49ers

49ers snap count: Rookies carry big load on defense

foster-snap-count-ap.jpg
AP

49ers snap count: Rookies carry big load on defense

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers had five defenders who played all 66 snaps on Sunday in the team’s 31-21 victory over the New York Giants.

Three of those players were rookies, who greatly contributed to the 49ers’ first victory of the season.

Linebacker Reuben Foster, a first-round pick, recorded 10 tackles, including four stops near the line of scrimmage, and allowed just 12 yards in coverage on three pass plays on which he was targeted, according to Pro Football Focus.

Safety Adrian Colbert, a seventh-round draft pick, has taken over as a starter after Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt sustained season-ending broken forearms. Colbert recorded four tackles and showed his range in the deep middle with two passes broken up.

And cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round pick making his third consecutive start since unseating Rashard Robinson, allowed just 24 yards receiving on the four pass plays on which he was targeted.

Also, second-year player Ronald Blair made his second appearance after coming off injured reserve following his recovery from thumb surgery, played 30 snaps and recorded two quarterback sacks, including a forced fumble. The takeaway led to a 49ers touchdown in the second quarter.

On offense, the 49ers compensated for the losses of wide receivers Pierre Garçon and Trent Taylor with a four-player combination that featured Marquise Goodwin, Aldrick Robinson, rookie Kendrick Bourne and veteran Louis Murphy, who played 27 snaps just days after being signed off the street.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

OFFENSE
(61 plays)
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 61
Running back – Carlos Hyde 46, Kyle Juszczyk 38, Matt Breida 17
Wide receiver – Marquise Goodwin 48, Aldrick Robinson 31, Kendrick Bourne 29, Louis Murphy 27, Victor Bolden 1
Tight end – Garrett Celek 56, Logan Paulsen 12
Offensive line – Joe Staley 61, Daniel Kilgore 61, Laken Tomlinson 61, Trent Brown 61, Brandon Fusco 61

DEFENSE
(66 plays)
Defensive line – DeForest Buckner 52, Leger Douzable 38, Elvis Dumervil 37, Ronald Blair 30, Earl Mitchell 25, Datone Jones 16, D.J. Jones 14, Tony McDaniel 12
Linebacker – Reuben Foster 66, Brock Coyle 60, Eli Harold 37, Dekoda Watson 21
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 66, Ahkello Witherspoon 66, K’Waun Williams 44, Leon Hall 10
Safety – Eric Reid 66, Adrian Colbert 66

SPECIAL TEAMS
(24 plays)
Watson 19, Mark Nzeocha 15, Bolden 15, Antoine Exum 14, Dexter McCoil 14, Ray-Ray Armstrong 14, Bradley Pinion 12, Greg Mabin 11, Breida 10, Blair 8, Johnson 8, Paulsen 8, Raheem Mostert 7, Witherspoon 7, Colbert 7, Harold 7, Kyle Nelson 6, Celek 6, Hall 6, Robbie Gould 5, Zane Beadles 5, Erik Magnuson 5, Staley 5, Kilgore 5, Tomlinson 5, Brown 5, Coyle 5, D.J. Jones 5, Da.Jones 4, Buckner 4, Douzable 4, Reid 4, Bourne 3, Mitchell 3, Hyde 1, Juszczyk 1, Murphy 1

DID NOT PLAY
QB Jimmy Garoppolo

INACTIVE
LB Elijah Lee (knee)
LB Pita Taumoepenu
DL Aaron Lynch (calf)
OT Darrell Williams
WR Trent Taylor (ribs)
TE George Kittle (ankle)
DT Solomon Thomas (knee)

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

lebron-kap-us-ap.jpg
USATSI/AP

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’

LeBron James is an avid football fan. He's now an even bigger Colin Kaepernick fan than the sport. Following the Cavaliers' practice on Sunday, James opened up on Kaepernick and his absence from the NFL. 

"I've commended Kap, and for him to sacrifice everything for the greater good for everyone, for what he truly believed in, the utmost respect to him," James said to ESPN. "Obviously he had a vision like Martin Luther King and like some of our all-time greats that people couldn't see further than what they were doing at the point and time. And Muhammad Ali and things of that nature."

James believes the masses don't truly understand what Kaepernick was doing when he first took a knee as a protest against social and racial injustices in America. For his actions, James respects Kaepernick choosing his beliefs over his sport.

"When it's something that's new and it's something that people are not educated about or don't understand what your beliefs are all about, people are so quick to judge and people are so quick to say that what you're doing is wrong," James said. "For him to sacrifice the sport that he plays and to sacrifice the things he's done his whole life because he knew what he believed in, I salute him. I salute and respect that."

Add James to the list of those who believe Kaepernick is being blackballed by the NFL for taking a knee last season. The more games he watches, the more James sees the evidence on the wall. 

"I don't represent the NFL. I don't know their rules and regulations. But I do know Kap is getting a wrong doing, I do know that," James believes. "Just watching, he's an NFL player. He's an NFL player and you see all these other quarterbacks out there and players out there that get all these second and third chances that are nowhere near as talented as him. It just feels like he's been blackballed out of the NFL. So, I definitely do not respect that."

Kaepernick, who recently turned 30 years old, appeared in 12 games for the 49ers in the 2016-17 season. Through the air he completed 59.2 percent of his passes and ended the year with 2,241 yards, 16 touchdowns and four interceptions. Kaepernick also added 468 yards and two more scores on the ground. 

"The only reason I could say he's not on a team is because the way he took a knee," James said. "That's the only reason. I watch football every Sunday, every Thursday, every Monday night. I see all these quarterbacks -- first-string, second-team, third-team quarterbacks -- that play sometimes when the starter gets hurt or are starters that play. Kap is better than a lot of those guys. Let's just be honest."

For his career, Kaepernick has thrown for 12,271 yards and 72 touchdowns to 30 interceptions. With his speed as a dual-threat quarterback, Kaepernick has also gained 2,300 yards rushing and 13 more touchdowns. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

blaine-ap.jpg
AP

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.