SANTA CLARA – Terrell Owens, the 49ers' honorary captain for Sunday's game, made one thing clear during a pregame sideline interview: He's not retired.
In fact, Owens admitted he was disappointed the 49ers – or any other team – hadn't called him while sorting through wide-receiver issues this season.
"It is what it is, and I can't really be too salty about it," Owens said. "Again, I thought there was an opportunity there obviously when Michael Crabtree went down that I could have been a viable option just to come in for a workout. But nothing happened."
Owens, who looked much lighter than he did when he played for the 49ers, said he's stayed in shape in case a team calls. He hasn't played in a game since 2010 with the Bengals, and he turns 40 next month.
Owens is second in 49ers history behind Jerry Rice in every major receiving category, including receptions, yards and touchdowns. Until last season when Crabtree did it, no 49er had finished with more than 1,000 receiving yards since Owens in 2003.
He is seemingly a shoo-in for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but Owens said he still holds out hope he'll play again. He's played for five teams over his career and said he hasn't decided which team he'll represent if he's inducted.
"It'll be a calculated, well-thought-out decision when I do make that choice," he said.
Though he left San Francisco spewing venom about quarterback Jeff Garcia and 49ers management, he said he never wanted to leave. The 49ers initially traded him to the Ravens, but Owens instead forced a trade to the Eagles in March 2004.
"It wasn't the way I wanted it to end," he said. "Unfortunately, like I said, there was a lot of things that happened. They traded me. I didn't want to leave."