49ers Mailbag: Williams not yet cleared to play


49ers Mailbag: Williams not yet cleared to play

ST. LOUIS -- Receiver Kyle Williams is not expected to be available Sunday for the 49ers against the St. Louis Rams, a source told CSNBayArea.com on Saturday.Williams has yet to receive medical clearance after sustaining a concussion a week ago against the Seattle Seahawks. Williams was sandwiched by two Seahawks players after he slipped on a fourth-quarter kickoff return.One Seattle player, Michael Robinson, was penalized 15 yards for unnecessary roughness, and another, Adrian Moten, was fined 7,500 for the illegal hit on Williams.Receiver Ted Ginn (ankle) is questionable for the game. The club will make a decision on his availability 90 minutes prior to Sunday's 10 a.m. (PT) kickoff.
The 49ers expect both Williams, who is showing steady progress, and Ginn to be ready for the 49ers' first playoff game.And now let's go to the 49ers Mailbag. . . Who has PRKR duties if Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams are out? (Jeff House)
Reggie Smith would handle the punt-return chores while rookies Chris Culliver and Kendall Hunter will be available to return kickoffs. Ginn's status for Sunday is uncertain, but look for some combination of those three players to see action in the return game even if Ginn is active. Smith had one fair catch on a punt last season. In 2009, he had three returns for 7 yards. Neither Culliver nor Hunter has returned a kickoff in a regular-season game.Any word on how long Delanie Walker is out for? (@dannyrube)
It'll be a surprise if Walker is available for the playoffs. He sustained a fractured jaw, underwent surgery to wire it shut and is currently on a liquid diet, according to multiple team sources. Walker visited teammates at the 49ers practice facility late in the week, and he could barely talk. He is forced to communicate mostly via text messages.The 49ers are holding out hope he'll be available if the club advances deep into the playoffs. That's why coach Jim Harbaugh said more will be known about Walker's status next week.Any chance we sign T.O.? (Nick Church)
No, gosh, no. Ginn and Williams will be back for the 49ers' first playoff game. If the 49ers were going to bring a player in from the outside, they would've already done it. So, basically, the 49ers are going to have the same corps of wide receivers in the playoffs that they used for the bulk of this season: Michael Crabtree, Ginn and Williams.Do you expect to see Kendall Hunter and Frank Gore on the field at the same time seeing how thin the 49ers are at receiver. (Michael Tubiolo)
The 49ers might do some different things with their personnel packages, but you'll mostly see their base offensive package consisting of fullback Bruce Miller and Frank Gore in the backfield. Or, they can go with second tight end Justin Peelle subbing in for Miller in two-TE packages. Gore and Hunter are capable of playing together, but I don't envision that being a huge part of Sunday's game plan. It's possible the 49ers could have only three receivers active, with Crabtree, Brett Swain and just-called-up Joe Hastings. If the 49ers really get into a bind, they could have rookie special-teamer Colin Jones jump out there to run a route or two.Any chance Boobie Dixon gets more carries? (Tommy Taaga Jr.)
The 49ers must win this game against the Rams to assure themselves the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs, which means a first-round bye and home game in the divisional round. Therefore, the 49ers are going to keep doing what they've been doing. Gore will be the main ballcarrier. And Hunter will be the change-of-pace back. Anthony Dixon will play special teams. He will not get significant action on offense unless he's forced to fill in or the game is well in hand.

Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'


Roger Goodell: 'What we are trying to stay out of is politics'

NEW YORK — The NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand during the national anthem.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“There was a fair amount of conversation and I think our clubs see it the same way. I can’t deal with hypotheticals,” Goodell said.

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem


Trump blasts NFL for not demanding players stand during national anthem

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is again criticizing the NFL over players kneeling during the national anthem.

Trump said on Twitter Wednesday that the “NFL has decided that it will not force players to stand for the playing of our National Anthem.”

He adds: “Total disrespect for our great country!”

Trump appeared to be responding to the NFL annual fall meeting on Tuesday. The league invited players and representatives from their union to discuss social issues.

The topic of the national anthem was not discussed at length. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said owners did not ask players to commit to standing during the anthem.

Trump has suggested the owners should “fire” any players who knelt during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”