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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

**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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

Two ex 49ers are looking for work this week.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

49ers coach Jim Harbaugh declines to comment when asked if he thinks defensive end Ray McDonald will be cleared of wrongdoing.

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.

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.

There are many, many observations and notes after re-watching last night's 28-20 win by Chicago, the first by the Bears on the road against San Francisco since Walter Payton, Mike Singletary, Jim McMahon and William “Refrigerator Perry” were in Bears uniforms together.

The demise of Frank Gore’s starting role may have been greatly exaggerated.

Offense: With all their weaponry, Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers should have dominated the Bears. Instead, mistakes, penalties and turnovers first prevented San Francisco from putting the game away then allowed the Bears to crawl back into it. Grade: D-

A 49ers team that seemed ready to run away with a win against the seemingly hapless Chicago Bears in the first half ended up giving away the contest in the second half and spoiling the debut of their new stadium.

S You can open the doors on the prettiest new building in the NFL, celebrate the kickoff with 68,500 of your close friends, but when you throw a party and the most important person in the league declines his invitation, well, there is no ignoring the obvious.

Here’s the transcript from Jim Harbaugh’s press conference following the team’s 28-20 loss:

Like they did last week in Dallas, the 49ers pounced early in their home opener at Levi's Stadium and they lead 17-7

As expected, Chris Culliver will start at cornerback for the 49ers but Tramaine Brock will not. Brock suffered a turf-toe injury in the first quarter last week. He did not practice in the run-up to the game. Culliver, meanwhile, suffered a concussion and shoulder stinger but passed the league-mandated protocol and practiced throughout the week.

The Carolina Panthers today deactivated defensive end Greg Hardy, who is the subject of a domestic violence case, despite saying all week that they believe in due process and that Hardy would play in today’s game. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been resolute in saying that their own defensive end, Ray McDonald, would continue to be in good standing despite a domestic violence case that revolves around him and his fiancee.

A look at the today’s 49ers game against Chicago, including broadcast information, five players to watch and injury report.

Perrish Cox enters Sunday’s game as one of the 49ers’ starting cornerbacks, the top backup at nickel cornerback and the No. 2 punt returner. That’s a lot of responsibility for someone who was a three-time castoff in 2013.

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers on Saturday will do something they've never done in the Jim Harbaugh era: Go through a pre-game practice in their home stadium.

Before the 49ers and Bears meet Sunday, they are engaging in a different kind of competition: most unsettled position. For the 49ers, it’s cornerback. The team lost both starters, Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock, in the first quarter Sunday against the Cowboys and both are listed as questionable on the team’s injury report.

Vic Fangio made it clear Thursday: He expected big things out of rookie cornerback Dontae Johnson. But maybe not in the first quarter of the first game of the first season of his NFL career.

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers classified cornerback Tramaine Brock and offensive tackle Anthony Davis as “questionable” on their injury report today. But neither practiced this week and it’s unlikely that either plays Sunday against the Bears.

SANTA CLARA -- Investigators are still examining what happened at Ray McDonald’s home on Aug. 31 and have not handed the case to the district attorney’s office for review. That means it’s likely that McDonald’s court hearing on Monday will be delayed by two weeks.

The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows hosted a live chat as the 49ers prepare for their Week 2 home opener against the Chicago Bears in the new Levi's Stadium. Replay it here.

Before there was “Kaepernicking” and grousing about a tattooed starting quarterback, before all of the commercials and glossy magazine covers, before the two marches through the playoffs and the throws that fell just short, there was The Start.

SANTA CLARA -- LaMichael James' frustrations with his lack of playing time were well documented and team officials knew he wasn't going to have a major role either at running back or on special teams in the opener against the Cowboys. Which begs the question: Why wait until after Week 1 to grant James' request to be released?

The 49ers have suspended radio play-by-play announcer Ted Robinson for the team’s next two games, punishment for comments he made earlier in the week about domestic violence while speaking on KNBR.

The 49ers have just two running backs, Frank Gore and Carlos Hyde, on the active roster after releasing LaMichael James and letting promising rookie Glenn Winston get away via waivers.

Rookie safety Jimmie Ward did not suffer a concussion at the end of Sunday’s game in Dallas and will not go through the post-concussion protocol that 49ers teammate Chris Culliver must pass in order to play against the Chicago Bears.

Neither of the 49ers' starting cornerbacks, Chris Culliver or Tramaine Brock, practiced Wednesday. On the flip side, neither of the Bears starting receivers, Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery practiced, either.

SANTA CLARA -- Rookie safety Jimmie Ward did not suffer a concussion at the end of Sunday's game in Dallas and will not go through the post-concussion protocol that teammate Chris Culliver must pass in order to play against the Bears.

Jed York said he is in “lockstep” with everything 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke have said regarding Ray McDonald and, like them, he wants to let “due process” play out before acting on McDonald.

Running back LaMichael James, who was granted his release by the 49ers on Monday, went unclaimed on waivers Tuesday. That makes James, a second-round draft pick for the 49ers in 2012, a free agent.

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers allowed DeMarco Murray to run for 118 yards on Sunday, uncharacteristic of a defense knows for stuffing opposing running backs.

The 49ers’ disappointing 2012 draft class lost another member Monday when LaMichael James asked for and was granted his release.

Starting cornerback Tramaine Brock suffered a sprained big toe against the Cowboys, and his status for Sunday’s game against the Bears is up in the air, a league source said.

Police were called to Ray McDonald’s home at least one time prior to last week’s episode that resulted in the 49ers defensive end’s arrest on suspicion of domestic abuse.

In the not-too-distant future, a football fan might be able to take a seat at the stadium, punch up any game on a seatback monitor, keep tabs on the real-time stats of a fantasy team, order up a hot dog and beer and even have a brand-new jacket brought to the seat if the wind kicks up.

The 49ers kept their No. 3 receiver a mystery prior to Sunday's season opener. And even afterward, you can't say there was a dramatic revelation.

The 49ers spent the offseason entangled in criminal issues, every expert thought their depleted defense would be a dud, and just a few hours before the game, a national report surfaced that veteran players had begun to turn on coach Jim Harbaugh. One fumble recovery for a touchdown and a quick-strike score by the offense, however, and all was absolved, at least for a little while.

A 49ers defense that almost always has five cornerbacks in uniform dressed only four for Sunday's game, then immediately regretted the decision.

No team has run the ball more than the 49ers in the last three seasons. But they didn't attempt a single run on their first touchdown drive. Or their second.

***Update*** Judging from pregame formations, it appears Joe Looney will start at right guard. That means the starting offensive line will have the same five that started every preseason game -- Looney at right guard and Jonathan Martin at right tackle.

To all the 49ers fans who were pleading with their team to trade for Browns receiver Josh Gordon last year: They pushed harder than any other team, but it didn't work out.

A look at the today’s 49ers game at Dallas; including: broadcast information, five players to watch and injury report.

The analogy came to Jim Harbaugh one day out of the blue … or perhaps the gray: Dan Skuta as a Civil War soldier. “I was just looking at him and I just got a vision of him in the gray of the South, or he could have been in the blue of the North,” the 49ers coach said last week. “I just had a vision of him.”

As Jim Harbaugh signaled on Friday, the 49ers today added offensive lineman Alex Boone to their 53-man roster. The team made room for Boone, who was a contract holdout until reporting Monday, by waiving receiver Kassim Osgood.

Coach Jim Harbaugh says “as it sounds now,” McDonald will play against Cowboys despite his arrest on suspicion of domestic abuse.

Ray McDonald will travel with the team to Dallas and will play on Sunday, Jim Harbaugh said Friday just hours before the 49ers departed to play the Cowboys.

***UPDATE*** Anthony Davis indeed is out for the upcoming game. Jim Harbaugh also said Alex Boone would be activated Saturday. He did not say whether Boone would start the game against the Cowboys.

Michael Crabtree, who used to sell popcorn and hot dogs at Dallas Cowboys games, wasn’t in Texas Stadium in 2000 when Terrell Owens sparked a near-riot by celebrating on the home team’s sacred midfield star.

Neighbors say there are perhaps a half-dozen of them a year: House parties so loud that the bass from the speakers rattles their windows well into the early-morning hours.

Cornerback Chris Culliver, who will be matched at times against Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, appeared on the 49ers injury report Thursday with a sprained ankle. Also making an appearance on the report for the first time this week was No. 2 tight end Vance McDonald, who is dealing with a hamstring strain.

SANTA CLARA -- Ray McDonald, who is being investigated on suspicion of felony domestic abuse, was a late arrival again for practice on Thursday. McDonald missed the very start of Wednesday’s session as well, but walked out of a second-floor office and onto the practice field 20 minutes into the session. He missed about 30 minutes of Thursday’s practice.

Michael Crabtree said the calf injury that kept him out of Wednesday’s practice was minor and that he’d practice today and play Sunday in Dallas. After all, he’s been eager to show off in his home town since entering the league in 2009.

SANTA CLARA -- There were no surprises from 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio today: Michael Wilhoite will begin the season as NaVorro Bowman's replacement at inside linebacker while good-looking rookie Jimmie Ward is the top option at nickel cornerback.

The last time the 49ers played the Cowboys, quarterback Tony Romo suffered a fractured rib and deflated lung. But it was Jim Harbaugh who came away with a mark.

Their star inside linebacker has a torn ACL, another top player is suspended to start the year, and the defense is a towering question mark as the regular season gets under way Sunday.

After strongly stating his repulsion of domestic abuse Tuesday, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh spent Wednesday sounding just as forceful a message about due process of law.

The 49ers released their first injury report of the season today. Starters Michael Crabtree and Anthony Davis did not take part, but not with the injuries they were dealing with in the preseason.

SANTA CLARA -- After strongly stating his stance on anyone guilty of domestic abuse on Tuesday, Jim Harbaugh spent Wednesday sounding just as forceful a message about due process of the law.

Ninergang510 ‏@SHERPUTH 10h

SANTA CLARA -- Anthony Davis, who hasn’t missed a start in four seasons with the 49ers, was in the team’s weight room when practice began this afternoon. That raises the possibility that Jonathan Martin would start at right tackle in the team’s opener in Dallas on Sunday.

