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Ray McDonald’s first court date regarding charges of domestic abuse will be Sept. 15, one day after the 49ers’ home opener against the Bears.

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.

“I'll be very clear,” Harbaugh said on the Murph & Mac show on KNBR radio. “You're asking me how I feel about domestic violence, I can be very clear on that: If someone physically abuses a woman and or physically or mentally hurts a child, then there's no understanding, no tolerance for that.”

Host Brian Murphy then asked if it was a circumstance in which he wouldn't want the player on his team.

“Yes, yes,” Harbaugh said after a pause. “Would not. … It will not be tolerated. So you don't need to quote a source. I can tell you exactly, be perfectly clear how I feel about that.”

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Jim Harbaugh said the 49ers will welcome back Kassim Osgood, who was cut Saturday. Osgood will resume his role on the team’s special teams units.

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.

Osgood’s return means the 49ers have seven receivers on their roster. His main role, however, is on special teams where he lines up as a gunner and, perhaps more important, opposite the other team’s gunner.

The 49ers’ Week 1 opponent, the Cowboys, picked up longtime 49ers gunner C.J. Spillman on Sunday. Spillman, who like Osgood was released Saturday by San Francisco, led the 49ers in special teams tackles both in the regular season and postseason last year. Osgood and Spillman promise to duel throughout the day on Sunday.

Osgood, who is a 12-year veteran, likely will be one of the 49ers’ gunners. The other could be rookie safety L.J. McCray, who essentially bumped Spillman from the 49ers’ roster.

Guard Alex Boone is expected to officially end his holdout today when he arrives in Santa Clara.

SANTA CLARA -- 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.

“There wasn't a whole lot to do throughout the course of a day,” noted LeCharles Bentley, who runs a training facility for offensive linemen. “So he spent a lot of time with me.”

Bentley, a former NFL offensive lineman who has known Boone since the latter was in high school, said Boone worked out six days a week and that the sessions were anywhere from an hour to double sessions that took up nearly half the day.

Boone will have to pass a physical when he arrives. Then the 49ers coaches will determine how long it will take him to be ready to play in a game, something Boone has not done since Jan. 19. Neither has the man who played next to him the last two years, right tackle Anthony Davis.

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Running back Kendall Gaskins, who went undrafted out of Richmond University in 2013, was added to the 49ers’ practice squad.

SANTA CLARA -- 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.

That will allow the team time to assess how close he is to resuming his previous job as the team’s starting right guard. It also gives the 49ers time to find a spot on the roster. One possibility is placing injured nose tackle Glenn Dorsey on injured reserve with a designation to return in the second half of the season. That can happen as soon as Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the 49ers rounded out their 10-man practice squad. The two members added today were Chance Casey, a cornerback who spent last season on the Raiders practice squad, and running back Kendall Gaskins, who spent last year on the Titans and Giants practice squads. Both went undrafted in 2013.

Gaskins rushed 29 times for 104 yards (3.6-yard avg.) for the Giants in the preseason. At 6-1, 238, he is the biggest running back on the 49ers’ overall roster.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./
Ray McDonald (No. 91, right), teaming with Justin Smith (94) to tackled Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck during a 2013 game, has been arrested for domestic violence.
San Jose Police Department/ Associated Press
San Francisco 49er defensive end Ray McDonald is seen in an undated photo provided by the San Jose Police Department. McDonald, 29, was arrested early Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, by San Jose Police on felony domestic violence charges. San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol says McDonald was taken into custody after officers responded to a home in an upscale neighborhood.

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.

Police arrived at 2:48 a.m. at McDonald’s home, where a birthday party was being held. He turns 30 Tuesday.

McDonald apparently was involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who a police source said is 10 weeks pregnant. When she showed police minor bruises on her neck and arms, McDonald was arrested without incident.

McDonald was booked at 5:30 a.m. in Santa Clara County jail for “inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabitant,” according to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections. Bail was set at $25,000, and McDonald was released at 11:30 a.m.

