[UPDATE] It has now been confirmed that Randy Gregory will not play on Sunday night.
Randy Gregory will NOT play in 49ers-Cowboys. He has passed a physical here in Santa Clara, but will fly back to Denver to finalize his move and be back in the Bay Area on Monday.— David Lombardi (@LombardiHimself) October 6, 2023
The 49ers will make a corresponding roster move on Saturday
Just when you thought the storylines around Sunday night’s matchup between the Dallas Cowboys and the San Francisco 49ers couldn’t get any better, the Denver Broncos are trading outside linebacker Randy Gregory to the San Francisco 49ers.
Plot twist! The #Broncos are trading veteran OLB Randy Gregory to the #49ers, per sources.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 6, 2023
Denver never formally released Gregory, who now gets a fresh start with a contender in San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/cswa2oKRIM
The Broncos are changing their minds after it was reported this week that Gregory was to be outright released from the team. The news likely sparked conversations to get the deal done.
Famously, Gregory’s time in Dallas ended in strange circumstances surrounding contract negotiations that had him walking away from the Cowboys, then landing him with the Broncos on a five-year, $70 million deal.
His first season in Denver was plagued by injuries, resulting in him missing 11 games. Under a new head coach and defensive coordinator, the Broncos decided to let Gregory go and play their younger players.
Gregory’s production in Denver didn’t match the contract, as he had just three sacks and 21 total tackles. However, him landing with the 49ers might be the best scenario for the ultra-talented pass rusher.
Historically, players acquired days before a game aren’t usually active. Baker Mayfield was the exception to the rule last year in Los Angeles when he played against the Las Vegas Raiders two days after joining the team. Well, it looks like Gregory might be joining the exclusive club.
Per Tom Pelissero, Randy Gregory will be ready to go against his former team on Sunday for #49ers #Cowboys .— Nicole Hutchison (@nhutchisontv) October 6, 2023
With Denver this season so far, Gregory's recorded 4 tackles and a sack through four games.
Playing quarterback is one thing, but if there were any position in the NFL where someone could come in with little preparation and be effective in a game under these circumstances, it would be rushing the passer.
The Cowboys should have their starting five linemen together for the first time all season, so Gregory’s presence should be a non-factor as they’ll be more worried about All-Pro Nick Bosa. However, the former Cowboy could be motivated to wreck the game against his former team.
We’ll see if Gregory is officially playing when the inactive reports come out Sunday night, but it is certainly another piece of the 49ers puzzle the offense will be preparing for.