49ers

49ers' 2017 roster projection, 1.0

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AP

49ers' 2017 roster projection, 1.0

The general public got its first glimpse of the 2017 edition of the 49ers on Saturday at Levi’s Stadium.

An announced crowd of more than 25,000 watched the team’s final practice before a day off. The 49ers now head into a week that culminates with their exhibition opener Saturday Friday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The day producted two significant injury developments:

--Linebacker Malcolm Smith’s season-ending pectoral tear is a big blow to the team. The 49ers will turn to rookie Reuben Foster and Ray-Ray Armstrong to take it from here.

--Guard Joshua Garnett was in competition for a starting job. With him expected to be out of action for at least a month – approximatley four to six weeks – due to a knee condition, it looks as if Zane Beadles has a clear path to remain as a starter.

Here is a look at NBCSportsBayArea.com’s current roster projection. Of course, there are still plenty of practices and four exhibition games to allow for roster fluctuations:

QUARTERBACK (3)
Brian Hoyer
Matt Barkley
C.J. Beathard
Hoyer has been extremely consistent on the practice field while also owning the role of starting quarterback from a leadership standpoint. There’s solid competition for the No. 2 job between Barkley and Beathard. “They’ve been competing,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “I think they’ve had even reps. I think it’s a good battle for us. We’ve been looking at it every day and they’re going to make it tough on us.”

RUNNING BACK/FULLBACK (5)
Carlos Hyde
FB Kyle Juszczyk
Tim Hightower
Joe Williams
Matt Breida
Williams, a fourth-round draft pick, has picked it up, as Breida is no longer clearly the best rookie on the roster. Kapri Bibbs and Raheem Mostert remain in the picture. The 49ers acquired Bibbs from the Broncos in a draft-day trade. It’s uncertain how much time he will miss with a shoulder injury sustained during Saturday’s practice.

WIDE RECEIVER (6)
Pierre Garçon
Marquise Goodwin
Jeremy Kerley
Aldrick Robinson
Trent Taylor
Aaron Burbridge
The top five spots appear established. Burbridge wins his way onto the roster based on his strong showing on special teams. DeAndre Smelter, Victor Bolden, Kendrick Bourne and DeAndre Carter have shown enough to remain in the battle for spots on the roster and/or practice squad. Veteran Louis Murphy is playing catchup.

TIGHT END (3)
George Kittle
Logan Paulsen
Cole Hikutini
Vance McDonald is making a solid run at holding onto his spot with the team. Trade talks surrounding McDonald could begin again if Kittle gets healthy, remains healthy, and proves he is an every-down option. Paulsen and Hikutini could have specialized roles as a blocker and receiver, respectively. Garrett Celek and Blake Bell are in fights to hold onto their roster spots, too.

OFFENSIVE LINE (8)
LT Joe Staley
LG Zane Beadles
C Daniel Kilgore
RG Brandon Fusco
RT Trent Brown
Joshua Garnett
Garry Gilliam
Jeremy Zuttah
Zuttah, who made the Pro Bowl last season while with the Baltimore Ravens, has not distinguished himself, yet. His roster spot is not assured, but he has value because of his versatility to play center and both guard positions. Veteran center Tim Barnes has a chance to play his way onto the roster in the next month. The 49ers could keep as many as three of the young, developmental players on the practice squad.

DEFENSIVE LINE (9)
LE Solomon Thomas
NT Earl Mitchell
DT DeForest Buckner
RE Arik Armstead
Elvis Dumervil
Chris Jones
Tank Carradine
D.J. Jones
Aaron Lynch
Quinton Dial is a starter in this league. But he does not appear to be a good fit in the 49ers’ new 4-3 defensive scheme. The presence of Mitchell and D.J. Jones at nose tackle could make Dial a strong trade candidate. Lynch has done everything asked of him, but he still has more work to do. His ability to also serve as a backup at strong side linebacker gives the 49ers some flexibility with its roster. Rookie Pita Taumoepenu looks to be targeted for the practice squad. (Updated: Carradine and Ronald Blair are probably competing for one of the final spots in this group. Both are lining up at the LDE, where Thomas will eventually take over as the starter. Carradine has been with the first team, while Blair is working primarily with the third string.)

