San Francisco 49ers: 2013 NFL injury wire

Patton's injury opens door for Baldwin

September, 27, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Quinton Patton’s bad break may be a good one for Jon Baldwin.

It appears Baldwin will get a chance for extra playing time now that Patton has a broken foot. The rookie was hurt in the San Francisco 49ers’ 35-11 win at St. Louis on Thursday, and will miss several weeks. Patton was working as the No. 2 receiver when he was hurt.

Baldwin, Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore will get more work, while Anquan Boldin and tight end Vernon Davis will remain the top options. Mario Manningham could come back from an injury in a month. Michael Crabtree could return from a torn Achilles in December.

In the meantime, Baldwin is the most intriguing option the 49ers have. He was acquired in August from Kansas City for former first-round pick A.J. Jenkins. Baldwin was inactive for the first three games before playing solidly at St. Louis.

Baldwin was considered a potential star for the Chiefs, but he never put it together. It sounds as if 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is ready to see if Baldwin is ready to be a contributor.

“He’s got a competitive heart,” Harbaugh said of Baldwin. “I had that feeling about him.”

With Patton down, we’ll see what Baldwin can do.
ST. LOUIS – I have arrived here for Thursday night’s San Francisco 49ers-St. Louis Rams game, to predictable 49ers injury news.

Both tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) and linebacker Patrick Willis (groin) are listed as questionable for the game. Davis, who missed Sunday’s loss to the Colts, is more likely to play than Willis, who was hurt in the third quarter. Davis practiced on a limited basis the past two days. Willis did not practice this week; he and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio nevertheless expressed hope he would play.

Both will be game-time decisions Thursday. Nnamdi Asomugha, the No. 3 cornerback, is also listed as questionable with a knee injury he suffered Sunday. He hasn't practiced all week.

Backup running back LaMichael James, meanwhile, was not on the injury report Wednesday. He has missed all three games this season with a knee injury. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Tuesday that James will likely be a game-time decision. If he doesn’t play, it will most likely be because he is a healthy scratch.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis made progress Tuesday even as he was limited in practice.

Davis is trying to bounce back -- in a short work week -- from a hamstring injury that kept him out of Sunday’s 27-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. The 49ers play at St. Louis on Thursday. San Francisco offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Tuesday the team expects Davis to be a game-time decision. The fact that the eighth-year pro got some work Tuesday is significant; Davis didn’t practice all last week.

San Francisco struggled offensively without Davis in Sunday's loss. He had not missed game since 2007.

Meanwhile, as expected, inside linebacker Patrick Willis did not practice Tuesday in the wake of a groin injury suffered in the third quarter Sunday. It would be a remarkably quick turnaround for Willis to be ready for Thursday, though the NFL Network reported earlier Tuesday Willis hopes to play. San Francisco defensive coordinator Vic Fangio echoed that sentiment.

“He’s getting better,” Fangio said. “He’s making a lot of progress. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be ready on Thursday or not.”

Michael Wilhoite is set to take Willis' spot if he can’t play.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha didn’t practice Tuesday because of a knee injury. The team promoted cornerback Darryl Morris from the practice squad to boost the roster if Asomugha can't go.

Special-teams player Bubba Ventrone was limited Tuesday after leaving Sunday's game with a concussion. He would have to pass an NFL-mandated test before being cleared to play Thursday.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman can’t be blamed for allowing his mind to occasionally drift to Michael Crabtree.

The team's wideouts have struggled in the past two games as the 49ers have scored a combined 10 points in back-to-back defeats. The offense surely misses Crabtree, the standout receiver who tore his Achilles tendon in May. The team is hopeful he can return in December. He has been working on a side field during 49ers' practices and has made nice progress.

Roman said he likes what he is seeing from Crabtree.

“He’s working hard. I don’t think there’s any specific [return] day or date,” Roman told reporters Tuesday. "But if we can get him back this year, that’d be gravy. And I think the way he’s working now it’s quite possible.”

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick said he, too, is impressed by Crabtree’s recovery.

“He’s a worker,” Kaepernick said. “He comes in and works every day. Doesn’t surprise me at all.”

Injury spurs 49ers roster move

September, 24, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers promoted rookie cornerback Darryl Morris from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. It is an indication No. 3 cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha may not be ready to play Thursday at St Louis.

Asomugha suffered a leg injury in the loss to the Colts on Sunday.

