SAN DIEGO (AP) — Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers didn’t practice Wednesday, although he participated in a morning walkthrough and said he expects to play against the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday night when the Chargers try to keep alive their playoff hopes. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 18th, 2014
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By Steve Ginsburg (Reuters) – The San Francisco 49ers released defensive tackle Ray McDonald on Wednesday after police said he was a possible suspect in a sexual assault case. San Jose police said they were investigating the assault of a woman seeking treatment at a hospital on Tuesday when officers determined that McDonald might have been involved in the incident. Police then searched the San Jose home of McDonald, an eight-year National Football League veteran. No arrests have been made and the investigation is continuing, police said. … View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 17th, 2014
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SEATTLE (AP) — San Francisco running back Frank Gore suffered a concussion throwing a block in the second quarter of the 49ers’ 17-7 loss to Seattle on Sunday. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 17th, 2014
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Linebacker Chris Borland’s stellar rookie season for San Francisco is likely over. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 16th, 2014
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Following Sunday’s 17-7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers were officially eliminated from playoff contention, and they have referee Ed Hochuli to blame. OK, so they have a lot of folks to point the finger at for their 7-7 record, but Hochuli’s incorrect call is the latest and easiest scapegoat. On a third-and-5 early in the fourth quarter, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson couldn’t connect with rookie wide receiver Paul Richardson, but a roughing the passer penalty against 49ers linebacker Nick Moody bailed out Seattle. Instead of kicking a field goal to remain ahead by one score, the defending Super Bowl champions received a first down and scored a touchdown to go up 17-7 two plays later. Not 24 hours later, NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino admitted Hochuli blew the call. “It’s close, but when you look at it on tape, Moody’s head is up, he hits with more the side or the facemask to the body of the quarterback,” Blandino told the NFL Network, according to ProFootballTalk’s transcription . “So in our review, with the ability to look at it in slow motion, it is not a foul.” In other words, keep those guns in their holsters next time, Ed. Given the opportunity to admit his mistake to a pool reporter in the immediate aftermath of the NFC West battle, Hochuli stood by his call. “I felt that he hit him with the hairline [of the helmet],” Hochuli told the pool reporter . “The facemask, after you hit, the facemask comes up. But, the first thing that hit was the hairline of the helmet.” Needless to say, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh disagreed with Hochuli’s assessment even before Blandino did. “No, I don’t agree with the call,” Harbaugh told the media in his postgame press conference. “I did not get an explanation on that one. All three personal foul calls I did not agree with.” Of course, his Niners still would have had to convert a fourth-and-1 at Seattle’s 38 or a fourth-and-4 from the Seahawks’ 49 on their ensuing drives to keep the season alive, but it’s always fun to blame the refs.   View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 16th, 2014
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Jim Harbaugh welcomes a sit-down with 49ers CEO Jed York and general manager Trent Baalke to discuss the future – his future – after a season that will end in two weeks without a playoff berth for the first time during his four-year tenure. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 15th, 2014
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Jordy Nelson is one of the best receivers in the NFL. You could make a decent argument he is the best. Green Bay wouldn’t be 10-4 without Nelson. He’s a tremendous player. But what might remain in the back of our minds for the rest of this NFL season was the catch Nelson didn’t make. It might have changed the Packers’ path this season, and that can change the entire NFL playoff picture. According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel , Nelson had pointed out on the sideline during Green Bay’s game at Buffalo that a slant-and-go route against the Bills’ “quarters” zone coverage would be open. Was it ever. Late in the third quarter, with the Packers trailing 16-10 and backed up at their own 6-yard line, Nelson ran the route to perfection. And how many times have we seen Nelson break down that far sideline for a long touchdown? Aaron Rodgers threw the ball to him and started skipping around the end zone. Because it was a great throw, and Nelson never drops that pass. This time, he did. “I short-armed it and dropped it,” Nelson said, according to the Journal Sentinel. “It’s pretty easy to see.” It likely would have been a 94-yard touchdown. Safety Duke Williams would have had a shot to tackle him, but Nelson is tough to bring down in the open field. A touchdown would have given the Packers the lead. Instead, they lost 21-13, with the Bills getting a late safety for the final points of the game. The entire game is different if Nelson catches that pass. Maybe the Packers would have lost anyway, but clearly Green Bay’s probability of winning would have been much higher with the 94-yard score there. The loss might change everything for the Packers. They’re tied in the NFC North, after the Lions won. The division was probably coming down to Detroit’s trip to Lambeau Field in Week 17 whether the Packers won or lost at Buffalo, so even more important to Green Bay might be how the loss affects its shot at the NFC’s No. 1 seed. With Seattle, Arizona and either Philadelphia or Dallas winning in Week 15, the Packers’ loss might cost them home-field advantage throughout the playoffs – and they might have the best