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49ers notes: Whitner puts name change on hold

11/19/2013 6:23 PM

11/19/2013 6:24 PM

The “W” will remain. For now.

Safety Donte Whitner, who last month filed paperwork in Ohio to change his name to Donte Hitner, did not go through with the name change. Whitner’s application was scheduled to be considered in Cuyahoga County Probate Court on Tuesday. Instead, Whitner withdrew the application, according to court records.

On Twitter, the 49ers safety wrote that the judge in the case wouldn’t allow him to change the name unless he was present. Whitner wrote that he would follow through in the offseason.

Whitner paid $130 and hired an attorney for the name change. On Oct. 2, he said he’s been contemplating the switch for some time and that two events prompted him to take the final steps.

First, his mother, Deborah Robinson, who initially didn’t like the idea when her son broached it this summer, gave him her blessing. Second, he said the name change was a protest of sorts against an NFL that he feels is outlawing the big hits for which he is known. Whitner had been penalized for unnecessary roughness in the two games prior to his decision.

“That’s my game,” he said at the time. “... That’s what I do. That’s my last name and removing a letter makes it pretty cool.”

The right call? Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, said referees made the correct call in penalizing Ahmad Brooks with a personal foul for his fumble-causing hit on Saints quarterback Drew Brees in the fourth quarter Sunday.

“You can’t make forcible contact to the head or the neck area, even if the contact starts below the neck and rises up,” Blandino said on the NFL Network’s “Around The League Live.” “If there’s force to that contact, it’s a foul. Watch the initial contact, maybe around the shoulder, but it rides up into the neck area and brings the quarterback down with force. That’s why the flag was thrown for unnecessary roughness.”

Brooks also is likely to be given a fine, which could be delivered today.

Brown ailing Cornerback Tarell Brown did not fly back to the Bay Area with the team but spent Sunday night in New Orleans after suffering a rib injury in the second quarter, NFL.com reported.

Brown had to be carted off the field and he was in obvious pain as he walked out of the visitors’ locker room after the game. If, as suspected, he cannot play Monday in Washington, D.C., Tramaine Brock would fill in at right cornerback and Eric Wright would play in nickel situations.

About This Blog

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 mbarrows@sacbee.com.
Twitter: @mattbarrows

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