Morris is an undrafted free agent from Texas State. He takes the roster spot that was created when the 49ers put star pass-rusher Aldon Smith on the reserve/non-football illness list. Smith has entered a rehabilitation center for alcohol abuse. He is expected to be away from the team for about a week.

To fill Morris’ spot on the practice squad, the 49ers signed former Minnesota defensive end D'Aundre Reed to the practice squad. They worked him out Monday. He is developmental player who could be an interesting fit in a 3-4 team.

In other 49ers’ news:

Running back Frank Gore told reporters he is fine with coach Jim Harbaugh and disputed a report that he yelled at the coach during the loss to the Colts on Sunday.

Safety Donte Whitner told the Associated Press the NFL called Monday to say his penalty on the first offensive play against the Colts should not have been called. Whitner was called for hitting with the crown of his helmet. Replays showed Whitner led with his shoulder. The play sparked a touchdown drive for the Colts.

The 49ers-Seahawks pipeline continued. The Seahawks worked out defensive tackle Will Tukuafu. He was recently cut by the 49ers.
There are four San Francisco 49ers listed as questionable to play Sunday against Indianapolis, the biggest question mark being tight end Vernon Davis.

Davis missed the entire week of practice with a hamstring injury he tweaked at Seattle. This was not unexpected; Davis tweeted this week that he would rest but be able to play. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday that Davis is a game-time decision.

The other San Francisco players listed as questionable are defensive lineman Ray McDonald (two sprained ankles), safety Eric Reid (concussion) and running back LaMichael James (knee). McDonald and Reid are expected to start Sunday.

Meanwhile, tackle Anthony Davis was fined $7,875 for unnecessary roughness against Seattle.

Justin Smith back at 49ers practice

September, 19, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers' practice participation list looked better Thursday than it did Wednesday.

Defensive lineman Justin Smith (shoulder) went through limited drills after not working Wednesday. Backup running back LaMichael James (knee), meanwhile, practiced on a limited basis for the first time in the regular season. His status for Sunday's visit from the Indianapolis Colts is uncertain; I’d say it's iffy at best.

Defensive tackle Ray McDonald (both ankles sprained) did not practice for the second consecutive day -- though earlier Thursday, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he expects his starting group to be fine Sunday.

Rookie safety Eric Reid continued to be limited after suffering a concussion in the Week 2 loss at Seattle. He said he has passed every NFL-mandated test thus far and is on pace to play Sunday.

As expected, tight end Vernon Davis did not practice for the second day in a row while nursing a hamstring injury. He tweeted this week that he was going to rest, on doctor’s orders, but that he expected to play.

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick remains on the practice report with a foot issue. But he practiced fully the past two days and had no noticeable problems.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Last week, LaMichael James was all alone on the San Francisco 49ers' injury report.

This week, the backup running back has plenty of company on the sideline. Nine San Francisco players -- including quarterback Colin Kaepernick -- landed on the injury list Wednesday. Kaepernick nevertheless practiced fully despite what the team called a foot injury. Neither 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh nor Kaepernick addressed the issues when they spoke to the media prior to practice. If it were serious, Kaepernick wouldn’t have practiced.

Along with James (who has been out for the first two games with a knee injury), tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring) and defensive linemen Justin Smith (shoulder) and Ray McDonald (both ankles) were among the key players who did not practice. There is a solid chance all three play Sunday against the visiting Indianapolis Colts. McDonald might have the most difficult time playing, but there is a chance.

Linebacker NaVorro Bowman (wrist), safety Eric Reid (concussion) and linebacker Aldon Smith (back) were limited Wednesday. Guard Mike Iupati (shoulder) practiced fully.

49ers notes: Harbaugh high on DT

September, 18, 2013
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Notes from the San Francisco 49ers’ media session Wednesday:
  • Coach Jim Harbaugh said tight end Vernon Davis is day-to-day with a hamstring injury that he suffered late in the loss at Seattle on Sunday. Davis tweeted that physicians instructed him to rest this week, but he expects to play Sunday against the Colts and his younger brother, cornerback Vontae Davis. It will be the first time the brothers face each other since Vontae Davis entered the NFL in 2009.
  • Harbaugh said safety Eric Reid continues to have no symptoms of a concussion. Reid left Sunday's game with a possible concussion in the first half. The rookie, who has been outstanding so far this season, will have to pass a league-mandated concussion test before returning.
  • Harbaugh said the team did not sign a backup nose tackle -- starter Ian Williams was lost for the season with a broken ankle at Seattle, and Glenn Dorsey will take over -- because of the good work of Tony Jerod-Eddie. Harbaugh said Jerod-Eddie is ready to take the next step and the team “feels good” about it.
  • Harbaugh said newly signed Owen Marecic will back up Bruce Miller at fullback and play on special teams. Marecic was a favorite of Harbaugh’s at Stanford.
  • Quarterback Colin Kaepernick on the season-ending injury to his friend Williams: “It’s tragic.”
  • Harbaugh said he heard there is a “crew” of former Stanford players who will be at the Colts-49ers game Sunday. The Colts, of course, are quarterbacked by Andrew Luck, who starred under Harbaugh at The Farm.
  • What happens when you commit four turnovers, as Kaepernick did at Seattle? You fall off’s MVP Watch. Kaepernick was No. 2 after Week 1.

The San Francisco 49ers’ 53-man roster was pretty healthy in the first two weeks of the season. However, the 49ers limped out of their 29-3 defeat at Seattle.

Nose tackle Ian Williams broke his ankle and was lost for the season. We may see the effects of the loss at practice this week. Standout tight end Vernon Davis tweeted late Tuesday night that he needs to rest his hamstring, which was injured late against the Seahawks, but he should be able to play Sunday against Indianapolis. It probably means he will not practice much this week.

Davis could have some company on the sideline. Defensive end Ray McDonald left in the fourth quarter, but X-rays on his right ankle were negative. He could also miss some time this week in practice, at least.

Safety Eric Reid, who has been outstanding in his first two NFL games, missed the second half Sunday because of a potential concussion. San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday that Reid did not show any concussion symptoms. He will need to pass the NFL’s concussion test to play Sunday.

Running back LaMichael James has missed the first two games with a knee sprain. There is a chance he returns to practice this week.
Last week, San Francisco 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis said he would try to ignore the pain coming from his broken right hand in the season opener against Green Bay -- the season had arrived, he reasoned, and it was simply time to play.

With a week under his belt, Willis believes improvement will continue as the 49ers visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.

“It was a little off,” Willis said of his surgically repaired hand during Sunday’s game. “It should be much better this week.”

Willis had surgery six weeks ago Friday. The typical recovery time is eight weeks. Willis didn’t play in the preseason. He did not seem rusty. He was very active and finished with five tackles.

In other 49ers notes:’s experts favor the 49ers in Sunday’s huge tilt at Seattle. Thoughts?

Quarterback Colin Kaepernick gets some hometown corn-maze love. Kaepernick clearly approves. He tweeted out this link.

Defensive tackle Justin Smith said practicing against a fast quarterback like Kaepernick in camp helps prepare San Francisco to face a similarly fast quarterback in Seattle’s Russell Wilson.

“We don't have a pocket-passer statue that we practice against,” Smith said.

Nose tackle Ian Williams said he has studied the game of former San Francisco tackle Aubrayo Franklin as he tries to improve his own. Willis said Williams’ game reminds him some of Franklin’s.

The only player not practicing Thursday was running back LaMichael James. He has been out for two weeks with a knee injury. He is expected out a short while longer.

49ers will face depleted secondary

September, 8, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO -- The story of the week leading up to Sunday’s Green Bay Packers-San Francisco 49ers meeting was how much 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick will get hit with the ball as a runner in the read-option offense.

But how much will Kaepernick even run the ball? The Green Bay secondary is beat up. The headliner among inactives Sunday was Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett. He joins cornerback Casey Hayward as key Green Bay secondary members who will not play.

Burnett is being replaced in the starting lineup by Jerron McMillian.There weren’t many other inactive decisions of note. Here are the complete inactives for both teams:

Packers: CB Casey Hayward, S Morgan Burnett LB Nate Palmer, LB Sam Barrington, G Lane Taylor, TE Brandon Bostick, DE Josh Boyd

49ers: QB B.J. Daniels, WR Chris Harper, RB LaMichael James, FB Will Tukuafu, LB Nate Stupar, G Joe Looney, WR Jon Baldwin
The San Francisco 49ers head into the 2013 season extremely healthy.

Just two players were listed on the injury report Friday for Sunday’s game against the Green Bay Packers. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (collarbone) and running back LaMichael James (knee) were listed as questionable.

Asomugha is expected to play and be the No. 3 cornerback. James is expected to be out for a couple of weeks.