49ers

49ers take on role of spoiler down the stretch

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AP

49ers take on role of spoiler down the stretch

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers’ three victories over their past four games have come against teams in the bottom quarter of the league.

The competition gets a lot more challenging for Jimmy Garoppolo and Co., as the 49ers close out the season against three teams currently jockeying for playoff positioning.

First up, the Tennessee Titans, who come to Levi’s Stadium on Sunday as the current No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs with an 8-5 record. After back-to-back road victories, the 49ers can finish the season with some momentum against teams that are playing for their postseason lives.

“I think getting these last two have been big for us,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “We got close in a number (of games) early in the year and then came up short, which I think got real frustrating. We hit a lull with that and with the little bit of injuries in the same span.

“Then, I thought we rebounded where it started versus the Giants, then had a setback versus Seattle and then played better versus Chicago and that led to us playing better last week versus Houston. I hope that continues to lead us into playing better this week. The more you win, that’s how you develop real confidence and the more you win players believe truly that they have a chance to win instead of just hoping. The more that happens, the easier it gets.”

Garoppolo will face his biggest tests since arriving on the scene with the 49ers. His 624 yards passing the past two games are the most in franchise history for a player making his first two starts.

But after facing the Titans (8-5), the 49ers conclude the season against Jacksonville (9-4) and the Los Angeles Rams (9-4).

“We have a little bit of momentum with us right now,” Garoppolo said, adding that the 49ers first must concentrate on putting together good practices.

“I think that’s what’s really helped us these last two weeks is we’re putting in the time, practice has been good tempo and everything and I think that carries over to Sunday.”

After facing Tennessee, which as the league’s No. 18 pass defense, the 49ers face the best pass defense in the league when the Jaguars come to Levi’s Stadium on Christmas Eve.

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

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Santa Clara Sheriff Office

Report: Stubblefield taken into custody, booked into jail in no-bail case

Former 49ers defensive lineman Dana Stubblefield is behind bars. 

According to the Mercury News, Stubblefield was led away from court to jail in handcuffs Friday after a judge found there was probable cause to hold him over for trial on charges of rape stemming from May 2015. 

Stubblefield is charged with raping an intellectually disabled woman on April 9, 2015 at his Morgan Hill home when she had gone to interview for a babysitting job. 

According to the same report, Stubblefield had been free on $250,000 bail for more than a year. But the judge ordered him taken into custody Friday after prosecutors formally added the allegation that Stubblefield used a gun during the assault, which made it a no-bail case.

Stubblefield has pleaded not guilty and publicly denied the five felony charges and gun enhancement that prosecutors say could lead to at least 15 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

Stubblefield played 11 seasons in the NFL, including the first five with the 49ers. He later returned to the 49ers in 2001 and ’02, before finishing his career with the Raiders.

Stubblefield, a first-round pick of the 49ers in 1993, was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after recording 10.5 sacks. He was named the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year with a career-high 15 sacks in 1997. He signed a lucrative contract with Washington in 1998.
 

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

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USATSI

Drafted by Baalke with injury, former 49ers WR signs with Colts

The 49ers recently re-signed eight of the 10 players who finished the season on the team’s practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Smelter, who was not among the first wave of 49ers signings to 2018 contracts, signed Wednesday with the Indianapolis Colts, ending his three-season association with the organization.

Smelter was one of general manager Trent Baalke’s redshirt draft picks. The team selected him in the fourth round of the 2015 draft despite a torn ACL that ended his final season at Georgia Tech.

Smelter spent his first season on an injured list. He was waived at the beginning of the past two seasons, finishing both years on the 49ers’ practice squad. Smelter appeared in two games in 2016 and caught one pass for 23 yards.

Last season, the 49ers signed wide receivers Louis Murphy and Max McCaffrey to spots on the 53-man roster instead of Smelter, who remained on the practice squad.

Wide receiver DeAndre Carter, who also spent the entire season on the practice squad, was signed recently to the team’s 90-man roster.

Others who finished the season on the 49ers practice squad to remain on the team’s offseason roster are: quarterback Nick Mullens, tight end Cole Wick, offensive linemen Andrew Lauderdale and Pace Murphy, linebacker Boseko Lokombo, and defensive backs Trovon Reed and Channing Stribling.

The 49ers also signed fullback Malcolm Johnson, who spent last season on injured reserve with the Seattle Seahawks. Johnson appeared in 19 games over the 2015 and ’16 seasons with the Cleveland Browns. He was a sixth-round draft pick in ’15.

Offensive linemen Cameron Hunt, who finished the season on the 49ers’ practice squad, remains unsigned. Guard JP Flynn is also unsigned. He sustained a torn patellar tendon in November and underwent surgery that was expected to keep him out up to nine months.