After an injury-riddled season caused the San Fransisco 49ers to go 6-10 and miss the playoff in 2020, the team was hoping for a better campaign in 2021. Unfortunately, the 49ers received some news on Thursday that will change their defensive depth — at least for the first portion of the new season.
The NFL announced on Thursday that 49ers defensive end Jordan Willis will be suspended for the start of the 2021 season after testing positive for performance-enhancing substances. The former 2017 third-round pick will be forced to miss the first six games of the new campaign.
Jordan Willis News
Even though he violated the NFL's PED substance policy, Willis will still be eligible to participate in any offseason practices and preseason games ahead of the 2021 season.
The 26-year-old DE was selected by the Cincinnati Bengals in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft. After things didn't work out there, he was released by the Bengals in September 2019, only to be claimed by the New York Jets a day later. Things didn't work out for Willis there, leading to the Jets trading him to the 49ers last season in exchange for a sixth-round pick. He played in seven games with San Francisco in 2020, finishing with 13 total tackles and 5 quarterback hits.
Those aren't the most mind-blowing numbers and Willis isn't a top player, but his absence will be noticeable if this team runs into injury issues again.
The 49ers are going to need all of their pieces to be as available as possible if they want to go on a championship run next season. FanDuel Sportsbook is currently listing their Super Bowl odds at +1300, which ranks 4th-best in the entire NFL.
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