Hastings: 'I can do anything the coach asks'


Hastings: 'I can do anything the coach asks'

Receiver Joe Hastings claims this was just an ordinary week.Although still not officially a member of the 49ers' 53-man roster, everybody around the 49ers expects that announcement to happen at some point on Saturday.Hastings was among the 49ers' final cuts of training camp. The product of Washburn University has been on the team's practice squad since the first week of the regular season, when the undrafted rookie was chosen for a spot over draft pick Ronald Johnson of USC.
This week, the 49ers parted ways with veteran Braylon Edwards. Ted Ginn (ankle) and Kyle Williams (concussion) are questionable for Sunday's game against the St. Louis Rams. That could leave the 49ers in desperate need of a wide receiver with only Michael Crabtree and Brett Swain unquestionably healthy.
The 49ers decided to fill their roster spot in-house, rather than enlist the help of any out-of-work players with NFL experience. The competition for the job was theoretically between Hastings and fellow practice-squad receiver John Matthews."Joe's the guy that's next man up," Matthews said.So much for that.Just prior to the 49ers taking off for St. Louis on Friday afternoon, Hastings was seen in the cold bath to assist his body recover from heavy week of practice. He said he still had not received word whether he would suit up for Sunday's game."I've been preparing for this since Week 1," Hastings said. "I still haven't been told anything, so it's the same as usual. If they decide to go in that direction, I'll be prepared. Just like if they go with (tight end) Konrad (Reuland) or John (Matthews), we'll all be prepared."It's a crazy business, so if somebody goes down you got to be ready to step up. All of us have been preparing like we could get the call. It's up to management to make the decision they think is best for the program."Hastings said every week of the season he has studied the game plan as if he would be active for the games. On Sunday, he might get a chance to show if all his preparations have paid off.
"Every week I try to put myself in there so I can take that mindset but all the practice squad guys do," he said. "I study it every week like I'm going to be active. That way if it does happen down the road next year, whenever it is, I'll be prepared and ready."Hastings said he'll be prepared to play each of the wide-receiver positions. It's possible Crabtree and Swain will be the starting receivers, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said this week.Hastings has made a strong impression behind the scenes with the 49ers. Even during the exhibition season, he did not catch a pass. Fortunately for him, the 49ers place a greater emphasis on how players performed every day during practices."I can do anything the coach asks -- whatever gets me on the field," Hastings said. "(I'm) someone the coach can count on to do anything in any situation. The more you can do, the better. That's the mindset I take."

49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers


49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

The San Francisco 49ers' defensive line will have a new member coming off of the bye week.

The 49ers claimed defensive lineman Sheldon Day of waivers from the Jacksonville Jaguars on Monday. The Jaguars waived Day on Saturday in order to make room for the return of rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook off of injured reserve. 

Day, a 2016 fourth round pick, posted 11 tackles and two tackles in 22 games over the last two seasons with Jacksonville. He played fewer than 30 snaps in all seven games with the Jaguars this season. 

Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, defensive tackle Tank Carradine, and defensive tackle Chris Jones are all on injured reserve, while defensive lineman Aaron Lynch missed the 49ers' last game in Week 10.

San Francisco ranks 22nd in the league in sacks, 23rd in pass defense, and 31st in rush defense. 

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


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.