Here is your random San Francisco 49ers news for the day.
Defensive lineman Jordan 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 and preseason practices and games.
Willis will be eligible to return to the 49ers active roster on Monday, Oct. 25, 2021, following the team’s Week 7 game vs. Indianapolis.
For starters, it is unknown what enhancing substance Willis took and for how long. That might not ever be revealed nor should it matter. What is interesting is that Willis potentially sought the need for it. Perhaps he saw his playing time diminishing or even his spot on the team in danger.
I say "potentially" because it is not always cut and dry with these PED suspensions. For all we know, Willis was probably recommended something for pain relief or for whatever other type of use to ease him. There is always some distorted truth with these suspensions, and it is likely Willis will try to appeal it. He is not a player who can afford a suspension for six games since he is not a significant role player on the team.
The suspension of Willis does not have any real impact on the 49ers. They likely will have received this news in a disappointing mood, but ultimately do not have much care as Willis is just depth, or even a training camp body right now.
Willis was acquired by the 49ers on Oct. 27 from the Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. He appeared in seven games for the 49ers and registered 2.5 sacks in them along with five quarterback hits. Showing a bit of promise, the 49ers re-signed Willis in free agency.
Willis' acquisition was the 49ers way of boosting the pass rush a bit and to be able to kick Arik Armstead inside more. For his sake, he should hope the 49ers do not want to cut ties with him. The ideal way for him to avoid that is to be transparent with the 49ers and hope they resonate with him.
Otherwise, he is probably as good as gone.