A report that 49ers CEO Jed York will be removed from power following the team’s terrible season is “completely” false, team owner John York said after Sunday’s game.
John York declined to speak at length to reporters outside the team’s locker room after the 41-13 loss to the Falcons, pausing only to refute a CBS Sports report that he and wife, Denise, were poised to remove their eldest son as the head of the team’s operations as part of a front-office shakeup.
Jed York has effectively run the 49ers since 2008, and in 2010 became the team’s CEO. His parents are listed as co-chairmen and are the official owners of the team. Jed York has not spoken publicly since before the team’s season opener in September.
Though Jed York may not lose power, general manager Trent Baalke’s job is in jeopardy as the 49ers close in on the worst season in franchise history. Baalke has been with the 49ers since 2005 and was promoted to general manger in 2011.
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Despite stocking up on draft picks over the past six seasons, the 49ers have needs at wide receiver and linebacker among other positions. If Colin Kaepernick opts out of his contract as expected, the 49ers would have no quarterbacks under contract for the 2017 season.
Beadles at center – For the second straight week, the 49ers lost a center, a wide receiver and a tight end to injury in the same game.
Tight end Blake Bell left because of a sprained shoulder, receiver Quinton Patton was in a walking boot at game’s end because of a foot injury and Marcus Martin sprained his right ankle in the fourth quarter.
Martin’s injury sent Zane Beadles, a guard who was forced to play left tackle last week, to center and put a rookie, fifth-round pick John Theus, in at left tackle. The last time Beadles played center?
“Never,” the seven-year veteran said. Beadles said he did take some practice snaps in the run-up to the game. The 49ers had another center, rookie Alex Balducci, in uniform Sunday, but he was a college nose tackle last year and hasn’t played offense in a regular-season game.
“The more you can do in this league, the more valuable you are,” Beadles said. “And you’ll always have a job. And I want to be there for my team, I want to be there for my teammates. That’s the bottom line.”
In the past three weeks, Beadles has played three different positions: left guard vs. the Bears, left tackle against the Jets and center on Sunday.
“It’s great to have a player like that who can be that flexible, can move around like that, especially in his first year in the offense,” Kaepernick said. “We have to have players that do that, who can move around and make plays like that and be able to accommodate the situations.”
Ponder suits up – Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert swapped spots in the 49ers’ pecking order, with Ponder serving as Kaepernick’s backup Sunday and Gabbert inactive for the first time in two seasons.
Coach Chip Kelly said Ponder’s promotion was a result of how he’s performed in practice and was not because coaches are contemplating a new starter at quarterback. Kaepernick finished with a 95.9 passer rating, his third highest of the season.
Ponder last threw a regular-season pass as a member of the Vikings on Oct. 2, 2014. He spent time on the Raiders’ and Broncos’ rosters last year and was picked up by the 49ers midway through the recent training camp when Kaepernick was sidelined by a fatigued throwing shoulder.
Kelly denied that the 49ers want to see Ponder in action so they can make decisions on the quarterback position for next year. “We’re just trying to win football games,” he said. “This isn’t open tryouts.”
Et cetera – Rookie Aaron Burbridge started in place of Torrey Smith (concussion), who didn’t make the trip to Atlanta. Burbridge finished with two catches for 29 yards.
▪ Receiver Rod Streater’s 5-yard touchdown reception at the end of the first half was his first TD since Sept. 7, 2014 when he was a member of the Raiders.
▪ Outside linebacker Eli Harold recorded his second career sack in the first quarter.