49ers

Doom settles in over Rams as season winds down

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Doom settles in over Rams as season winds down

Whos better than the Rams? Just about everyone, right now.St. Louis, picked by many asthe preseason favorites in the NFC West, are struggling at 2-9 as they preparefor their game this weekend at Candlestick Park. Even worse, with aloss, the Rams would have to endure some celebrating as a 49ers win would put San Francisco in theplayoffs for the first time since 2002.Heres a sampling of the dismay in St. Louis from Jim Thomas of the PostTelegram. First, on the Rams woes since their last playoff appearance since2004:Since that last playoff season, 2004,the Rams are 29-78, for a .271 winning percentage. Only one Rams player is leftfrom that last playoff season, running back Steven Jackson. He was a rookie in'04 and since then has seen it all at Rams Park.He has been through coaching staffchanges, front office shakeups, new coordinators, dozens of new teammates, aswell as those 78 losses in the last 107 games. And in the midst of thisinjury-plagued 2-9 campaign, he's tired of the losing. Tired of it all. "We're tired ofgiving the same excuses," Jacksonsaid. "We're tired of having the same results. I think we as a teampractice really hard and I think we prepare week in and week out. We positionourselves a lot of times in these games especially the last four or fiveweeks to win the game.So, things are bad in St. Louis,and it looks like theyre likely to get worse. Thomas looks at theRams upcoming schedule:It wasn't exactly a November toremember for the Rams, not when you lose three of four games to teams with acombined record of 12-21. And now that the Rams have completed the supposedlysoft portion of their schedule, it's time for the closing stretch from hell.Starting with Sunday's game in San Francisco, the Rams'final five foes have a combined record of 37-18. That's a .673 winningpercentage and matches the toughest closing schedule of any team in the NFL.As if 2-9 and a hideous schedule ahead isnt bad enough, theres talk in St. Louis that the Ramsare a leading candidate to move (back) to L.A. after Millionaire Shahid Khan bought the Jaguars and pledged to keep them in Jacksonville, thereby vaulting the Rams as a primary candidate to relocate to So. Cal.
From ChadGarrison of the Riverfront Times:Call it The Return of Khan. Shahid Khan, the Illinois businessmagnate who attemptedto purchase the St. Louis Rams last year before StanKroenke foiled his plans, is reportedly the newowner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. But here is where Khan's ascent to the NFL's ownership table could still have abig impact on the St. Louis Rams: Khan, who made millions as president of aChampaign-based auto parts manufacturer, will reportedly keep the Jaguars in Jacksonville. Khan made asimilar pledge when pursuing the Rams, saying he would keep the team in St. Louis. (Rams owner) Stan Kroenke has made no similar promise.More from Garrison -- Five Reasons the Rams will LEAVE St. Louis:1. Kroenke Won't Commit to Keeping Club Here
2. Kroenke Serves on a Committee to Bring an NFL Team to Los Angeles
3. Favorable Lease Agreement Allows Rams to Leave
It looks like a downhill slide for the 49ers' longtime rivals -- a terrible November, a brutal final stretch and a potential move out of town, but we have to ask -- how in the world did this team beat New Orleans in Week 8?The Rams, it appears, have nothing to lose headed into this weekend's clash against the 49ers. Could that be a danger to San Francisco?

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Shanahan showed patience with Beathard; Will now have to show more

Kyle Shanahan is, self admittedly, not a patient person. As he watched quarterback C.J. Beathard run the scout team over the last couple of weeks -- how he visualized an unfamiliar play, went through his progressions and handled the defensive coverages -- the head coach saw rapid improvement every day. But he suppressed any urge to play the rookie before he was ready.

“I tried to wait for the right time for him and the right time for the team,” Shanahan explained.

Down 14-0 to Washington halfway through the second quarter with starter Brian Hoyer struggling, Shanahan knew Beathard’s time had come.

“I felt the team needed it right then,” Shanahan said. “It also made me more confident to do it because I thought he was ready for it, also.”

Moments after the game was over, Shanahan named Beathard the starter. Watching the game tape on the flight home only bolstered his decision.

“By no means was he perfect, missed a couple of things, but that always happens,” Shanahan said. “I thought he came in there, didn’t hesitate, competed. The moment was not too big for him. Made a few plays in rhythm, made a few off schedule plays and was a big reason we got back in that game.”

Beathard led the 49ers on two scoring drives and finished 19-of-36 with 245 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception, though it came on fourth-and-20 on his final pass attempt of the game. On his 45-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson, Beathard extended the play when the fifth year receiver wasn’t where he expected him to be.

“He was supposed to go to the post for a certain coverage, and they had a busted coverage, so he just hung out there which is why C.J. didn’t see it right away,” Shanahan explained. “We had enough protection where he could take a couple more hitches. He drove the pocket and saw where Aldrick was, and he didn’t hesitate. Made that throw with that arm strength.”

Shanahan smirked at his not-so-subtle dig at those who questioned Beathard’s arm strength during the draft process. He sees a quarterback who can make all the throws, and make them from the pocket, and scramble when he needs to. All he needs now, Shanahan contends, is experience.

“It’s about playing in the game and reacting to defenses, reacting to coverages, reacting to adjustments. He’s going to see a lot of things he hasn’t seen before, and that will change each week. It will probably change each quarter.”

Helping Beathard continue to grow through those experiences will require patience, but in this situation, it’s the kind the head coach can handle.

“You’re never going to get a quick answer. You see over time, but he’s got the ability to do it. He’s got the mental toughness to do it. I think he will get better the more he plays.”

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

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USATSI

Armstead to undergo surgery on broken hand, out indefinitely

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead will be out indefinitely with a broken hand, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan announced Monday.

“He’s going to need surgery, so it’s going to be some time,” Shanahan said of Armstead, the 49ers' first-round pick in the 2015 draft.

The 49ers will discuss placing Armstead of injured reserve, which would rule him out for at least eight weeks. The 49ers will also be without defensive end Aaron Lynch this week against the Dallas Cowboys. Lynch is week-to-week with a calf strain.

“The more guys you lose, the less you like that depth,” Shanahan said. “Losing Arik, which could be some time. We’ll have to discuss IR. We have to do that over the next couple of days. We know we’re going to have Lynch out, too, for at least a week or most likely more. That takes away two guys who were helping.”

The 49ers might make a roster move to add a defensive lineman to their 53-man roster. The 49ers also expect outside linebacker/defensive end Dekoda Watson to return to action this week after missing two weeks with a groin strain.