home-field advantage in the NFL. The Packers with the No. 1 seed would be a heavy favorite to advance to the Super Bowl. But Seattle is now tied with the Packers (and Seattle beat Green Bay and holds the head-to-head tiebreaker) and the Cardinals are a game ahead. The Packers aren’t even assured of getting a playoff spot in the NFC if they lose to the Lions in a couple weeks. An 11-5 record might not be good enough to make it. And unless the Packers win out and get some help to nab the No. 1 seed, or get to the Super Bowl without having a bye or home-field advantage, we’ll remember Nelson’s drop. It might not be fair for a player with 83 catches to have such a glaring light be shined on one miscue. But that’s how important it might end up being for the Packers, and for the many other teams that could be affected by their loss too. Think about it, what if Arizona or Seattle get the No. 1 seed because the Packers lost on Sunday, and ride that to the Super Bowl? “You have to show up every week and we didn’t show up today. Some of us didn’t,” Nelson said, according to the Journal Sentinel. “The offensive line and running backs played extremely well. But I didn’t do my part at all.” Here are the rest of the winners and losers from Week 15: WINNERS Peyton Manning’s toughness: Manning isn’t playing at an MVP level lately, but he had a great excuse on Sunday. Manning had flu-like symptoms on Saturday, and needed to get intravenous fluids four times, he said. Then late in the first half, he suffered a thigh injury making an ill-advised block. No matter. Manning did enough, completing 14 of 20 passes for 233 yards and a huge second-half touchdown to Demaryius Thomas to help beat the San Diego Chargers 22-10 and win the AFC West. It wasn’t a vintage high-scoring Manning performance, but it was impressive given the circumstances. The Broncos defense deserves a lot of credit. It has played very well lately, and stifled the Chargers. The Broncos have morphed into a running team the past few weeks, and that’s a big reason they have won four in a row. But don’t forget Manning, who battled all day on Sunday. #JJforMVP: Every week that passes, we’re presented with more evidence that the Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt should win the NFL’s MVP award. Watt had two sacks, five tackles, including two for loss, two other quarterback hits and a pass batted down. He even took time out to give a hug to a 15-year-old fan before the game. Pretty full day. Anyone who argues the Texans’ record as a reason Watt shouldn’t win MVP isn’t paying enough attention. Houston lost quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and couldn’t even get to 300 yards of offense. The only reason the Texans were in the game Sunday is because the defense did a great job against the Colts’ explosive offense, and there’s no question who leads that Texans defense. To penalize Watt because the team around him isn’t good is illogical. He’s not the reason Houston lost 17-10 on Sunday. With Rodgers having the worst game of his career (it was the worst quarterback rating he has had in any start), Watt should move to the front of the MVP line with two weeks to go. Denying him just because he doesn’t play quarterback would be a mistake. Jonas Gray: Well, look who came out of the doghouse on Sunday. Gray, the star of New England’s win at Indianapolis and Sports Illustrated cover boy, earned the wrath of Bill Belichick for showing up late to meetings the week after the Colts game, and he had three carries in the three games that followed. He was back on Sunday, running 11 times for 62 yards, all in the second half. LeGarrette Blount and Shane Vereen had just 14 carries combined. Gray ran very hard, like a back who was thrilled to get another shot and didn’t want to blow it. Maybe that was part of Belichick’s plan all along. Now it appears the Patriots have another option on offense. They’re going to be hard to beat the rest of the season.  AFC North: Other than the immense struggles of Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns, the AFC North had a heck of a day. If the season ended today, the Cincinnati Bengals, Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens would make up half of the AFC playoff field. The Bengals, despite Andy Dalton’s own struggles, beat the Browns pretty easily to stay in first place. The Ravens and Steelers got some separation in a crowded wild-card race. Baltimore beat Jacksonville in a tougher-than-expected game against Jacksonville, and Pittsburgh beat Atlanta. The Ravens and Steelers are each 9-5. The Chargers, Chiefs and Bills are still lingering at 8-6, but the AFC North took a big step toward filling up the AFC playoff field. Buffalo Bills defense: In today’s NFL, the idea that a defense could hold Manning and Rodgers each without a touchdown in consecutive weeks sounds crazy. Except that the Bills did it. Buffalo is not dead yet in the playoff race , thanks to Sunday’s upset of Green Bay. The defense is the reason. They hounded Rodgers into a 34.3 quarterback rating, the worst rating in any start of his career. The Bills are a game back in the AFC wild-card race, although their 5-6 conference record wouldn’t help if it came down to tiebreakers. The Bills play at Oakland and then finish the season at New England, so they might need to shut down Tom Brady in the regular-season finale to have a shot at the playoffs. But hey, if they can shut down Manning and Rodgers, you can’t rule it out. LOSERS Jets vs. Titans: Who said this game wouldn’t be historic? It ended with a 16-11 score, the first time in NFL history that has happened according to CBS. How special. The game itself was entirely forgettable. Titans quarterback Jake Locker suffered another injury that knocked him out of a game. Jets quarterback Geno Smith took a safety on an intentional grounding penalty. The Titans nearly had a remarkable lateral-filled play on the final snap of the game, but Delanie Walker was tackled at the 9-yard line when he should have lateraled one more time. This game wasn’t pretty. This was also the rare contest in which the fans of each team were rooting against their own team (or should have been). The Jets really screwed up by winning – they might have cost themselves a chance at Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota ( Eric Edholm has the draft order breakdown here ). The Jets couldn’t even Suck for the Duck correctly. Anyone getting in front of a (ticked) off Tom Brady: Brady wasn’t much of a runner even as a young man, and at 37 years old you’d think self preservation would be his biggest priority. But when Brady took off for a 17-yard run on third-and-11 on Sunday, he wasn’t interested in sliding. He dropped his shoulder and pounded into Dolphins defensive back Walt Aikens, getting knocked out of bounds but firing up the Patriots. The offense hadn’t been playing well to that point, so Brady wasn’t giving himself up. “I think it was a play we needed to make so it was good to make it at the time,” Brady said, according to the Boston Herald . “I was going to slide, but I was pretty [ticked] off at that time, so I figured I wouldn’t slide.” Belichick doesn’t want to see his quarterback do that all the time, but it worked. It sparked the Patriots to a division-clinching 41-13 win. It was a fun play by one of the league’s best competitors. The 49ers-Seahawks rivalry: It was kind of sad that the 49ers-Seahawks game was a bit of an afterthought on a busy Sunday. This San Francisco team is nothing like Jim Harbaugh’s first three 49ers squads. It is now officially eliminated from the playoff hunt after a 17-7 loss at Seattle. It was the same hard-hitting affair – the 49ers lost running backs Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde to injuries, so fullback Bruce Miller had to play some tailback – but the stakes weren’t as high. It was just the Seahawks, who along with the Patriots are the hottest team in the NFL, getting a win it needed as it tries to win the NFC West.  With Harbaugh probably on the way out after the season, the rivalry will continue to change. It might never be as hot as it was the last couple seasons before this one. That’s too bad. This list of fantasy players: If you were in the semifinals of your fantasy playoffs, it’s likely one or more of these players helped get you there – Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, Russell Wilson, Philip Rivers, Manning, Nelson, Jamaal Charles, Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green, Justin Forsett, Steve Smith, T.Y. Hilton or Sammy Watkins. All of those players were well under their season averages on Sunday, in a strangely quiet week for many of the league’s stars. So if you had some combination of those players, good luck next year. Unless Odell Beckham bailed you out, of course. – - – - – - – Frank Schwab is the editor of Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdowncorner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 15th, 2014
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In light of San Francisco’s latest disappointing loss to the Oakland Raiders, the Pro Football Talk crew examines the struggles from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the issues with the 49ers’ ever-changing game plan. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 14th, 2014
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SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers have placed linebacker NaVorro Bowman and defensive lineman Glenn Dorsey on season-ending injured reserve. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 14th, 2014
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NFL teams have shown a willingness to cast a wider net in coaching circles in recent years, as the success of Jim Harbaugh and Chip Kelly in the league has opened eyes that perhaps there’s more to consider than just the dyed-in-the-wool retread candidates. That said, there might be a white-hot retread — Jim Harbaugh — who hits the market if things fall apart with the San Francisco 49ers, as it appears they are well on their way toward doing. Harbaugh would command big attention from NFL teams wanting to land the controversial, quirky and extremely talented coach, even with the baggage he might bring. And more than one team might be willing to send draft picks to the 49ers to ensure landing him, too. [ Join FanDuel.com's $2M Week 15 fantasy league: $25 to enter; top 17,475 teams paid ] It might not be a year of massive coaching turnover, but we put together a list of coaches who could be on the hot seat . Here are some of the respected candidates who could be in play to replace those men: THE RETREADS New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan — Don’t expect Ryan to be unemployed long if and when the Jets part ways in the offseason. You get the feeling, talking to people around Ryan, that he’s not too concerned about his employment. It could be as a media talking head (CBS is rumored to be hot on his trail) or as a defensive coordinator, but most likely as a head coach. Observers note that Ryan never had quarterback stability, still can coach defense when he has talented players and has an engaging personality that could inject life to a stale team. Possible landing spots: The Atlanta Falcons or Chicago Bears make sense if those teams make changes. San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh — It has run its course. It’s getting harder to picture a way the Niners and Harbaugh can work through their problems, or — at this point — justifying a reason to do so. Harbaugh would be able to pack up his khakis and land somewhere immediately as perhaps the most sought-after candidate in this offseason’s field. So much so, that teams might send the 49ers compensation to ensure they can work out a deal to land him. (Trades for coaches don’t work like those for players; Harbaugh essentially would have to void the final year of his Niners deal and agree to go to his next team.) [ Seahawks coach Pete Carroll comes to defense of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh ] Possible landing spots: The Oakland Raiders and New York Jets would have to be the prohibitive favorites to seek his services and pay handsomely to do so. The Miami Dolphins might, too; owner Stephen Ross is a Michigan Man and made a run at Harbaugh last time around before Harbs picked the 49ers. View full post on Yahoo Sports – NFL – San Francisco 49ers News

Post info: By 49ersGold on December 13th, 2014
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