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Paul Kitagaki/ The Bee
Vernon Davis is listed as questionable on the 49ers’ injury report with a a sore ankle and likely will be a game-time decision against the Cardinals.

The 49ers’ injured tight ends, Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, were able to do some light running Friday, but both missed their third day of practice and are question marks for Sunday’s game in Arizona.

Davis, who led the 49ers in touchdown catches last season, is dealing with a badly bruised right ankle. He was still walking with a limp Friday but said he’s been making steady progress throughout the week, which included running and catching passes from the JUGGs machine while teammates practiced.

That was corroborated by McDonald, who is dealing with a knee injury.

“He looked really good,” McDonald said of Davis. “It was like night and day from (Thursday).”

Check out today's chat with The Bee's Matt Barrows as he assesses the 49ers' fortunes as they prepare for their upcoming game following last week's stunning defeat.

Access the live chat from mobile devices here.

Live chat: 49ers look to regroup, 10 a.m. Sept. 19

Friday, September 19 2014
Kaepernick lands on 49ers’ injury report
Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The Bee
Colin Kaepernick absorbed several big hits Sunday, including this one from Jared Allen.

SANTA CLARA The 49ers added quarterback Colin Kaepernick to their practice participation report Thursday with a back injury. Kaepernick was not listed on Wednesday’s report and went through Thursday’s practice in full, signaling that the issue is unlikely to cause him to miss any of Sunday’s game.

But it was the second straight year the 49ers quarterback has landed on the injury report following a Week 2 loss. Last year, he suffered a foot injury in Seattle. That issue, which Kaepernick recently revealed was a chipped bone on his forefoot and a ruptured capsule in the ball of his foot, prompted the 49ers to curtail his running while the injury healed.

It’s unknown what caused the current injury. Kaepernick took several shots, including a big one from behind by Bears defensive end Jared Allen, during Sunday’s loss. He also was in on a tackle following one of his interceptions. Kaepernick was observed doing back exercises with a medicine ball prior to Thursday’s practice.

Kaepernick, running back Carlos Hyde (calf), defensive end Justin Smith (not injury related) and tackle Joe Staley (knee) all practiced in full.

Derek Carrier entered last Sunday’s game against Chicago without an NFL catch. The 49ers’ young tight end finished it with three for 41 yards and seems to have a good chance of adding to his tally this Sunday in Arizona.

That’s because the 49ers’ top two tight ends, Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald, missed their second consecutive day of practice Thursday, putting their availability for the game against the Cardinals in doubt.

Davis twice walked through the locker room with an exaggerated limp. He suffered a deep bruise on his right ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game and, until Thursday, has been using crutches to get around.

That, combined with McDonald’s knee injury, points to a bigger role for Carrier, a wide receiver-turned-tight end who spent most of last season on the 49ers’ practice squad.

file/ file
Police visited Ray McDonald’s home in May

Three months before they arrested Ray McDonald at his home, San Jose police responded to an incident involving a woman brandishing a handgun at the same house.

Police on Thursday released details of the incident on May 25 at approximately 8:09 p.m. According to the brief report, following an argument, a “female subject became upset, grabbed a firearm (handgun) registered to the male subject, and held it at her side.”

When the man called 911, the woman put the gun away and fled without incident. The report says the woman “did not make any threats or point the firearm at the male subject.” There were no arrests or criminal charges in the May incident.

The report identifies the two as “an engaged couple,” but sources said the incident involved McDonald and his fiancée and that it happened in the backyard of the same home on Bentley Ridge Drive in San Jose where McDonald was arrested Aug. 31.

Hector Amezcua/ The Bee
Vernon Davis is likely to miss his second straight practice with an ankle injury, and his availability Sunday is in doubt.

**UPDATE** Neither Vernon Davis nor Vance McDonald were on hand for the start of practice. Anthony Davis (hamstring) and Tramaine Brock (toe) also were not present.

SANTA CLARA -- Either Vernon Davis has a severe ankle injury or his acting skills have been honed to perfection from his stint as Captain Torpedo.

The 49ers' top tight end twice walked through the locker room today with an exaggerated limp. Davis injured his ankle in the fourth quarter of Sunday's game and, until today, has been using crutches to get around. He didn't practice Wednesday and seems very unlikely to practice today.

That combined with Vance McDonald's knee injury points to a bigger role for wide receiver-turned-tight end Derek Carrier, who finished with three catches for 41 yards, good for second on the 49ers behind Michael Crabtree Sunday.

In an era of flea-sized attention spans, news stories tend to peter out after a couple of days. The story of domestic abuse and the NFL, however, has had rare staying power, which should be expected when a different player gets in trouble every few days.

Jim Harbaugh has been asked about the 49ers' case involving Ray McDonald during nearly every press conference he's had in the last 18 days. Today a reporter from CNN asked Vic Fangio a series of questions about the team's stance on playing an arrested player despite Fangio's responses that those decisions aren't typically made by a team's defensive coordinator.

Q: Can I ask you about 49ers broadcaster Ted Robinson? Why did the team decide to have him not do play-by-play for two games, but not take a similar move with McDonald?

VF: “I don’t know. I’m not involved in those decisions. I’m the defensive coordinator, not the owner, not the general manager.”

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

The role of the Cardinals' Andre Ellington has gone to the most obvious actor.

Who 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.

Jose Luis Villegas/
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.

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.

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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