Tomlinson in consideration to take over in 49ers' starting lineup


Tomlinson in consideration to take over in 49ers' starting lineup

SANTA CLARA -- Guard Laken Tomlinson, whom the 49ers acquired in a trade two weeks ago, will get a long look this week in practice as the team prepares to face the Seattle Seahawks.

Veteran Zane Beadles has struggled at left guard, which might accelerate the 49ers’ urgency to get Tomlinson on the field. The 49ers on Wednesday have their first practice in preparation to face the Seahawks.

“It's pretty simple,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “What it comes down to (is) who we think at the time gives us the best chance to win. If that's the case, that's what we'll go with.”

Laken was a first-round draft pick of the Detroit Lions in 2015. He started 24 of the 32 games in which he appeared over his first two NFL seasons. Current 49ers personnel executive Martin Mayhew, formerly the Lions general manager, was responsible for Tomlinson's selection at No. 28 overall.

Tomlinson is picking up the 49ers’ system quickly, a source told NBC Sports Bay Area, and it is apparent he has played in the NFL and understands what the team requires of its linemen. However, he has never before played in an offensive system similar to what the 49ers deploy.

“You look at O-linemen and schemes, all schemes are different,” Shanahan said. “When you've been in more gap-oriented schemes where you've never really had to run that far. . . He's never used the techniques that we've ever asked him to.

“He's definitely got the ability to and that's why we're excited to have him here and we're just trying to work with him and get him comfortable to do it and put him in an NFL game for the first time in a while.”

Beadles, 30, an eighth-year pro, started all 16 games for the 49ers last season. He started games at left guard, left tackle and center. But his skills have seemingly not been a good fit for the 49ers’ system. On Sunday, he surrendered a game-turning sack-strip against Carolina Panthers defensive lineman Wes Horton in the first half of a scoreless game.

Shanahan described Beadles’ performance as “up and down.”

LeBron James: Colin Kaepernick ‘had a vision like Martin Luther King’


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. 

Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals


Former 49ers quarterback takes over under center for Cardinals

TEMPE, Ariz. — Blaine Gabbert will get his first start for the Arizona Cardinals when they play the Texans in Houston on Sunday.

Coach Bruce Arians announced the decision after Friday's practice.

Drew Stanton, the starter the last two games, bruised his knee early in the Thursday night loss to Seattle last week. He stayed in the game but has been limited in practice all week.

Arians said it will be a game-time decision as to whether Stanton or recently signed Matt Barkley would be Gabbert's backup.

Gabbert will be making his 41st NFL start. He has a 9-31 record. He signed with Arizona last offseason and was the third quarterback until Carson Palmer broke his arm against the Los Angeles Rams in London and was lost for the season.