San Francisco 49ers

‘It’s hard to watch’: Earl Mitchell among many 49ers with family in Houston

The hardest part, Earl Mitchell said, is not being able to get in touch with everyone he’s concerned about.

Mitchell is one of many members of the 49ers organization with ties to the Houston area. The team’s nose tackle is from nearby Galena Park, Texas, which like most areas of Southeast Texas have been inundated by Hurricane Harvey and its aftermath.

“My entire family – I was born and raised there,” Mitchell said Tuesday. “That’s home for me. It’s hard to watch because that’s really all I see on my timeline right now is all my friends trying to find shelter. I’m trying to reach out to people and not being able to contact them is frustrating. There’s a lot of power issues. There’s no water. I’m just trying to reach out to as many people as I can and see if everyone’s doing OK.”

Kyle Shanahan was an assistant coach with the Houston Texans for four seasons and seven of the assistants he hired this year, from defensive coordinator Robert Saleh to defensive quality control coach DeMeco Ryans, either played or coached there at the time. Some still have homes and family in the Houston area.

The team is filming a video this week intended to garner support and donations for flood victims. It will be played on the Levi’s Stadium video boards during the 49ers’ preseason game Thursday.

Rookie fullback Tyler McCloskey is from Houston and played at the University of Houston. He said his family is coping well but that he has friends who had to swim out of their flooded homes.

“This is the worst it’s been since I’ve been alive,” McCloskey said. “When that happens you go to a hotel or maybe you have family or you try to get out. But a lot of the roads are closed.”

Mitchell spent the first four years of his career with the Texans. He said he’s connecting with current and former teammates to figure out a way to provide relief to the region.

“It’s frustrating,” he said. “All I can do right now is pray for them.”

Ward still out – It doesn’t appear as if safety Jimmie Ward will play in Thursday’s preseason finale. Ward suffered a hamstring strain on the first day of training camp and has not gone through a full practice since.

Ward, cornerback Will Redmond (ankle), linebacker Brock Coyle (leg) and receiver Aaron Burbridge (hamstring) were rehabilitating when practice began Tuesday.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at

Related stories from Sacramento Bee