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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick (7) takes a hit by Chicago Bears outside linebacker Shea McClellin (50) after a five yard gain to the bears one hardline in the first quarter in Sunday nights season opener between the San Francisco 49ers and Chicago Bears at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Bears 49ers Football
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Photo
San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, left, hugs Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler after an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014. The Bears won 28-20.

Colin Kaepernick on Wednesday said he would appeal the more than $11,000 fine he received this week from the NFL for using “inappropriate language” following a fourth-quarter interception against the Chicago Bears.

Kaepernick has insisted he didn’t say anything, and he noted that Bears defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, who was near Kaepernick when the alleged incident occurred, corroborated his account in an interview with the Chicago Tribune.

“The player that I supposedly said something to has been quoted saying that I didn’t say anything,” Kaepernick said. “And I don’t know him. So it’s not like he would have a reason to just randomly stick up for me.”

Footage shot by KPIX and aired in the Bay Area on Wednesday evening, however, clearly shows the quarterback shouted something to Houston after bumping Houston as he walked to the 49ers’ sideline. The video can be seen here.

Nick Wass/ The Associated Press
49ers wide receiver Bruce Ellington rushes the ball in the second half of an NFL preseason game this season.
Rick Scuteri/ The Associated Press
Arizona Cardinals running back Andre Ellington, the older of the two, warms up prior to a game this month.

Playing the part of Cardinals running back Andre Ellington this week as gone to the most obvious actor.

Who else better to portray the small but powerful Arizona tailback during 49ers practices this week than the guy who has been shadowing Ellington all his life?

“We were very close,” Bruce Ellington said of his first cousin, Andre, who is two years older. “We grew up together on the same dirt road. We also played football and basketball together.”

The basketball games were one-on-one affairs in the front yard in Moncks Corner, S.C. The football games played in the backyard were also one on one – with one boy hiking the ball to himself, launching it down field and then racing to catch it while the other tried to swat it away.

The Cardinals today deactivated one of their running backs, Jonathan Dwyer, after he was arrested for aggravated assault in a case involving a 27-year-old woman and an 18-month-old child. Dwyer has been Arizona’s No. 2 running back, averaging six carries in the team’s first two contests.


Did not practice: CB Tramaine Brock (toe), T Anthony Davis (hamstring), TE Vernon Davis (ankle, knee), C Marcus Martin (knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee), DE Justin Smith (not injury related)

Limited: T Joe Staley (knee)

Wednesday, September 17 2014
Former 49ers James, Skov looking for work
file/ file
LaMichael James had a workout with the Dolphins this week after being released by San Francisco Sept. 8.

Two ex 49ers are looking for work this week.

Running back LaMichael James, who was released last week, tried out for the Dolphins on Tuesday. His agent, Jeff Sperbeck, tweeted yesterday that there is “mutual interest” between Miami and James and that other teams also are interested in the 49ers' former second-round pick. The Cardinals are believed to be one of the teams that have considered James.

James dealt with offseason injuries all three years he was with the 49ers, which pushed him down the team's depth chart. Frustrated by his lack of playing time, James asked for – and eventually was granted – his release. The Dolphins lost one of their running backs, Knowshon Moreno, to a dislocated elbow, the same injury that put James out of action for three weeks of training camp.

Other teams also have had injuries -- or other issues -- regarding their starting running backs, including Minnesota, Baltimore, New Orleans and San Diego.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The
Vernon Davis still was using crutches Wednesday, and his availability for Sunday’s game in Arizona is in doubt.

The 49ers began practice today with just one healthy tight end from their 53-man roster, Derek Carrier. The other two, Vernon Davis (ankle) and Vance McDonald (knee), were working out in the team’s weight room. Davis emerged using the same crutches he was seen using after Sunday’s loss to the Bears.

Earlier in the day, Jim Harbaugh said the team “dodged a bullet” with Davis’ injury, which occurred when he was tackled awkwardly from behind in the fourth quarter. Still, it’s unknown whether the team’s top tight end will be ready in time for Sunday’s game against Arizona. He has a deep bruise on his ankle, a source said.

