Sanu is competing for the No. 3 receiver job in San Francisco, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area reports.
Analysis: Sanu has bounced around the league since his departure from Atlanta, including three appearances for the 49ers early last season. He later played seven games for Detroit, before landing back in San Francisco this offseason. Turn 32 in August, the veteran wideout says he's feeling much better this year, after battling an ankle condition last season. Competition for the No. 3 role is led by Richie James and Jalen Hurd, while starters Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk are safely atop the depth chart. The No. 3 WR spot might be important to San Francisco's offense, but it isn't likely to come with more than three or four targets per game when Samuel, Aiyuk and TE George Kittle are healthy at the same time.
Jul 30, 2021 1:04 PM EST
Sanu signed a one-year deal with the 49ers on Saturday, David Lombardi of The Athleticreports.
Analysis: Sanu spent three games with the 49ers early last season before ultimately joining the Lions in late November. The veteran wide receiver did record 16 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown over his final seven games with the Lions, but it's hard to imagine Sanu will be expected to make a dramatic impact with his new team considering his dwindling level of production. The 31-year-old is thus expected to compete for one of the Niners' final remaining roster spots throughout training camp.
Mar 27, 2021 10:34 AM EST
Sanu caught two of six targets for 13 yards during Sunday's 37-35 loss to the Vikings.
Analysis: Sanu finished second on the team in looks, but the 31-year-old failed to do much damage to a weak Vikings secondary that teammate Marvin Jones flamed for 180 yards and two touchdowns on 11 targets. Sanu will thus finish the year with 17 receptions for 187 yards and one touchdown on 24 targets over 10 games with Detroit and San Francisco. While the veteran did well to carve out a role with the Lions after the 49ers let him loose after three games, Sanu and his lack of explosion probably won't have much of a market in free agency this offseason.
Jan 3, 2021 5:06 PM EST
Sanu caught two of four targets for 22 yards during Saturday's 47-7 loss to the Buccaneers.
Analysis: Like the rest of Detroit's receiving corps, Sanu's prospects were doomed from the start once Matthew Stafford (ankle) left early due to injury. While the veteran has still seen nine total targets over the past two games, the explosiveness Sanu lacks in his profile makes him a hard sell in fantasy with Stafford and it will only get worse if Chase Daniel is throwing passes in Week 17 against the Vikings.
Dec 28, 2020 12:05 PM EST
Sanu caught four of five targets for 38 yards during Sunday's 43-26 loss to Tennessee.
Analysis: Sanu has been a nice fit with Matthew Stafford and he made a number of nice catches during Detroit's attempt to keep up with Tennessee. However, the fact that he's averaging just over three targets over the past four games makes him extremely difficult to recommend as a fantasy option, especially if Detroit chooses to rest quarterback Matthew Stafford for the final two games of the regular season.
Dec 20, 2020 4:58 PM EST
Sanu caught two of two targets for 37 yards during Sunday's 31-24 loss to Green Bay.
Analysis: Sanu again saw the second-most playing time among Detroit receivers despite Danny Amendola being one week further removed from his hip injury. While the possible return of Kenny Golladay (hip) would obviously send both of Sanu and Amendola to tertiary roles, Golladay did not participate at all in the Lions last practice before Sunday's game, suggesting there's a decent chance he remains sidelined in Week 15 against Tennessee. Regardless, Sanu won't be much of a fantasy option, especially if Matthew Stafford (ribs) is forced to miss time.
Dec 14, 2020 8:35 AM EST
Sanu secured both of his targets for 36 yards during Sunday's 34-30 victory over Chicago.
Analysis: Seeing 59 percent of the offensive snaps, Sanu ranked second among Lions receivers in playing time, notably seeing more action than Danny Amendola (49 percent) and Quintez Cephus (46). While his role will certainly be scaled back once Kenny Golladay (hip) is cleared to return, it seems obvious that interim head coach Darrell Bevell appreciates having Sanu as part of his rotation of receivers. Next up for the 31-year-old is a Week 14 matchup at home against the Packers.
Dec 7, 2020 2:20 PM EST
Sanu secured four of four targets for 32 yards and one touchdown during Thursday's 41-25 loss to Houston.
Analysis: In his second game with Detroit, Sanu logged 39 snaps and seemed to enjoy a relatively significant role in the absence of Kenny Golladay (hip) and Danny Amendola (hip). However, it should be noted that Marvin Hall and Jamal Agnew drew the starts next to Marvin Jones, plus the bulk of Sanu's production came when the Lions were down 24 points with less than seven minutes left in the game. Should Golladay and Amendola remain sidelined in Week 13 against Chicago, Sanu won't be anything more than a dart throw in the vast majority of fantasy formats.
Dec 2, 2020 7:54 AM EST
The Lions signed Sanu off their practice squad on Wednesday, Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio reports.
Analysis: Sanu got a cameo with Detroit this past Sunday with Kenny Golladay and Danny Amendola sidelined due to hip injuries. While he was blanked on 15 offensive snaps, Sanu now will join the active roster as a signing as opposed to a standard elevation. With the statuses of Golladay, Amendola and Marvin Hall (toe) all up in the air for Thursday's game against the Texans, Sanu may have an even larger role Week 12.
Nov 25, 2020 12:15 PM EST
Sanu reverted to the Lions' practice squad Monday, per the NFL's transaction report.
