49ers

Manningham not expected to play vs. Patriots

manningham_mario_49ers.jpg

Manningham not expected to play vs. Patriots

SANTA CLARA -- Receiver Mario Manningham is expected to be sidelined for a second consecutive game with a right shoulder injury.

Manningham, who took part only in individual drills this week, is listed as doubtful for Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots. He did not participate in Friday's practice because the 49ers do not go through individual drills on Fridays. Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss will see the most action among the 49ers' wide receivers.

Delanie Walker is expected to see significant playing time, as the 49ers will go with two tight ends.

Manningham's expected absence is likely to open the door for rookie A.J. Jenkins, who played eight snaps in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Jenkins did not see any passes thrown his way in his limited duty.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to be out there again to get the experience," Jenkins said on Friday. "I'll play to the best of my ability and just focus.

"I'm not a person who's been all about myself. Right now, I'm just going with the flow of things and help this team win, whether it's blocking the whole game or catching all the balls. It doesn't matter. It's about getting the win."

Jenkins did not see any action in the 49ers' first 12 games as he was behind Crabtree, Moss, Manningham, Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn on the depth chart.

"I didn't cause any controversy or anything," Jenkins said. "I'm laid back. I understood why I wasn't dressing, so I accepted it. But I knew when it was my time to suit up, I'd be ready to go. I wasn't going every week assuming I wasn't going to play. Every week for me, I was preparing for the game. I wasn't taking weeks off, so I was making big strides during that time having a good mindset through the week."

49ERS
Doubtful: WR Mario Manningham (shoulder)
Probable: K David Akers (pelvis), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), CB Chris Culliver (knee), LB Tavares Gooden (ribs), RB Frank Gore (wrist), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), DT Will Tukuafu (wrist), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)

PATRIOTS
Questionable: CB Kyle Arrington (knee), DT Ron Brace (elbow), S Patrick Chung (shoulder, hamstring), G Dan Connolly (back), CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm, hip), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), DE Chandler Jones (ankle), WR Brandon Lloyd (knee), DT Kyle Love (knee), G Logan Mankins (ankle, calf), C Nick McDonald (shoulder), LB Brandon Spikes (knee, ankle), CB Aqib Talib (hip), T Sebastian Vollmer (back, knee), WR Wes Welker (ankle), LB Tracy White (elbow)
Probable: LB Jerod Mayo (elbow)

* * *

The 49ers plan to enter Sunday's game with one roster vacancy. The 49ers have 52 players on their roster. Each team is allowed to suit up only 46 players, so any player the 49ers would think about promoting from the practice squad would not be active for Sunday's game anyway, coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed.

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

joe-staley-us.jpg
USATSI

49ers veteran expected to play in Pro Bowl thanks to Eagles

Veteran 49ers left tackle Joe Staley is expected to benefit from the Philadelphia Eagles’ trip to the Super Bowl.

Staley, originally chosen as an alternate, is expected to be named to his sixth Pro Bowl to take the place of Eagles Pro Bowl tackle Lane Johnson.

The Pro Bowl will be played Sunday, Jan. 28, in Orlando, Florida. Members of the Super Bowl participant Eagles and New England Patriots will not play in the All-Star game. The Eagles advanced to the Super Bowl on Sunday with a 38-7 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The other Pro Bowl offensive tackles representing the NFC are Dallas’ Tyron Smith and Los Angeles’ Andrew Whitworth, who replaced Washington’s Trent Williams.

Staley got off to a rough start last season as the 49ers opened on a nine-game losing streak. The idea of his career coming to an end began to creep into his mind, he said recently on the 49ers Insider Podcast.

But Staley said he had a talk with coach Kyle Shanahan that got him refocused for the remainder of the season. The 49ers finished with a five-game win streak to finish with a 6-10 record, and Staley played well down the stretch.

“I’m so far gone from where I was in that moment early in the year that I’m just focused on next year and, hopefully, years after that,” said Staley, 33, an 11-year NFL veteran. “I feel like I can still play.

