Three things you need to know from 49ers' 33-10 loss to Eagles


Three things you need to know from 49ers' 33-10 loss to Eagles

PHILADELPHIA -- Three things you need to know about the 49ers’ 33-10 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 on Sunday:

Free safety Jimmie Ward is likely out for the remainder of the season with a fractured forearm. And left tackle Joe Staley was transported to a local hospital for further evaluation of an injury to the orbital bone after leaving the game with an eye injury.

First-round draft pick Solomon Thomas sustained a knee injury. The initial diagnosis was an injury to his medial-collateral, which is good news. The injury could keep him out of action, but it is not likely to end his rookie season.

The 49ers were not a deep team to begin the season. It was going to be difficult for them to win games at full strength. Now, the 49ers enter their two most winnable games – at home against Arizona and the New York Giants – with a patchwork team on both sides of the ball.

“It’s just the cards we were dealt,” 49ers receiver Pierre Garçon said. “We can’t use it as an excuse. We just have to keep playing, regardless of who’s in there.”

Right tackle Trent Brown was out with a concussion. Backup Garry Gilliam sustained a knee injury. The 49ers ended up with rookie Erik Magnuson at right tackle and veteran guard Zane Beadles at left tackle.

The losses are one thing. The injuries are something else. Coach Kyle Shanahan has a difficult task ahead of him to attempt to keep things together for the second half of the season.

The 2017 edition of the 49ers on Sunday became the first club in franchise history to open the season with eight consecutive losses.

It would have been plenty difficult for rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard to succeed if the 49ers were at full strength. But combine the injuries to the offensive line and going up against the best team in the league, and Beathard had no chance at all.

“C.J. was battling,” Shanahan said. “He was in some tough situations. By no means was he perfect and there were some plays he missed, but that was a tough game to him in. He never shied away from anything and played extremely tough. But we just have to work on getting better – both him and everyone around him.”

Beathard was under constant pressure. He was sacked four times for 23 yards. The Eagles recorded 12 hits on Beathard, who scrambled six times for 40 yards rushing to lead the 49ers’ non-existent ground game.

Beathard and running back Carlos Hyde had particular difficulty hooking up. Beathard targeted Hyde on nine pass attempts. A couple of his tosses were behind Hyde, who failed to hold onto the ball. Hyde ended up with four receptions for 22 yards on what should have been high-percentage throws.

The 49ers’ defense played about as well as anyone could have hoped on Sunday.

The Eagles managed just 304 yards of total offense, and quarterback Carson Wentz did not completely dice up a 49ers’ secondary that featured some new faces in key roles.

Rookie cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon found out on Tuesday that he would be starting in place of Rashard Robinson. Witherspoon was upbeat after the game, pointing to plays both good and bad from which he can learn and continue to grow.

Witherspoon recorded his first career interception in the second half. But on the next play, he said he misjudged Carson Wentz’s deep pass and gave up a 53-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery.

“I think he did well,” Shanahan said of Witherspoon. “I thought he competed. I know he gave up that go-route, which obviously wasn’t a good play. But he had a big turning point in that game and gave us a chance with that interception.”

Rookie safety Adrian Colbert, a seventh-round draft pick, played most of the game after Ward sustained his injury. The 49ers decided on Colbert over re-inserting Eric Reid at safety. Reid moved full-time to linebacker last week.

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

Eric Reid presents Colin Kaepernick Ambassador of Conscience Award

AMSTERDAM — Amnesty International gave former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick its Ambassador of Conscience Award on Saturday for his kneeling protest of racial injustice that launched a sports movement and might have cost him his job.

Onetime San Francisco 49ers teammate Eric Reid presented Kaepernick with the award during a ceremony in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands.

In his acceptance speech, the award-winner described police killings of African Americans and Latinos in the United States as lawful lynchings.

"Racialized oppression and dehumanization is woven into the very fabric of our nation — the effects of which can be seen in the lawful lynching of black and brown people by the police, and the mass incarceration of black and brown lives in the prison industrial complex," Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick first took a knee during the pre-game playing of the American national anthem when he was with the 49ers in 2016 to protest police brutality.

