The San Francisco 49ers got through nearly 16 weeks of the NFL regular season without a player on the COVID-19 list, but that is no longer the case.
The Niners announced on social media Monday that they are placing punter Mitch Wishnowsky on the COVID-19/Reserve List. The team also said they are adding linebacker Tyrell Adams back to the team’s practice squad.
We’ll take a deeper look at Adams in a minute, but in the meantime, we can focus on Wishnowsky, who was selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate alongside six other San Francisco players who just missed the cut of the primary spots.
Wishnowsky was selected by the 49ers in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL Draft after growing up and impressing in Australia. The now-29-year-old has been a rock-solid field-flipper in the past three years, averaging 45.8 yards per punt in his three years in Santa Clara according to Pro Football Reference. He also handles kickoff duties for San Francisco.
It’s not public knowledge if Wishnowsky is or isn’t vaccinated, so the amount of time he could be out is yet to be determined. Further, that’s not accounting for how Wishnowsky handles his recovery from the virus.
That being said, the 49ers not immediately adding a replacement option likely bodes well for his chances to come back. If he isn’t going to be back in time for the Week 17 matchup against the Houston Texans this Sunday, the 49ers will likely add a stop-gap punter at some point in the next few days.
ALL the latest 49ers news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on 49ers newsletter here!
Adams Returns to 49ers
For anyone that’s followed the 49ers closely this season, they’ll know Adams fairly well. The 29-year-old linebacker has bounced from the 53-man roster, practice squad and free agency several times this year as the team has made roster moves.
Most recently, he was cut so that running back Trey Sermon could return to the team after his time on the injury reserve. Before joining the 49ers in October, he spent the offseason with the Buffalo Bills before being cut in August.
As his Pro Football Reference stats show, Adams has journeyed around the NFL quite a bit. He broke through into a starting role in 2020, starting in 12 games and racking up 125 combined tackles for the Houston Texans.
However, he was not wanted after the season concluded and has now been bouncing back and forth on the 49ers. He has been active for five games, and has one solo tackle on the year.
Last Time a Niner Went on COVID-19 List
All things considered, the 49ers have done pretty well with COVID-19 cases this season. The last time players were on the COVID-19 list was back in August, when wide receiver Jauan Jennings and corner Emmanuel Moseley were activated from the list.
Safety Jaquiski Tartt was also on the list, but was actually moved to the PUP list due to his injury recovery.
Now, the 49ers are dealing with what many times across the league have faced over the past few weeks. If San Francisco has it there way, Wishnowsky will be back sooner rather than later and be an isolated case on the squad.