49ers

Lovie Smith: 49ers QB will not change Bears approach

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Lovie Smith: 49ers QB will not change Bears approach

Quarterback Alex Smith was cleared to practice on Wednesday, which appears to be a solid indication that he will be available for the 49ers on Monday night against the Chicago Bears.After all, if there were any doubt of Smith's condition after sustaining a concussion on Sunday, he would not have been cleared so soon for football activity. Smith received clearance from the 49ers team physician, Dr. Daniel Garza, as well as the NFL-mandated opinion from an independent neurologist.RELATED: Alex Smith cleared to return to practice
The Bears have their own issue with a quarterback who sustained a concussion. Jay Cutler was removed from Sunday night's game against the Houston Texans with a concussion. Jason Campbell replaced him Cutler and completed 11 of 19 passes for 94 yards in a 13-6 loss.RELATED: Cutler not yet cleared
The Bears are scheduled to hold their first practice later Thursday. And coach Lovie Smith did not provide any clues to the Bay Area media during a conference call Thursday morning.Can you bring us up to date on the status of Jay Cutler?
"We haven't practiced yet, haven't gone out on the football field. So there's nothing more I can tell you except for, he's getting better, which is a good thing.Will Jason Campbell be getting all the reps today?
"We haven't gone on the practice field. Of course, I'm not going to talk about much of that. I'll give you a lot more information afterward, though."How did Campbell perform when he was forced into the game Sunday?
"Going all the way back, we felt like we needed to improve our backup quarterback position in the offseason. So we felt real good about being able to convince Jason to come here and be Jay's backup. We've been with him for a while. I just love the way he prepares off the field. He's a pro at all times. And he had an excellent training camp for us. He's been very good in the limited time we've given him and being able to go against a very good defense we have here every day. We feel like he's a starting quarterback in the NFL and we have as our backup. We feel very comfortable in him leading us."What about the other side. Do you have to prepare for both Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick or does it see as if Smith is going to play?
"We're going to prepare for the quarterback position for the 49ers. Whether it's Smith or Colin, it doesn't really . . . there's a difference, of course, between the two of them but the 49ers are a running football team. We have to start with that. We have to go with our game plan and we're not going to change much based on who the quarterback will be."That's interesting you say that because they have such different styles. You'd think you'd have to prepare for more running from Colin Kaepernick.
"Colin has been playing some anyway, so we've been preparing for that anyways. Again, we don't change what we do an awful lot based on change in the quarterback. Both of those quarterbacks have played some for them."

Reuben Foster ready for leadership role with 49ers

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AP

Reuben Foster ready for leadership role with 49ers

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ pass coverage from their linebackers has been a disaster this season.

But help is on the way, as rookie Reuben Foster is expected to return to action Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys after sustaining a high right ankle sprain just 11 plays into the season opener against the Carolina Panthers on Sept. 10.

“He’s been battling to get back,” 49ers Kyle Shanahan said on “49ers Game Plan,” which airs Saturday at 9 p.m. on NBC Bay Area.

“He’s been hitting the rehab hard. We’ve had him out here for two weeks of practice, and I think he had his best week of practice. This week was much better than last week. I’m excited to get him out there.”

Last week, the 49ers cut veteran NaVorro Bowman, leaving Ray-Ray Armstrong and Brock Coyle as the starting inside linebackers. They were overmatched in the 49ers' 26-24 loss at Washington.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins looked no further than his running backs in the passing game, as Chris Thompson caught four passes for 105 yards and Samaje Perine had three receptions for 24 yards and a touchdown.

The 49ers expect Foster to provide an immediate upgrade with no expectations of perfection.

“It’s going to be his first time playing in a while,” Shanahan said. “I know there are going to be some bumps in the road. But I think he’ll have a big impact on our defense and our team overall.”

Foster will take over at Bowman’s middle linebacker position and be responsible for communicating the play calls and adjustments to the rest of the defense. Shanahan said Foster is ready to handle the important role.

“That’s the one thing that’s been the most impressive about him,” Shanahan said. “Everyone can see stuff on tape that’s impressive. But we didn’t know how much command he’d have until he got here. And from the first day of OTAs through training camp -- even walk-throughs when he was hurt -- when he gets in there, he speaks that language. He takes control and people listen to him.”

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

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USATSI

Shanahan: Beathard's play will have 'a ton' of influence on future decisions

SANTA CLARA – While rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard is taking a micro view of his promotion, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan is not shy about admitting he is looking at the big picture.

Shanahan said how Beathard performs after replacing Brian Hoyer as starting quarterback will have “a ton” of influence on how the 49ers proceed during the offseason.

After all, the 49ers know every position will come under tremendous scrutiny as the organization looks to add the pieces that will make the club competitive.

“That’s for every position. That’s for every player on our team. That’s for every coach on our team,” Shanahan said. “We’re 0-6, and that’s extremely tough. But I’m extremely excited about this place and excited about where we’re at and where we’re going. There’s not a moment that I don’t waste thinking about that stuff.”

Beathard will make his first NFL start on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium.

Hoyer failed in his bid to earn consideration as the 49ers’ quarterback for the remainder of this season and beyond during his six starts. Hoyer completed just 58 percent of his passes with four touchdowns and four interceptions. His passer rating was 74.1.

Now, Beathard gets his chance. But he said he is not thinking about the big picture and what it might mean for the future.

“I’m really just trying to take it one day, one week at a time,” Beathard said. “I’m not looking that far ahead. Right now, my focus is on today’s practice and geared towards beating the Cowboys and doing the best we can to get better and improve.”

Beathard was pressed into action last week when Hoyer’s struggles continued at Washngton. Beathard stepped in and completed 19 of 36 passes for 245 yards with a touchdown and an interception. For the first time, Beathard is getting the first-team practice snaps with a game plan that is designed specifically for him.

Said Beathard, “Getting those extra reps, reps with guys that you don’t usually throw to, in the huddle with the guys that are out there, I think it’ll help a lot.”