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The 49ers could use a receiver like Arizona's Larry Fitzgerald, outrunning the 49ers' Perrish Cox (20) and Tramaine Brock (26) on a 75-yard touchdown catch.

49ers notes: Wide receivers continue to struggle

Published: Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 5C
Last Modified: Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013 - 10:09 am

SAN FRANCISCO – Vernon Davis had more receiving yards at halftime – 171 – than he has had in any regular-season game in his eight-year career.

But the tight end's big day against Arizona on Sunday at Candlestick Park also underscored the team's lack of firepower at wide receiver. Tight ends and running backs accounted for 201 of Colin Kaepernick's 252 passing yards against the Cardinals, and a wide receiver didn't catch a pass until 1:20 remained in the first half.

Asked if that was an issue, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said there were other contributors than Davis.

"Well, we targeted some other guys," he said. "Vance (McDonald), Jon Baldwin, Kyle Williams."

Harbaugh also noted that Anquan Boldin, who had three catches for 28 yards, made a critical third-down reception on the team's 18-play drive toward the end of the game. McDonald, Baldwin and Williams, however, had one catch apiece. Williams' catch was his first since Week 3.

Because of the lack of productivity at the position, the 49ers have been rumored to be interested in trading for a wide receiver, such as the Browns' Josh Gordon or the Giants' Hakeem Nicks. A team official, however, said no trade was imminent.

The 49ers are expected to get one of their injured wide receivers, Mario Manningham, back at practice this week. Another, Michael Crabtree, could return next month.

The trade deadline is Oct. 29.

No surprises – After an Arizona touchdown cut the 49ers' lead to two points, the Cardinals attempted to tie the score with an unconventional two-point conversion.

Quarterback Carson Palmer pitched the ball to Patrick Peterson, the team's starting cornerback, who started running one way before breaking in the other direction in search of an open receiver.

The 49ers weren't fooled, and Carlos Rogers came down with Peterson's desperation toss – a rare case of one cornerback intercepting another.

"Saw that this week in practice," Harbaugh said of the trick play. " … Our scout team ran it and executed it in practice, and (we) did a good job defending it in the game. So credit to those coaches for preparing us for that."

Some fans inconsiderate – Guard Alex Boone and running back Frank Gore were among the 49ers who had to signal for the Candlestick Park crowd to stop cheering while Cardinals defensive end Calais Campbell lay prone on the ground in the fourth quarter.

While the Arizona medical staff attended to him and put him on a stretcher and then a cart, the crowd began doing the wave.

Team owner Jed York went on Twitter three hours after the game ended.

"To say I'm disappointed some fans did the wave this afternoon while @Campbell93 was down is understatement. Hope you get well soon Calais," he wrote.

Campbell was taken to a hospital with tingling and numbness in his extremities. The Cardinals indicated he had movement in his limbs but that Campbell would undergo more testing.

Et cetera – Forty-one of Frank Gore's 101 rushing yards came on the 49ers' 18-play drive that spanned parts of the third and fourth quarters. It was the 34th 100-yard game of Gore's career.

• Harbaugh challenged – and won – the spot of a ball that gave the Cardinals a first down in the second quarter. It was his first challenge of the season after he went 3-9 last season.

• The 49ers have a three-game winning streak. They did not win three straight games during the 2012 regular season.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Matthew Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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