49ers

Snap count: In first game without Bowman, Coyle struggles to fill void

Snap count: In first game without Bowman, Coyle struggles to fill void

The release of veteran linebacker NaVorro Bowman forced Brock Coyle onto the field for every defensive snap of the 49ers’ 26-24 loss Sunday to Washington.

Coyle and free safety Jimmie Ward played all 74 defensive plays for the 49ers' defense.

Coyle struggled in pass coverage while making the start in Bowman’s old position. According to Pro Football Focus, Coyle allowed six catches on seven passes he defended for 77 yards and a touchdown.

Fellow inside linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong also had his difficulties, allowing catches on all five targets for 136 yards.

Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon also saw his most playing time on the season, as he rotated into the game at various times to replace starters Dontae Johnson and Rashard Robinson. Witherspoon played 34 snaps.

Eric Reid was cleared to play, but saw action on just 10 plays, as Jaquiski Tartt held onto his starting job at strong safety for at least another week.

Rookie defensive lineman Solomon Thomas played more than any other 49ers defensive lineman and he responded with a strong game. Thomas was on the field for 68 of the 49ers’ 74 defensive plays. He recorded his second sack of the season and have five run stops, according to PFF.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams:

OFFENSE
(72 plays)
Quarterback – C.J. Beathard 54, Brian Hoyer 18
Running back – Carlos Hyde 56, Matt Breida 17, Raheem Mostert 1
Wide receiver – Marquise Goodwin 61, Pierre Garçon 60, Trent Taylor 44, Aldrick Robinson 15, Victor Bolden 3
Tight end – George Kittle 66, Garrett Celek 30, Logan Paulsen 3, Cole Hikutini 2
Offensive line – Joe Staley 72, Trent Brown 72, Daniel Kilgore 72, Brandon Fusco 72, Laken Tomlinson 72, Garry Gilliam 2

DEFENSE
(74 plays)
Defensive line – Solomon Thomas 68, DeForest Buckner 61, Earl Mitchell 49, Xavier Cooper 32, Arik Armstead 22, D.J. Jones 18, Aaron Lynch 18, Elvis Dumervil 15
Linebacker – Brock Coyle 74, Ray-Ray Armstrong 61, Eli Harold 48, Elijah Lee 4, Mark Nzeocha 2
Cornerback – Dontae Johnson 56, Rashard Robinson 53, K’Waun Williams 41, Ahkello Witherspoon 34
Safety – Jimmie Ward 74, Jaquiski Tartt 73, Eric Reid 10, Adrian Colbert 1

SPECIAL TEAMS
(30 plays)
Lee 21, Colbert 19, Harold 19, Paulsen 19, Mostert 19, Nzeocha 18, Celek 16, Witherspoon 16, Bradley Pinion 14, Bolden 13, Pita Taumoepenu 12, Johnson 12, Kyle Nelson 11, Tartt 9, Jones 9, Hikutini 8, Ward 7, Robbie Gould 6, Coyle 6, Breida 6, Mitchell 6, Thomas 6, Buckner 6, Reid 6, Zane Beadles 5, Staley 5, Brown 5, Kilgore 5, Fusco 5, Armstrong 4, Gilliam 4, R.Robinson 4, Taylor 4, Armstead 3, Tomlinson 1

DID NOT PLAY
None

INACTIVE
WR Kendrick Bourne
CB Leon Hall
DB Dexter McCoil
FB Kyle Juszczyk (back)
LB Reuben Foster (ankle)
LB Dekoda Watson (groin)
OL Erik Magnuson

49ers claim former Jaguars defensive lineman off waivers

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USATSI

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’

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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.