Austin (knee) has officially been placed on IR.
Austin thus joins fellow receivers Jalen Hurd and J.J. Nelson on the 49ers' IR list. On the plus side, the team welcomed Richie James back from the NFI list earlier Thursday.
The 49ers plan to place Austin (knee) on IR, Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
The move should officially hit the transaction wire either later Thursday or as the team continues to make roster moves in advance of cut-down weekend. With that, the depth of the 49ers' pass-catching corps takes another hit. and it wouldn't surprise us to see the team look into other options shortly as league-wide roster trimming occurs.
Austin signed a contract with the 49ers on Saturday, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Looking to improve the team's wide receiver depth with Deebo Samuel slated to miss all of training camp with a foot injury, the Niners worked out both Austin and J.J. Nelson earlier in the week, adding two potentially terrifying speed options to the back end of the roster. That speed could be uniquely utilized in sub packages as part of Kyle Shanahan's offensive scheme, which often utilizes wide receiver motion on jet sweeps and designated screens. With Travis Benjamin, who likely was slated to occupy the same type of role for the Niners, opting out of the season, it's entirely possible one, or both, of the Austin/Nelson combo makes the team, even if it's just as a return specialist.
The 49ers plan to bring Austin in for a workout Wednesday with the hope of signing him, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
The 30-year-old has put up modest stats over the past few seasons, but he has the speed to make plays when he gets the ball in his hands in the open field. With Deebo Samuel dealing with a foot injury, the 49ers could use some wide receiver depth, and working with an offensive-minded coach like Kyle Shanahan could be a nice fit for a player with Austin's skill set.
Austin wrapped up the 2019 season with 13 catches on 24 targets for 177 receiving yards and a touchdown, adding 47 rushing yards and another score on six carries.
While the veteran speedster saw nearly three times as many snaps on offense under new OC Kellen Moore than he did the season before, Austin did little with the extra opportunities, winding up with nearly identical production to 2018, when he totaled 195 scrimmage yards and two TDs. He's also no longer much of a threat in the return game -- he managed only 84 yards on punt returns this year, and his last return for a touchdown came in 2015 with the Rams. An unrestricted free agent, Austin could be brought back as wideout depth if Amari Cooper and Randall Cobb wind up signing elsewhere, but he's unlikely to be a major factor in whichever offense he finds himself in next season.
Austin caught one of two targets for five yards during Sunday's loss to the Eagles.
Austin played only 16 offensive snaps, his lowest snap total since Week 12. The 29-year-old has 12 receptions for 176 yards and one touchdown this season.
Austin caught his only target for a 59-yard touchdown in Sunday's 44-21 win over the Rams.
He also gained three yards on two carries. The Cowboys leaned heavily on their running game, as Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard each ran for over 100 yards and combined for three TDs, so there wasn't a whole lot of production left over for the team's wide receivers. Austin made his one opportunity in the passing game count, however. He found himself wide open after two Los Angeles defenders collided, and Dak Prescott got him the ball for an easy score. It was Austin's first receiving TD of the year, adding to a rushing touchdown he scored Week 7 against next Sunday's opponents, the Eagles.
Austin was unable to bring in either of his targets during Thursday's 31-24 loss to Chicago.
Austin was unable to build on his Week 13 two-catch performance and now has not touched the ball on offense in four of Dallas' six games since its bye. The Cowboys are still in the thick of the race in a weak NFC East, but the offense hasn't shown the life it had earlier in the season against a murderer's row of pass defenses over the past three weeks, resulting in losses to New England, Buffalo, and Chicago. The challenges, and potential struggles, continue Sunday as Austin and the Cowboys take on the league's 10th-ranked pass defense in the Rams.
Austin caught two of his five targets for 22 yards during Thursday's 26-15 loss to Buffalo.
Austin's receptions were his first since a five-catch performance in Week 6, although he had two rushes for 27 yards and a touchdown since then. The speedster is an incredibly risky play no matter the opponent, although the Cowboys have walked into the pass-defense equivalent of a buzz saw lately. As luck would have it, the team's next opponent offers yet another difficult matchup Thursday, as Dallas takes on Chicago's ninth-rated pass defense.
