The San Francisco 49ers are razor thin at the edge pass rush position with both Dee Ford and Nick Bosa coming off serious injuries. They need that area to improve from 2020 if the 49ers want to return to Super Bowl contention.
Unfortunately, San Francisco’s depth took a hit on Thursday after the team announced that defensive end Jordan Willis has been suspended six games for violating the NFL Performance Enhancing Drug (PED) policy.
“NFL suspends 49ers DL Jordan Willis 6 Games: Willis has been suspended without pay for the first six games of the 2021 regular season for violating the NFL Policy on Performance-Enhancing Substances. He will be able to participate in all offseason & preseason practices & games,” the 49ers announced.
Willis, 26, performed pretty well in a reserve role for the 49ers last season, recording five quarterback hits and 2.5 sacks in seven games after coming over from the New York Jets in a trade. A third-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals out of Kansas State back in 2017, Willis has tallied 5.5 sacks in four seasons.
Impact of Jordan Willis’ suspension on the San Francisco 49ers
In addition to Bosa and Ford, the 49ers added former Las Vegas Raiders mid-round pick Arden Key in free agency during the offseason. That’s still unlikely to be enough with San Francisco slated to go up against Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson and Kyler Murray multiple times during the 2021 season.
The 49ers’ schedule also includes games against Aaron Rodgers, Kirk Cousins, Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow, Matt Ryan and Ryan Tannehill.
Currently $16.76 million under the cap, the San Francisco 49ers have free-agent options still on the table to add depth to the mix. That list includes Justin Houston, Everson Griffen, Adrian Clayborn and Vic Beasley. I full expect general manager John Lynch and Co. to kick the tires on some of these veterans