Rookie 49ers cornerback Kenneth Acker said he played during the preseason with a stress fracture in his left foot, the reason he landed on injured reserve on cut-down day Saturday.

Despite missing the entire offseason, Alex Boone said Tuesday he could be “very effective” if the 49ers plug him into his right guard spot Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys.

The coach and general manager say they will gather more information before making a decision about defensive end Ray McDonald, who was arrested Sunday morning.

SANTA CLARA -- Jim Harbaugh said on his KNBR radio show this morning that veteran wide receiver Kassim Osgood, who was cut on Saturday, likely will be brought back to the 53-man roster today. Osgood will fill the roster spot held by injured nose tackle Glenn Dorsey, who now can be moved to injured reserve with a designation to return, which would allow him to come back in the second half of the season.

Tight end Vernon Davis said he was present at Ray McDonald's house when police arrived early Sunday morning but that he saw neither McDonald's arrest nor the incident with McDonald's fiancee that led to it.

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers currently are in “fact finding mode” when it comes to defensive end Ray McDonald, general manager Trent Baalke said this morning, and no decision has been made yet whether McDonald will play Sunday in Dallas.

Jim Harbaugh said there are two strongly held principles at work in the case involving defensive end Ray McDonald: His repulsion of domestic abuse, which he said he would not tolerate on his team, and his belief in due process of the law.

It's unknown how long it will take Alex Boone to seize the 49ers' starting right guard position after missing the team's entire preseason. But he'll arrive at team headquarters today in very good shape, said the man who trained with him in Cleveland.

Alex Boone, as expected, passed his physical with the 49ers today after his months-long holdout. The team has been granted a roster exemption for Boone; the right guard must be added to the 53-man roster before he can play in a game.

Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic abuse Sunday morning in San Jose, bringing more scrutiny to a 49ers team that spent the offseason tangled in legal matters.

The missing pieces to the 49ers’ offensive line are beginning to reappear. Alex Boone is expected to end his months-long contract holdout Monday after he and the team compromised on the remaining years of the right guard’s deal.

The 49ers already have lost several players via waivers they were hoping to put on their practice squad. Here is the running list:

Guard Alex Boone, who missed the 49ers’ entire offseason while seeking a new contract, will report to the team Monday with a restructured two-year deal, a league source confirmed. News of the agreement first was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Listening to Colin Kaepernick talk about his current group of wide receivers is a bit like sitting down with a kid as he shows off his favorite action figures. Anquan Boldin is great because he’ll smash through anything to make a catch. Michael Crabtree’s hands are so quick and strong he can snatch passes even in heavy traffic.

The 49ers have finished no lower than fifth overall in total defense since defensive coordinator Vic Fangio arrived in 2011. If they even come close to No. 5 this season, it could be Fangio’s most masterful coaching performance yet.

Rookie safety L.J. McCray was surrounded by veterans when Jim Harbaugh walked into the team meeting room Saturday afternoon, so he tried to act cool with what the 49ers’ coach told the group.

Sept. 7, at Dallas, 1:25 p.m., FOX 40: A weakened defense and a balky preseason conspire to give coach Jim Harbaugh his first opening-week loss as an NFL head coach. Big D may struggle on D, but Tony Romo and Co. still can put up a lot of points. Loss (0-1)

The 49ers reduced their roster to 53 players with several players who had been on the proverbial bubble, including quarterback Josh Johnson and receiver Brandon Lloyd, making the cut, at least for now. The day also was kind to a pair of upstarts -- undrafted rookies Dillon Farrell, an offensive lineman, and James McCray, a safety.

The 49ers must reduce their roster to 53 players today. Here’s the list of those who have been cut and those bubble players who have appeared to have made the initial roster. The team can begin building its 10-man practice squad on Sunday.

SANTA CLARA -- Josh Johnson, whose 110.8 passer rating in the preseason was far higher than that of any other 49ers quarterback, has made the team’s initial roster, multiple sources confirmed today. The 49ers had to reach the 53-man limit by 1 p.m.

The NFL Players Association, which negotiated a nine-game suspension on Aldon Smith’s behalf, released the following statement from the 49ers’ outside linebacker Saturday morning:

Aldon Smith and the 49ers on Friday received the news they’d been bracing for since last year: The team’s star outside linebacker has been suspended for nine games without pay this season for his long list of legal run-ins. Smith is eligible to return to the playing field Nov. 10, one day after the 49ers’ game at New Orleans.

Here’s my projection for the 49ers’ “initial” 53-man roster, which must be finalized by 1 p.m. Saturday. Explanations (a lot of them) below.

If a general manager's goal is to make cut-down day difficult, Trent Baalke has succeeded. He will begin the process of trimming the 49ers’ roster to 53 players this afternoon, and he is bound to have trouble at a couple of spots, including cornerback.

Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider was watching from the Levi’s Stadium press box when the 49ers played the Denver Broncos on Aug. 17. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie was there, binoculars in hand, for Sunday’s game against the San Diego Chargers.


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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