Analysis: The veteran wideout played 15 offensive snaps in Sunday's loss to the Panthers but failed to record a single stat. Detroit is dealing with a plethora of injuries in their receiving corps as Kenny Golladay (hip), Danny Amendola (hip) and Marvin Hall (toe) are all questionable. Given the Lions are on a short week with Thanksgiving approaching, don't be surprised to see Sanu called back up to the active roster before kickoff Thursday.
Nov 23, 2020 8:41 PM EST
The Lions elevated Sanu to the active roster for Sunday's game against the Panthers, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: The Lions are preparing for Sunday's game without Kenny Golladay or Danny Amendola, so Sanu will provide depth at wide receiver against the NFC opponent. Sanu played in three games for the 49ers earlier this season and recording a nine-yard reception on his lone target. He'll rotate in behind Marvin Jones, Marvin Hall and Quintez Cephus.
Nov 21, 2020 12:59 PM EST
The Lions signed Sanu to the practice squad Friday, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Sanu appeared in three games with the 49ers earlier this season, catching just one pass nine yards during that span. He'll now provide emergency depth for a Lions squad expected to be without Kenny Golladay (hip) for a handful of games, as the top wideout is considered week-to-week.
Nov 6, 2020 9:10 AM EST
Sanu tried out with the Lions on Monday, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: Sanu was cut by the Patriots before Week 1 and was later signed by the 49ers. The 31-year-old wideout recorded just one reception for nine yards over three games and was consequently cut by them as well. The Lions are exploring their options because Kenny Golladay (hip) is considered week-to-week at this point, and Sanu could add veteran depth at the position.
Nov 2, 2020 2:30 PM EST
The 49ers released Sanu on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: During his three-game run in San Francisco, Sanu logged 40 offensive snaps en route to just one catch (on one target) for nine yards. With the receiving corps getting healthier by the week, the team has opted to move on from the nine-year pro.
Oct 6, 2020 10:55 AM EST
Sanu hauled in his lone target for nine yards in Sunday's 36-9 win over the Giants.
Analysis: Sanu wasn't targeted in his debut with the 49ers in Week 2, so this was a step in the right direction. The veteran wideout is currently fourth on the wide receiver depth chart, and he could fall out of the rotation entirely if Deebo Samuel (foot) is able to return when eligible against the Eagles on Sunday. Even if he sticks as one of the four active wideouts this week, Sanu shouldn't be considered a fantasy asset in his current role.
Sep 28, 2020 10:50 AM EST
Sanu wasn't targeted over 13 offensive snaps in Sunday's 31-13 win over the Jets.
Analysis: Although Sanu has experience in head coach Kyle Shanahan's system, the 49ers have opted to ease him into action, as he finished fourth among the team's wideouts in snaps. His role could bump up in Week 3 against the Giants, but there are a ton of pass-catching options for either Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) or Nick Mullens to throw to, so don't expect fireworks out of the 31-year-old Sanu.
Sep 22, 2020 1:50 PM EST
Sanu is expected to make his 49ers debut Sunday in San Francisco's road game against the Jets, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Analysis: Though he's been with the 49ers for less than a week, Sanu's familiarity with head coach Kyle Shanahan's system from their time together in Atlanta likely allowed him to pick up San Francisco's playbook quickly. Shanahan hasn't indicated how sizable of a role Sanu will take on right away, but the Week 2 absences of top wideout Deebo Samuel (foot) and tight end George Kittle (knee) will leave plenty of targets up for grabs among the 49ers' pass-catching corps.
Sep 20, 2020 5:22 AM EST
Sanu signed a one-year contract with the 49ers on Tuesday, Michael Giardi of NFL Network reports.
Analysis: After being cut by the Patriots earlier in the month, Sanu watched Week 1 from home. However, the 49ers are bringing him in to patch up their injury-riddled receiver corps. The 31-year-old Sanu posted 59 receptions for 520 yards and two scores over 15 games last season between the Falcons and Patriots, and he'll have an opportunity to make an immediate impact with the 49ers since WR Deebo Samuel (foot) is on IR and TE George Kittle is dealing with a sprained knee. Sanu has three practices to learn coach Kyle Shanahan's system, but he should have a role in Sunday's matchup versus the Jets.
Sep 15, 2020 3:44 PM EST
The Patriots plan to release Sanu, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com reports.
Analysis: Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network adds that the move won't show up on Wednesday's transaction wire, which opens up the slight possibility that a trade could happen, but the bottom line here is that the Patriots are moving on from the veteran wideout, who, according to Doug Kyed of NESN.com, "lacked speed in (training) camp." Sanu's release probably paves the way for more targets for N'Keal Harry, but it's possible that the team will also look to add wideout depth in the coming days.
Sep 2, 2020 3:12 PM EST
In his Patriots' regular-season roster projection, ESPN's Mike Reiss suggests that Sanu "might be hard-pressed to make the" cut, "especially considering his $6.5 million salary."
Analysis: That's the estimate of a dialed-in beat writer, but Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald notes that while Sanu "still can't separate," he "does have some chemistry with (QB) Cam Newton." In any case, at this time, it seems as though Julian Edelman and N'Keal Harry are the only roster locks among New England's wideout corps. The Patriots did trade a second-round pick to the Falcons last October to add Sanu, but he was hampered by an ankle injury for much of his stint with the team last season. With that in mind, we could see the franchise holding on to Sanu out of the gate in 2020, to see what he has left to offer on the field now that he's past his injury.
Sep 2, 2020 12:35 PM EST
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