The San Francisco 49ers announced on Friday that they have signed defensive back Don Jones to a two-year deal.
Jones (5-11, 195), a four-year veteran, has played in 56 games and registered 37 special teams tackles and one forced fumble on special teams. In 2016, he played in nine games for the Houston Texans and tied for the team lead with 11 special teams tackle
Jones was originally drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the seventh round (250th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft.
After registering 11 special teams tackles as a rookie in 2013, he was waived on August 31, 2014 and claimed off waivers by the New England Patriots on September 1, 2014. He played in 9 games with the Patriots before being waived on November 27, 2014, and was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins the following day. In 2014, Jones played in 13 total games (nine with New England and four with Miami) and registered 11 special teams tackles.
In 2015, Jones split time with the New Orleans Saints and Cleveland Browns and finished with four special teams tackles. Last season, he played in four games with the Browns before being released on October 4. Jones later signed with the Houston Texans on October 19 and appeared in the final nine games of the regular season and both postseason contests.
A 26-year-old native of Town Creek, AL, Jones played collegiately at Arkansas State University for three seasons (2009, 2011-12) in addition to one season (2010) at Mississippi Gulf Coast (Perkinston, MS) Community College. As a senior at Arkansas State, Jones registered 74 tackles and one interception.
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Starting safety Eric Reid will not be available for the 49ers on Thursday night, and the other presumptive starting safeties are questionable, too.
Jimmie Ward (hamstring) and Jaquiski Tartt (neck) went through limited practice Wednesdsay and are listed as questionable to face the Los Angeles Rams in front of a national television audience at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday night.
Ward and Tartt are expected to be available for the game, but the 49ers’ only healthy safeties are rookies Lorenzo Jerome and Adrian Colbert.
Reid is expected miss more than one game with a sprain of the posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. Reid is listed as out for Thursday’s game, along with linebacker Reuben Foster.
The 49ers medical staff no longer requires Foster to wear an orthopedic boot to stabilize his high right ankle sprain. General manager John Lynch said Foster is making good progress, but the 49ers are going to be cautious with him.
“The one thing I know is that freak athletes tend to be freak healers, as well,” Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area.
“He wanted to play the first week in the boot. That’s just the way he’s wired. We got to make sure he’s all the way healthy before we put him in, and we’re going to do that.”
Tight end George Kittle (hip) and linebacker Eli Harold (foot) are questionable for the game and are expected to play. Kittle sustained his injury during the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Harold was stepped on during a practice this week.
49ers injury report
LB Reuben Foster (ankle)
S Eric Reid (knee)
LB Eli Harold (foot)
TE George Kittle (hip)
S Jaquiski Tartt (neck)
S Jimmie Ward (hamstring)
The 49ers entered the regular season feeling as confident in quarterback Brian Hoyer as anyone on the offensive side of the ball.
But Hoyer has struggled through the worst back-to-back games of his 33-start NFL career. And the 49ers need him to get going, beginning Thursday night against the Los Angeles Rams, coach Kyle Shanahan said.
"I want him to get his edge back. I want him to get his confidence,” Shanahan said Wednesday on the KNBR Morning Show.
“We need Brian to step up, and we need everyone around him to step up.”
In the first two games of the season, Hoyer has completed 62.9 percent of his 62 pass attempts but for just 292 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions. His passer rating is a lowly 60.7.
The 49ers have scored only four field goals and no touchdowns on their 21 offensive possessions in losses to Carolina and Seattle. Moreover, the 49ers have converted just four of 23 (17.4 percent) of their third-down attempts.
The quick turnaround on Thursday at Levi’s Stadium is something Hoyer said he welcomes this week -- of all weeks.
Last season with the Chicago Bears, Hoyer did not throw for fewer than 300 yards in any of his four full games. On Sunday in the 49ers’ 12-9 loss to the Seahawks, he managed just 99 yards passing.
“It was a tough game and now we move on,” Hoyer said. “Thankfully, this week we get to move on really quick and move on to LA.
”You get to put the last one behind you and move on to the next.”