Meanwhile, cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe) and tackle Anthony Davis (hamstring) continue to rehabilitate from their injuries. If they cannot play, Perrish Cox and Jonathan Martin would continue to start in their place. In addition, Joe Staley, Justin Smith and Tank Carradine were not on the field when practice started. Carradine, who played five snaps in his first ever regular-season game Sunday, does not have a serious injury.

Neither Smith nor Staley seems injured and both could be getting so-called “veteran days” away from practice. Smith did not practice last Wednesday, either.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The Bee
Colin Kaepernick said he would fight the $11,000-plus fine he received this week from the NFL for allegedly using “inappropriate” language on Sunday

SANTA CLARA -- Colin Kaepernick today said he would appeal the more than $11,000 fine he received this week from the NFL for using “inappropriate language” following a fourth-quarter interception against the Bears.

Kaepernick has insisted he didn't say anything, and he noted that Bears defensive lineman Lamarr Houston, who was next to Kaepernick when the alleged incident occurred, corroborated Kaepernick's account in an interview with The Chicago Tribune. Kaepernick appears to engage Houston as the two are walking away from the play but it’s impossible to tell from the NBC telecast if he says anything.

“The player that I supposedly said something to has been quoted saying that I didn't say anything,” Kaepernick said. “And I don't know him. So it's not like he would have a reason to just randomly stick up for me.”

Kaepernick said the NFL did not specify what it thinks he said in the letter he received about the fine. The side judge who threw the flag also has stuck to his guns on the issue, telling CSN Bay Area that Kaepernick “knows what he said.”

Cardinals Giants Football
Kathy Willens/AP Photo
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Drew Stanton (5) throws a pass during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 14, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Cardinals won the game 25-14.
Ross Franklin/ AP
Andre Ellington -- a first cousin of 49ers’ rookie Bruce Ellington -- is averaging more than five yards a carry despite a foot injury that has kept him out of practices.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians today said there has been no change with his team's quarterback situation: Drew Stanton is beginning the week as if he will start against the 49ers while regular starter Carson Palmer continues to deal with a nerve issue in his throwing shoulder.

Stanton made his first start since the 2010 season on Sunday, a 25-14 over the Giants in New York. He was 14-29 for 167 yards. He didn't throw a touchdown. But he didn't throw an interception, either, in a game in which the Cardinals scored four field goals and were aided by a 71-yard punt return by ex-49er Ted Ginn Jr.

“I thought he was very solid, and no, it didn't surprise me,” Arians said of Stanton during a conference call. “The one good thing is that it was still September. He was fresh out of training camp, had about 100 snaps in the preseason games. So if you're going to play your backup, that's the best time to play him. It's hard in November when there is a little rust factor as far as the speed of the game.”

Facing the Cardinals backup has become routine for San Francisco. Since Jim Harbaugh arrived in 2011, the 49ers have gone against Arizona’s top quarterback only twice in six meetings. Those games both came last year when Palmer started. The 49ers are 5-1 in that span.

Paul Kitagaki, Jr./ The Bee
Vernon Davis was diagnosed with a badly bruised ankle, but there is no structural damage and the hope is he can play Sunday in Arizona.

Here’s an update on some of the 49ers’ injured players as they began preparing for the Arizona Cardinals today:

CB Tramaine Brock – He was seen walking through the locker room with a walking boot on his right foot. The sprained big – turf toe – that caused him to miss the better part of the last two games is likely to keep him out of Sunday's game in Arizona and perhaps longer. Look for Perrish Cox to make his second straight start.

TE Vernon Davis – He was told that he has a deep bone bruise following an awkward tackle by Bears linebacker Jon Bostic Sunday, but there is no structural damage to the ankle. Davis may miss time in practice this week, but there is optimism that he can play Sunday.

T Anthony Davis – He missed the last two games with a hamstring injury. Jim Harbaugh on Monday said he was “hopeful” that Davis can resume practice, something he has not done since the regular season began.

GJ230SFI1.2Senior Photographer
Paul Kitagaki Jr./
San Francisco 49ers fans cheer team as they play the Chicago Bears during a game at Levi's Stadium Sunday September 14, 2014 in Santa Clara.

