Jim Harbaugh reiterated today that he’s always ready to meet with the general manager and team owner but that he has nothing planned with either Trent Baalke or Jed York this week.
“Everybody’s been head down; everybody’s been focused on the season,” Harbaugh said during his weekly news conference. “Players, coaches, front office – that’s been our approach. That’s what we’ve been doing.”
“Full steam ahead” was Harbaugh’s theme even though the 49ers will miss the playoffs for the first time since he took over. Harbaugh and the 49ers are expected to part ways after the season. The team’s front office will explore whether it can receive compensation for the head coach who has won more than 70 percent of his games and who has a year remaining on his contract.
The 49ers also have lost three straight games for the first time under Harbaugh and, at 7-7, are trying to avoid their first non-winning season since he took over in 2011.
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Harbaugh said he was proud of his team’s effort in Sunday’s 17-7 loss to Seattle and that the 49ers would not change their approach as the season winds down.
“We have a lot to play for,” Harbaugh said. “We’re going to play these next two games like our lives depend on it. (We’re) playing for a winning season and playing for each other, playing for the team, playing for the honor of the game.”
Harbaugh said there would be no effort to get younger players into games at the expense of veterans who may not be on the team next season. A spate of injuries, however, may prompt an influx of youth nonetheless.
On Sunday, for example, young cornerbacks such as Dontae Johnson, Leon McFadden and Marcus Cromartie played because of injuries in the secondary. At tight end, rookie Asante Cleveland played 17 snaps after Garrett Celek went out with an ankle sprain.
Celek, running back Carlos Hyde and linebacker Chris Borland had MRIs on Monday to determine the severity of their ankle sprains. Hyde said he also hurt his back and knee when he was tackled awkwardly in the third quarter.
Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks dislocated his thumb. Harbaugh said team doctors will determine whether Brooks can use the thumb to grab opposing blockers and ballcarriers.
Starting running back Frank Gore was “feeling good,” Harbaugh said, after suffering a concussion Sunday. He must pass the NFL’s post-concussion protocol before the 49ers play the Chargers on Saturday.
The only player injured Sunday who already is doubtful for the remaining two games is special-teams standout Kassim Osgood, who broke his hand. Osgood stayed in the game and finished with two tackles on special teams, a team high. Harbaugh used him as an example of the effort by his wounded squad in Seattle.
“He broke it early in the game, and padded it up and was playing in a lot of pain and made plays,” he said. “That’s an example of valiant effort.”
Read Matt Barrows’ blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers.