A 49ers team that preached “due process” when defensive lineman Ray McDonald was arrested four months ago wasted little time in releasing McDonald Wednesday after he became the focus of a sexual assault investigation earlier this week.
SANTA CLARA -- Jimmie Ward said he expects to be off crutches in another week and should be ready for the start of the 49ers' offseason program in the spring. “More than ready to go,” the team's confident and animated first-round pick said on Tuesday.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio today said “it would be a stretch” if Chris Borland, who injured his ankle Sunday in Seattle, were able to play again this season. Borland, who leads the 49ers in tackles and was a legitimate candidate for rookie defensive player of the year, tried to come back into the game after his injury but limped off in frustration when his ankle didn’t respond.
Despite missing the playoffs for the first time since he became the 49ers’ coach in 2011, Jim Harbaugh said the team has “a lot to play for. We’re going to play these next two games like our lives depend on it.”
The 49ers were dedicated to the run – including by quarterback Colin Kaepernick – early. But attrition struck the running back corps in the second half, and the 49ers simply didn’t have enough to overcome Seattle’s top-ranked defense.
Matt Barrows 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 Sacramento Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the San Francisco 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green. Reach Barrows at email@example.com.