49ers turn to veteran guards with Garnett out a month or more


49ers turn to veteran guards with Garnett out a month or more

SANTA CLARA – Guard Joshua Garnett’s season does not appear to be in jeopardy, but it appears unlikely he will be able to compete for a starting job to open the season.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said Saturday that Garnett, who sat out practice with a knee injury, could undergo a procedure that is expected to keep him sidelined for a month or more. The knee condition does not involve his ACL.

"I know there’s some stuff in his knee we’re probably going to have to clean up," coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I don’t think it’s anything long-term, but it’s going to be a little bit of time."

When the 49ers took the field for an open practice at Levi’s Stadium in front of more than 25,000 fans, the first-team offensive line might be the same until that opens the regular season on Sept. 10 against the Carolina Panthers.

With Garnett expected approximately four to six weeks, the 49ers’ offensive line appears to be coming into sharper focus. Brandon Fusco has been working with the starters at right guard since the opening of training camp. After a slow start with the 49ers’ new offensive scheme, Zane Beadles appears to be proving his way into the role at left guard.

“The game is not too big for them,” Shanahan said of Fusco and Beadles. “You want to see how they do, and they’re both doing a new scheme, and being asked to do some techniques they haven’t done before. It’s always neat with veterans who have had success in this league when they’re willing to do that.

“They’re OK being uncomfortable with being uncomfortable. (We’ve) gotten them out of their shell a little bit. When you do that, it starts off bad, but they’re both mentally strong, confident people. You can see it coming around and they’re getting better each day.”

Joe Staley and Trent Brown are the starters at the left- and right-tackle positions. And center Daniel Kilgore has seemed to tighten his hold on the starting job ahead of veteran Jeremy Zuttah.

Here are other notes from 49ers practice:

--Cornerback Rashard Robinson and running back Kapri Bibbs left practice with injuries. Robinson experienced some mild tightness in his hamstring, Shanahan said. Bibbs took the full brunt of a Tank Carradine hit on his right shoulder and did not return.

--Quarterback Brian Hoyer had another strong showing. He completed six passes to Pierre Garçon, including a 32-yard completion over the coverage of Foster. In move-the-chain periods, Hoyer threw touchdown passes to Aldrick Robinson, Logan Paulsen and Marquise Goodwin.

--Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard, who are competing for the No. 2 job, did not fare as well. Barkley could not get much going with the second-team offense. He threw the only interception of the day – though it was a Hail Mary that Eric Reid picked off on fourth down of a two-minute drill. Beathard threw up an ill-advised wobbly pass into coverage deep down the field that fell incomplete.

--Foster, who appears to be in line to take over as the starter with Malcolm Smith’s season in question, had a sack. K’Waun Williams blitzed from the slot for a sack. Dekoda Watson also had a sack.

--Prior to practice, the 49ers re-signed linebacker Jayson DiManche to a one-year deal. DiManche originally signed with the 49ers on April 7 and was released less than a month later. He takes the roster spot that opened with the club waived wide receiver Bruce Ellington. The New York Jets claimed Ellington off waivers on Friday.

--The 49ers distributed just less than 30,000 tickets for the open practice. The team announced 25,319 fans attended the practice. There were 40,000 free hot dogs that were pre-prepared for the fans. The event raised $125,000 for the 49ers Foundation, the charitable arm of the organization.

49ers wide receiver Pierre Garçon handed hefty fine


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


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.