Jim Harbaugh likened the performance of the crowd at Levi's Stadium to that of his team: There were some great efforts on Sunday and some areas that need work.

“I noticed at times it was good and loud, yeah,” Harbaugh said on Monday. “And other times it could be improved.”

The $1.2 billion venue certainly was not designed for volume. Whereas Seattle's Century Link Field was built with overhangs that reflect noise back to the field, Levi's Stadium is decidedly open and has very few overhangs. That allows the decibels generated to escape into the ether.

Still, with one of the largest lower bowls in the league, the stadium should be able to generate enough noise to trouble the opposition. That didn't seem to happen against Chicago as the Bears erased a 17-point deficit in their first road win against the 49ers since 1985.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The Bee
Ray McDonald started Sunday’s game against the Bears amid calls from some to sit the defensive end who is being investigated on suspicion of domestic violence.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said he doesn’t want to insert himself into the investigation of 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald and declined to comment when asked whether he and the 49ers think McDonald will be cleared of wrongdoing.

A report by the NFL Network on Sunday said the 49ers believe McDonald’s version of what happened at his house Aug. 31 that led to his arrest on suspicion of domestic abuse.

“I can’t comment,” Harbaugh said. “There’s a legal process that’s going on. As you notice, I haven’t inserted myself into it to try to sway it one way or another. As we said from the beginning, we’re waiting for information, waiting for facts.”

Harbaugh, however, wasn’t shy about saying he believed quarterback Colin Kaepernick and wide receiver Quinton Patton when they were in the midst of an investigation in Miami this year.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The Bee
Adding to Colin Kaepernick’s woes Sunday was a personal foul called against him for inappropriate language. The quarterback said he didn’t say anything.

Coach Jim Harbaugh of the 49ers is seeking more information on the “inappropriate language” penalty given to 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick following one of his fourth-quarter interceptions in Sunday’s loss to the Bears.

The penalty only moved the ball from the San Francisco 6-yard line to the 3. But the mystery surrounding it was symbolic of the 49ers’ issues on a night when they were called for 16 penalties, their most in 14 seasons.

“Yeah, I’d like to find out about that,” Harbaugh said when asked if he’s curious about what happened.

Kaepernick was in on the tackle of Chicago cornerback Kyle Fuller, who returned the ball 20 yards. As Kaepernick was getting up, he apparently was jostled by two Bears linemen. He then appeared to shove Lamarr Houston and at least gesture with his head toward Houston. Kaepernick, however, said he “didn’t say anything” before the flag was thrown. And Houston told the Chicago Tribune that he didn’t hear anything.

file/ file
The 49ers added tight end Xavier Grimble to their practice squad and released linebacker Shayne Skov. Both are pictured.

Linebacker Shayne Skov, who gambled on joining the 49ers as a free agent in May despite an abundance of inside linebackers, was waived from the practice squad today. Also waived was cornerback Chance Casey.

They were replaced by tight end Xavier Grimble, who played against Skov’s Stanford squad at USC, and cornerback Leon McFadden. The 49ers have a shortage of tight ends after both Vernon Davis (ankle) and Vance McDonald (knee) couldn’t finish Sunday’s game. It’s not yet known how long either will be out. Davis was on crutches in the locker room following the game. The 49ers already have a tight end, Asante Cleveland, on the practice squad.

Grimble (6-5, 255) was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Giants in May. He spent the offseason and training camp with the Giants before being waived on August 26. McFadden (5-10, 190) originally was taken in the third round of the 2013 draft by the Browns. He appeared in all 16 games (two starts) as a rookie, recording 19 tackles and one pass defensed before being waived on August 30, 2014. McFadden was acquired on waivers by the Jets on August 31 and was later waived on September 11.

Skov, meanwhile, signed as an undrafted free agent in May. And while he played well, he was unable to leapfrog any of the 49ers backup linebackers -- Michael Wilhoite, Chris Borland and Nick Moody -- on the depth chart.

For 49ers blog posts before May 2014, go to the blog archives


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.

49ers Blog Archives

Note: The 49ers blog switched blog platforms in May 2014. All posts after the switch are found here. Older posts are available using the list below.

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