“I think this last half of the season I played some of the best football of my career. I feel very confident in what we’re doing schematically with the people surrounding us, and it shows in my own play.”

Staley would join fullback Kyle Juszczyk, who was the only 49ers player named to the Pro Bowl when the teams were announced in last month.

Foles frenzy: Eagles fly over Vikings to meet Patriots in Super Bowl LII

foles.jpg
USATSI

Foles frenzy: Eagles fly over Vikings to meet Patriots in Super Bowl LII

BOX SCORE

PHILADELPHIA -- Hey Philly, maybe it's time to forget Carson Wentz. Nick Foles might be good enough to win the Eagles their first Super Bowl.

Foles was on fire Sunday night against the stingiest scoring defense in the NFL. Philly made big play after big play on both sides of the ball in a stunning 38-7 rout of the Minnesota Vikings for the NFC championship.

Next up after their most-lopsided playoff victory: the Eagles' first Super Bowl appearance since 2005, against the team that beat them then, AFC champion New England.

Foles replaced the injured Wentz in Game 13 and finished off a rise from last place to first in the NFC East. There were plenty of doubters entering the playoffs, but the former starter in Philadelphia (15-3) under another regime has been brilliant.

His best work might have come against Minnesota (14-4) and its vaunted defense that was torn apart in every manner. Foles threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, showing poise, escapability and moxie in going 26 for 33.

In doing so - helped greatly by the Eagles' domination on defense and a spectacular weaving 50-yard interception return TD by Patrick Robinson - Foles ruined the Vikings' hopes of being the first team to play in a Super Bowl in its own stadium

Instead, the Eagles will seek their first Super Bowl crown in Minnesota on Feb. 4; their last championship came in 1960.

OVER AT HALFTIME: Minnesota made it look easy at the outset, driving 75 yards on nine plays, each of which gained yardage. The payoff was a 25-yard throw from Case Keenum to Kyle Rudolph well behind linebacker Najee Goode as Philadelphia's defense looked confused on the play.

That didn't happen again for Philly.

Defensive end Chris Long had a huge hand in Robinson's 50-yard interception return. Long burst in from the left side and got his arm on Keenum to disrupt the throw for Adam Thielen. The ball went directly to Robinson, who sped down the left side, then made a sharp cut to the right and got a superb block from Ronald Darby to reach the end zone.

Inspired, Philly's D forced a three-and-out, the Foles led the Eagles on a 12-play, 75-yard masterpiece of a drive. LeGarrette Blount showed all his power and escapability on an 11-yard surge up the middle for a 14-7 lead.

Turnovers, something Minnesota rarely committed with an NFC-low 14 during the season, hurt again and not only ended a solid drive, but set up more Philly points. On third down from the Eagles 15, Keenum was blindsided by rookie Derek Barnett, and the ball bounced directly to Long.

It was only the second strip-sack the Vikings have been victimized by all season.

A blown coverage - another rarity for Minnesota - on third-and-10 allowed Alshon Jeffery to get wide open for a 53-yard TD, and Philadelphia tacked on Elliott's 38-yard field goal to make it 24-3 at halftime.

DANCING IN THE LINC: Fifty seconds into the final quarter, with the score 38-7, Eagles players on the sideline and waiting to kick off on the field were dancing up a storm and fans were chanting "We want Brady."

They get Tom Brady and company in two weeks.

BACK TO THE BIG GAME: Long won the Super Bowl last year with the Patriots, as did Blount. Now they return on the other side.

QUICK DRIVE: Philadelphia got the ball with 29 seconds remaining in the first half at its 20. Foles hit passes of 11 yards to Jay Ajayi, 36 to Ertz and 13 to Ajayi before Elliott's field goal to end the half.

THIRD DOWNS: Minnesota was the league's best team defending third downs and was third in converting them. Yet Philadelphia went 10 for 14.

NEXT UP: Minnesota returns home to watch two other teams play at its stadium for the Lombardi Trophy.

With the entire stadium singing "Fly Eagles Fly" during the NFC trophy ceremony, Philadelphia can look forward to facing New England in Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4