"How can you stand for the national anthem of a nation that preaches and propagates, 'freedom and justice for all,' that is so unjust to so many of the people living there?" he said at Saturday's award ceremony.

Other players joined his protest in the 2016 season, drawing the ire of President Donald Trump, who called for team owners to fire such players.

In response to the player demonstrations, the NFL agreed to commit $90 million over the next seven years to social justice causes in a plan.

Kaepernick wasn't signed for the 2017 season following his release in San Francisco.

Reid, a safety who is now a free agent, continued Kaepernick's protests by kneeling during the anthem last season. Reid has said he will take a different approach in 2018.

Kaepernick paid tribute to his friend for his own role in the protest movement.

"Eric introducing me for this prestigious award brings me great joy," Kaepernick said. "But I am also pained by the fact that his taking a knee, and demonstrating courage to protect the rights of black and brown people in America, has also led to his ostracization from the NFL when he is widely recognized as one of the best competitors in the game and in the prime of his career."

Amnesty hands its award each year to a person or organization, "dedicated to fighting injustice and using their talents to inspire others."

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty called Kaepernick "an athlete who is now widely recognized for his activism because of his refusal to ignore or accept racial discrimination."

Previous recipients of the award include anti-Apartheid campaigner and South African President Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who campaigned for girls' right to education even after surviving being shot by Taliban militants.

"In truth, this is an award that I share with all of the countless people throughout the world combating the human rights violations of police officers, and their uses of oppressive and excessive force," Kaepernick said.

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

Five NFL Draft options if 49ers make first-round trade

The 49ers have their starting and backup quarterbacks on the roster for at least the next three seasons. That luxury opens up their draft options to concentrate on other areas.

Quarterbacks Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen could be selected within the first eight picks of the draft. If those four quarterbacks are chosen, it means the 49ers will get – at worst – the fifth-ranked player on their draft board.

And if there is still one of those quarterbacks available when the 49ers go on the clock at No. 9 overall, it invites the possibility of a trade-back option.

The 49ers could trade back and still get one of the five players – Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Harold Landry or Marcus Davenport – highlighted as first-round draft options.

But if the 49ers move further back or acquire an additional pick in the first round, here are some of their options...

OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
The 49ers must start thinking about a time when two new offensive tackles are going to be required. McGlinchey (6-8, 312) began his career at right tackle before shifting to the left side. That versatility could come in handy for the 49ers, as right tackle Trent Brown enters the final year of his contract and might not be back in 2019. Moreover, six-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is 34 years old, and it is uncertain how much longer he can play at a high level. McGlinchey has the athleticism that Shanahan covets. He began high school as a tight end and also played on the basketball team.

OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Miller is an exceptional athlete who should get better and better. He ran the third-fastest time among offensive linemen at the combine and placed near the top of all the other agility drills. Miller started off his college career on the right side before shifting over to protect the blind side of quarterback Josh Rosen. With any offensive lineman the 49ers select, the club could consider having him begin his career at guard before moving him to tackle whenever the need arises.

CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Jackson was among the 49ers’ final pre-draft visits to Santa Clara. The team needs another cornerback to join presumptive starters Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. At 6-0 3/8, Jackson is not as tall as initially advertised, but his style of play and long arms would fit well within the 49ers’ scheme. He has great instincts, as shown by his nation-leading eight interceptions and 26 pass breakups.

WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
The consensus best wide receiver in the draft could provide Jimmy Garoppolo and Kyle Shanahan with another option in the passing game to join starters Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin. Garçon is the possession receiver and Goodwin is the deep threat. Ridley is versatile and polished, which makes him a nice chess piece to utilize early in his career for specific matchups.

WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
It should be noted that the 49ers like their receiver corps, a group that also includes Trent Taylor, Aldrick Robinson and Kendrick Bourne. But Sutton (6-3, 219) would give the 49ers more size to exploit matchups. He gets high marks off the field. There is no rush to get him out there before he is ready. The 49ers can take their time to develop him, as they would have him under their control contractually for five seasons. He has spent time learning from Anquan Boldin.