Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers receive high praise from NFL's top defense


Jimmy Garoppolo, 49ers receive high praise from NFL's top defense

The Jacksonville Jaguars departed Levi’s Stadium on Sunday evening with their envisioned AFC South championship.

But there was no celebrating in the visiting-team's locker room.

The playoff-bound Jaguars (10-5) had already clinched the division title with the Tennessee Titans’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams in a game that concluded as the game in Santa Clara kicked off.

Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers ruined the Jaguars’ planned post-game celebration – as well as their hope for securing the top seed in the AFC playoffs – with a 44-33 victory.

“It was definitely irritating to hear about him all week,” Jacksonville linebacker Myles Jack said of Garoppolo, reported the Bay Area News Group.

“He knocked out the No. 1 defense in the country. He did his thing. I guess I have to give him credit. Honestly, he deserves all the credit.”

Garoppolo completed 21 of 30 pass attempts for 242 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for a touchdown. The 49ers’ current four-game win streak coincides with Garoppolo’s elevation into the 49ers' starting lineup.

“I’ve just watched the games with Jimmy Garoppolo playing,” Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said. “I thought they did a great job, and I thought the defense was starting to jell. They’re doing a nice job communication-wise, and special teams is playing well. I saw a team that is really a strong football team. Obviously, they got after us. I have a lot of respect for them. They did a good job.”

Garoppolo’s 102.4 passer rating was the best against the Jaguars this season. No other quarterback has rated higher than an 87.0 against Jacksonville.

“He’s very good for their system,” Jaguars Pro Bowl cornerback Jalen Ramsey said. “They found the right quarterback to go with their system. They played a good game, they had a good game plan and they executed. That’s what it boils down to. They executed their game plan better than we did.”

Jacksonville entered the game with an NFL-leading 51 sacks. That unit managed to drop Garoppolo for just one sack, totaling minus-4 yards. The 49ers used a variety of multi-receiver sets and route combinations to dictate the matchups the 49ers wanted to exploit.

Wide receivers Marquise Goodwin, Louis Murphy, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Aldrick Robinson each played at least 25 percent of the team’s snaps.

“They did some things we hadn’t seen on tape,” Jacksonville defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “That’s good ball. We made our adjustments, but at the end of the day we made too many mistakes and that’ll beat you every time.”

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

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


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.