Five 49ers to watch: 2. Chris Owusu


Five 49ers to watch: 2. Chris Owusu

(This is the fourth part in a series that spotlights five 49ers players to watch in the team's exhibition game Saturday, 5 p.m., at the Houston Texans.)

Part 1: Mike Person
Part 2: Trenton Robinson
Part 3: A.J. Jenkins
The No. 3 player to watch is a rookie wide receiver who will be on the 53-man roster. The No. 2 player to watch is a rookie wide receiver who could be auditioning for another team's 53-man roster.Chris Owusu made a triumphant and mostly under-the-radar return to football in the exhibition opener. He led the 49ers with three catches for 35 yards in his first game since seeing his final season at Stanford cut short due to concussions.He caught two passes near the sideline and cut back inside to pick up extra yards. The 49ers even lined him up at gunner on punt coverage, and he looked good in that role, too.Interestingly, Owusu has been a forgotten man among the 49ers' receivers. He has seen the least practice action of any of the 49ers' undrafted rookie widouts -- a group that includes Nathan Palmer and Brian Tyms.When he gets on the field, Owusu has looked good. There is no denying his talent.He ran faster than the 49ers' top two picks, A.J. Jenkins and LaMichael James, at the NFL scouting combine. Despite ranking among the best kick returners in Pac-12 history, Owusu has gotten no practice work in that craft.He went undrafted due to his concussion history. The 49ers signed him, and he could be ticketed for a spot on the practice squad.That is, unless he plays so well that another team pounces on him after the final cuts.

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.”