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.

According to a league source, the 49ers agreed to convert the incentives Boone could have earned into base salary. He now stands to make $6 million over the next two seasons.

The team also waived the fines that had piled up in Boone’s absence, which began with a mandatory minicamp in June, and it agreed not to give him the franchise tag when his contract ends after the 2015 season.

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Cornerback Darryl Morris, who was claimed by the Texans, played in 16 games as a rookie last season, mostly on special teams.

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

CB Darryl Morris -- Texans (

OL Ryan Seymour -- Browns

RB Glenn Winston -- Browns

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Guard Alex Boone is expected to join the 49ers Monday following a holdout that spanned two and a half months.

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.

The 49ers perhaps signaled that a deal was near Saturday when only six healthy offensive linemen made their 53-man squad. One of those linemen, undrafted rookie Dillon Farrell, could be released to make room for Boone, who currently does not count against the 53-man roster. Farrell presumably would be a candidate for the practice squad.

Or the team could wait until Tuesday to officially bring back Boone. That’s the day they can move injured nose tackle Glenn Dorsey from the active roster to injured reserve with a designation to return.

According to Pro Football Talk, Boone's salary increases from $3.7 million over two years to $6 million over two years by converting incentives to base salary. He'll be a free agent in 2016. All the fines from his holdout will be waived and, under the agreement, the 49ers can’t use the franchise tag on him in 2016.

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Colin Kaepernick won’t be forced to focus on just one target when he drops back to pass for the 49ers this season. warms up before an NFL preseason football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014, in Baltimore.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/ The Associated Press
New 49ers receiver Steve Johnson (13) has an “unorthodox” style that makes him hard to defend, Colin Kaepernick says.

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.

Brandon Lloyd is a master of deception. “He’s got a little different wiggle to him as far as quick routes, which makes him very hard to defend,” the 49ers quarterback said.

And Stevie Johnson? Well, he’s the mystery man of the bunch, someone Kaepernick described as “unorthodox.”

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The 49ers begin the season with a healthy Michael Crabtree (15) at wide receiver. Crabtree was injured and missed the first 11 games last season.
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The 49ers will be without injured inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman (53) to start the season. The good news is he could return after the team’s bye week.

Defensive maneuvers

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.

San Francisco will enter the season without its two best defensive players, NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith, and with a largely rebuilt secondary. The defense will be tested early by quarterbacks such as Dallas’ Tony Romo and Denver’s Peyton Manning – both of whom are capable of scoring in droves – and by an Eagles offense that finished second to Denver last season in yards gained.

The good news is that reinforcements, such as Bowman, should arrive after the bye week in late October, and the 49ers could be at their defensive best when the games – two against Seattle, for example – count the most. The question is how well the fill-ins can hold their ground through the first eight contests.

Paul Kitagaki Jr./ The Bee
Brandon Lloyd is one of four receivers on the 49ers’ roster to have had more than 1,000 receiving yards in one season.

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.

“Coach came in and said, ‘Whoever is in this room, congratulations, you’ve made the team,’ ” McCray said. “That’s how I had found out.”

If McCray, who played at Catawba College in Salisbury, N.C., had studied the room, he would have found a number of other young players trying just as hard to contain their glee. They included offensive lineman Dillon Farrell, who, like McCray, had very little fanfare in the run-up to the draft and signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent.

The 49ers chose Farrell over 10-year veteran Adam Snyder, who was due to earn $1 million this season. In all, the 49ers have 18 players on their 53-man roster who are in either their first or second seasons, including nine rookies.

Saturday, August 30 2014
The 49ers – week by week


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)


Sept. 14, vs. Chicago, 5:30 p.m., Ch. 3: The 49ers get a lift from the first true game in their new stadium – with brand-new sod! – and bounce back against the Bears despite Chicago’s outstanding wide receiver duo. Remember, Alshon Jeffery was available when the 49ers drafted A.J. Jenkins. Win (1-1)

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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