win over Houston, BuffaloBills.com reports.
Starter Nigel Bradham may not be able to make it back from his ankle injury this week. If that doesn't happen, the Bills would be down their top two guys at the inside linebacker spot next to Preston Brown.
Williams (hamstring) is competing for snaps at the nickel position in OTAs, Joel Erickson of the New Orleans Advocate reports.
Williams lost his entire rookie season after suffering a torn hamstring during training camp last year. Now that he's healthy, the 2015 third rounder will have the chance to show why he was taken so high in the draft. Keenan Lewis (hip) and Delvin Breaux look to have the starting cornerback positions locked down, so Williams will compete with Damian Swann and Kyle Wilson for the nickel role, playing primarily in passing situations. Along with the third corner slot, Williams will likely be one of the team's primary backups, seeing extra time in the event of any injuries to the secondary during the season.
Brooks (undisclosed) has only been participating in walk-throughs during 49ers' OTAs, CSN Bay Area reports.
49ers defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil wouldn't disclose the nature of Brooks' injury, but said that he is "hoping that we can get something out of him by the end of spring." It doesn't sound like the injury is serious, and we will update his status as soon as more information is provided by the team.
GM Trent Baalke claims Dorsey is making "very good progress" in his recovery from an ACL tear, Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News reports. Regarding Dorsey's availability for Week 1, Baalke went on to say, "I'm never going to give a definitive [answer] because I don't know. He could always have a setback coming up. But right now he's making progress, he looks good, his mind's in a great place, and ready to roll."
Despite this endorsement of health, Dorsey is almost certainly slated for the PUP list to start training camp. However, he won't necessarily begin the season there. Dorsey suffered the torn ACL last season against the Seahawks on Nov. 22, and although occurring late in the season, he could certainly be "ready to roll" come opening day. Comparatively, DT Geno Atkins suffered an ACL tear in Week 9 of the 2013 season, and was good to go for Week 1 of 2014.
Draughn has signed a one-year deal to remain with the 49ers, ESPN.com reports.
Draughn, who missed the final two games of the 2015 season with a knee injury, is thus slated to remain part of the 49ers' backfield in 2016, serving as a complement/depth option behind presumed top back Carlos Hyde.
Williams' contract with the 49ers has been reworked into a one-year deal worth up to $6 million due to the uncertainty surrounding his availability for the beginning of the upcoming season, CSN Bay Area reports.
Williams initially agreed to a reported five-year, $27.5 million contract with the 49ers following a career year last season, but after he couldn't pass a team physical due to multiple offseason ankle surgeries, Williams contract was reworked into a one-year deal. A player that's had numerous procedures to his left leg during his pro career, Williams' status for the start of the 2016 is in question following his latest operations, leaving the 49ers in need of some depth up front in case he's unavailable.
Kaepernick (shoulder) returned to practice for the first time this offseason, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Initial reports stated that Kaepernick would be limited to individual drills during the 49ers' three-day minicamp, but he ended up participating in the team's seven-on-seven sessions as well. He wasn't going at 100-percent, but he was seen firing the ball close to 50 yards down the field. Kaepernick was also noticeably slimmer, but that was to be expected after not being able to work out during his shoulder rehab. His health, weight and adaptation to Chip Kelly's offense will all be things to monitor this offseason to determine whether Kaepernick can bounce back in 2016.
Bethea (pectoral) is back at full strength and expected to start the season at strong safety, CSN Bay Area reports.
Bethea suffered a torn pectoral muscle and missed the final eight games of the season in 2015. He didn't have a spectacular campaign (44 tackles, zero interceptions), but he has the potential to put up solid IDP numbers playing on a Chip Kelly defense that is asked to be on the field for a high number of snaps.