LINEBACKER (6)
SLB Ahmad Brooks
MLB NaVorro Bowman
WLB Reuben Foster
Ray-Ray Armstrong
Dekoda Watson
Brock Coyle
Malcolm Smith’s season-ending injury creates a roster spot for someone who would have been on the outside looking in. Eli Harold is out indefinitely with a concussion. Harold and Watson are likely fighting for the same spot. Coyle has special-teams value.

CORNERBACK (6)
Rashard Robinson
Dontae Johnson
K’Waun Williams
Will Redmond
Keith Reaser
Ahkello Witherspoon
Rookie Adrian Colbert, who sustained an ankle sprain during practice, is big-bodied cornerback who appears ticketed for the practice squad. Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, should be a lock on the 53-man roster but has the look of a player who will be inactive during the regular season as the 49ers continue to groom him.

SAFETY (4)
Eric Reid
Jimmie Ward
Jaquiski Tartt
Lorenzo Jerome
Ward is expected to be ready to be activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list in mid-August. Jerome and fellow undrafted rookie Chanceller James have opened eyes. James is knocking on the door for a roster spot, and he can win a job if he proves his value as a core special-teams contributor. Veterans Vinnie Sunseri and Don Jones also remains in the conversation.

SPECIALISTS (3)
Robbie Gould
Bradley Pinion
Kyle Nelson
This group is set, as Gould replaces Phil Dawson as the kicker. It remains to be seen whether Gould or Pinion will handle the kickoff chores.

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

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AP

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine

The NFL fined 49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon $24,309 for unnecessary roughness in last week’s game against Washington.

Garçon, who was not penalized on the play, lowered his helmet and struck Washington safety Montae Nicholson at the end of an 8-yard pass reception in the second quarter.

In 2013, the NFL passed a rule that bans the ball carrier from initiating contact with the crown of his helmet in the open field.

Nicholson’s helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for a couple of minutes. He was evaluated for a possible concussion and shoulder injury. However, Nicholson was cleared and he returned to action.

After the play, Garçon and Washington safety D.J. Swearinger exchanged words, and Swearinger took a swipe at Garçon’s facemask. Swearinger was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The NFL fined Swearinger $9,115 for unnecessary roughness.

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

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AP

Ronnie Lott: Chance to show Dwight Clark how much we care

SANTA CLARA – In less than a year since a group of former 49ers players came together to form the Golden Heart Fund, the non-profit organization has provided valuable assistance.

“We’ve made some progress with the idea of knowing there are some people in need, so we’ve been able to make some grants to some of the ex-Niners,” Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott told NBC Sports Bay Area.

“We’ve been able to respond. This is more about us being able to give guys the ability to know they can have, as (former 49ers linebacker and Golden Heart Fund board member) Ron Ferrari says, a hand up not a hand out.”

The organization is in the midst of a fund-raising drive this week in conjunction with "Dwight Clark Day" on Sunday. The 49ers face the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium, and Clark will be the guest of honor. More than 35 players from the 49ers' first Super Bowl championship team are expected to be in attendance.

Clark played nine seasons for the 49ers and provided the most memorable play in franchise history with “The Catch” against Dallas in the 1981 NFC Championship game, which propelled the organization to its first Super Bowl. Clark served as a front-office executive for a decade after his playing days.

In March, Clark announced he was diagnosed with ALS. He is scheduled to attend Sunday’s game and make some remarks at halftime from a suite.

“It’s unbelievable we are having an opportunity to celebrate an incredible day for this gentleman,” Lott said. “We can all say there was a moment in time in which we stood on his shoulders after making that catch. Now, we get a chance to lift him up a little bit and let him know how much we all care.”

Lott said Clark has been a champion of the Golden Heart Fund from its inception. Past and current 49ers ownership has supported the organization, which provides financial support for former 49ers players in times of physical, emotional and financial need.

“It’s the spirit of Dwight,” Lott said. “It’s more about the funds going in through his efforts. He’s paying it forward.”

--The public can made a direct contribution to the fund at GoldenHeartFund.org.

--Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle at Sunday’s game will benefit the Golden Heart Fund.

--Twenty-five percent of proceeds from the sales of Dwight Clark apparel purchased on game day will go to the fund.

--Half of all proceeds from admission to the 49ers Museum at Levi’s Stadium throughout the year will go to the charity.

-- On Sunday, Nov. 19, Levi’s Stadium and race grand marshal Roger Craig will host the first Golden Heart 4.9K Run with all proceeds from the event going to the Golden Heart Fund. Runners can register GoldenHeartRun.com.