JOSÉ LUIS VILLEGAS / jvillegas@sacbee.com

David Akers, warming up Saturday at Candlestick Park, is 5 of 9 on field-goal attempts in domes this season.

49ers notes: They'll play indoors, where Akers hasn't been his best

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 6C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 - 7:35 pm

SANTA CLARA – After holding off Billy Cundiff last week in a competition for kicking duties, David Akers converted his lone field-goal attempt in the 49ers' 45-31 NFC divisional round win over the Green Bay Packers – a 36-yarder that gave San Francisco a three-point lead entering halftime.

It was enough for Akers to maintain his hold on the job for the time being.

Asked Monday if the kickers would compete again this week in practice, coach Jim Harbaugh said: "David's our kicker."

Cundiff remains on the 49ers' 53-man roster, Harbaugh said.

The 49ers will play indoors Sunday at the Georgia Dome against the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game. Akers converted 29 of 42 field-goal attempts during the regular season, with four of his 13 misses coming in three games the 49ers played indoors.

Two were blocked – from 43 yards at Minnesota and 33 yards at New Orleans. The others were a 50-yard attempt at New Orleans (wide left) and a 51-yard attempt at St. Louis (wide right.)

Akers made 5 of 9 attempts indoors, converting all four chances from inside 30 yards and a 33-yarder against the Rams.

Akers, 38, said earlier this season he underwent double-hernia surgery last February and then aggravated the injury in midseason. It was after the 49ers' 31-21 win at New Orleans on Nov. 25, in which Akers went 1 of 3 on field goals, that he flew to Philadelphia for treatment.

Cundiff was inactive for Saturday's game against the Packers.

Back in the lineup – Harbaugh said defensive anchor Justin Smith, who played for the first time Saturday since partially tearing his left triceps tendon Dec. 16, made it through the game "as clean as possible."

Smith played with a protective brace on his left arm, but it didn't limit his activity. He was on the field for 91 percent of the 49ers' defensive snaps (53 of 58), often drew multiple blockers and was in on five tackles.

Harbaugh didn't have an update on offensive left tackle Joe Staley, who said Saturday night he played with a bone bruise on his forearm that he suffered in the first quarter.

Falcon watch – Another player whose health will be a hot topic this week is Atlanta defensive end John Abraham, who has been nursing an ankle injury.

Abraham would figure to be a key part of how the Falcons defend 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who gained a chunk of his NFL postseason-record 181 rushing yards against the Packers when he found room to run outside.

The Falcons expect Abraham to practice before the end of the week.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matt Kawahara



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