Austin did not bring in his only target during Sunday's 13-9 loss to New England.
Austin has now been held catchless in five consecutive games and has just two rushes for 27 yards during that span. The 2013 first-round pick has been held to single-digit yardage or worse in six of nine games this season and has just one game with more than two touches. He might be good for an end-around or gadget play here and there, but that will be tough to pull off Thursday against Buffalo's third-ranked defense.
Austin was unable to haul in his only target of Sunday's 35-27 win over the Lions.
Austin's 30 offensive snaps were his second most this season, but it didn't stop him from being held catchless for the fourth consecutive game. The veteran speedster does have a rushing touchdown on the season, but as a low-volume receiver with just two red-zone touches he's a huge fantasy risk. That is especially true Sunday against New England's second-ranked pass defense.
Austin didn't receive a target in Monday's 37-18 win over the Giants.
This is Austin's first targetless game, but he's been teetering on the edge of a goose egg all year, as he finished four contests with just one target. He tied his season-low for offensive snaps with 11 of a possible 73 (15 percent). Unless there's an injury, Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and Randall Cobb will hoard the looks for Cowboys' wideouts.
Austin failed to catch his only target but took his lone carry 20 yards for a touchdown in Sunday's win over the Eagles.
The speedster turned on the jets after taking a pitch from Dak Prescott and beat Philly defenders to the pylon early in the first quarter for the first score of the game. But as per usual when the rest of the receiving corps is healthy, Austin was minimally involved in the Cowboys' offense after that. He's seen only 11 touches all season, and five of them came last week when Randall Cobb was sidelined and Amari Cooper had to leave the game early.
Austin caught five of six targets for a team-high 64 yards in Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Jets.
The Cowboys' receiving ranks thinned when Amari Cooper was sidelined with a quadriceps injury, and Austin ended up being the biggest beneficiary of the available looks from Dak Prescott. If Cooper's injury lingers into next week, Austin could see additional targets again, but Michael Gallup is likelier to take on the No. 1 WR assignment.
Austin (concussion) is active for Sunday's game in New Orleans, David Helman of the Cowboys' official site reports.
Austin finally wrested his way out of the concussion protocol this week, which has allowed him to put an end to a two-game absence. Look for him to return to his specialized role on offense while potentially taking over punt-return duties.
Austin (concussion) is no longer listed on the injury report ahead of Sunday's game against the Saints, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Austin has been battling a concussion for the last two weeks, but it looks like he is free of symptoms and good to go for the weekend. Expect Austin to assume his duties as the team's top punt returner.
Austin (concussion) was a limited participant in Thursday's practice, Calvin Watkins of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Austin is progressing through the league's protocol for head injuries, and he's now logged two consecutive limited practice sessions. The speedy wideout will need to be cleared by an independent neurologist before retaking the field. When Austin does return to the lineup, he'll serve as the Cowboys' top punt returner.
Austin (concussion) was a limited participant in Wednesday's practice.
Austin appears to be making solid progress through concussion protocol, and he'll look to clear it completely by Sunday's game versus the Saints. His offensive potential remains low if Amari Cooper (ankle) suits up, but he figures to slot in as the Cowboys' punt returner either way.
Austin (concussion) is ruled out for Sunday's game versus the Dolphins, Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Austin will miss his second straight game. Devin Smith saw an increase in downfield targets in Austin's absence Week 2, and he figures to see a similar workload with Michael Gallup (knee) out as well. Randall Cobb will continue fielding punts.
Coach Jason Garrett said Thursday that Austin is improving but remains in the concussion protocol, Rob Phillips of the Cowboys' official site reports.
Austin will have one more day to get healthy and return to practice ahead of Sunday's tilt against the Dolphins, but he appears to be trending towards inactive status. If Austin is indeed unable to go, expect Randall Cobb to step up as Dallas' primary punt returner.
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