49ers

Walker's playoff availability biggest 49ers concern

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Walker's playoff availability biggest 49ers concern

SEATTLE -- Tight end Delanie Walker sustained a jaw injury in the first quarter Saturday that places into question his availability for the 49ers' upcoming appearance in the NFC playoffs.Walker sustained the injury when Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill inadvertently kicked him while Walker was on the ground after a cut block on a run play.Walker's helmet flew off and he remained on the ground for several minutes after the 49ers' medical staff and coach Jim Harbaugh rushed to his assistance. Walker held a towel over the left side of his jaw. He was carted off the field, presumably for X-rays.The 49ers immediately announced that Walker would not be available to return to the game.Walker has not caught a pass in the past six games for the 49ers, but he's been a major contributor to the offense as a blocker.
It was not a good first half for the 49ers, who trail the Seahawks 10-3 while trying to hold onto the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs ahead of the New Orleans Saints.Defensive starters Justin Smith (left leg) and Ahmad Brooks (right elbow) left the game due to injuries in the first quarter. Both returned to action in the second quarter. And the 49ers offense has sputtered, with tight end Vernon Davis dropping a couple of passes.Also, Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch is threatening to end the 49ers' streak of 36 games without allowing a 100-yard rusher. Lynch has 83 yards rushing on 14 carries.

49ers GM John Lynch: 'Right now, we don't need him'

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USATSI

49ers GM John Lynch: 'Right now, we don't need him'

When the 49ers acquired their presumptive franchise quarterback in a trade last month, there were two major complications that contributed to skepticism about the future.

Jimmy Garoppolo came to the 49ers with a resume that consisted of only two starts in four NFL seasons. Moreover, Garoppolo was under contract for only half a season before he would be scheduled for unrestricted free agency.

Nothing has changed since Garoppolo arrived from New England with six suitcases packed with clothes and belongings – other than the 49ers appear to feel more resolute in their belief Garoppolo is not just a rental.

General manager John Lynch, the man who must ultimately decide the team’s decision on how to handle Garoppolo’s contract status, said he does not necessarily need coach Kyle Shanahan to quickly assign Garoppolo the starting role to determine his value to the organization.

“No, I don’t think so,” Lynch said for “49ers Game Plan,” which will air Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3). “We know what we like about Jimmy Garoppolo. And that’s only been strengthened by the time that’s he’s been here. We’re just going to let these things play out. That’s in Kyle’s hands.

“People have had all these ideas about why we got Jimmy. We got Jimmy because we think he has big-time ability at the quarterback position. And we believe so much – to get where we need to get – you have to have a franchise quarterback. We think he’s got that ability. Whether that happens, when that happens, we’ll see. But we certainly like his future with the 49ers.”

The 49ers, currently on their bye week, are coming off their first victory of the season. Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard played his best game, throwing for 288 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-21 win over the New York Giants.

Garoppolo is spending his bye week in Santa Clara, meeting with coaches, to continue his cramming of the team’s playbook and offensive philosophy.

“The plan is to continue to get him ready,” Lynch said. “It’s a very different system he played under. A great system, but a different system he played under in New England. And Kyle’s system is complex for a quarterback. There’s a lot of verbiage in every play call. There are a lot of adjustments on every play call that the quarterback controls.

“We want to set Jimmy up for success and also the way C.J.’s playing is helping us sit back. And now we have a bye week. They’re going to work hard during this week to get him up to speed. But right now, we don’t need him. C.J. just played a great game and his teammates really believe in him. We think it’s nothing but a good situation.”

John Lynch envisions 49ers' final six games to set the tone for 2018

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AP

John Lynch envisions 49ers' final six games to set the tone for 2018

Left tackle Joe Staley compared the elation in the 49ers’ locker room Sunday to what he experienced after the team earned a trip to the Super Bowl five seasons ago.

Young players, veteran players, coaches and executives took part in an enthusiastic celebration at Levi’s Stadium after the 49ers recorded their first victory over the season – a 31-21 win over the New York Giants.

General manager John Lynch, who earned nine trips to the Pro Bowl and won a Super Bowl ring as a player, was a bit surprised at the genuine show of emotion that included dancing and players hoisting a bucket of water to douse coach Kyle Shanahan.

“I’ve always been an act-like-you’ve-been-there guy, so I was a little surprised I was acting like that,” Lynch said for “49ers Game Plan,” which will air Saturday at 7:30 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).

Lynch said the celebration was a spontaneous show of pride for a team that lost its first nine games of the season, including an unprecedented streak of five consecutive losses by three points or fewer.

“It’s easy to lose a team when you just haven’t won,” Lynch said. “That’s what this business is all about. When you’re not (winning), it can be miserable. I think the fact that everyone feels that positive energy and sees progress despite the fact that it wasn’t showing up on the win-loss record.

“And that’s why you saw a 46-year-old GM bouncing around with our players. It was fun. That’s what makes this league so special.”

But Lynch also sees it as the beginning, not the culmination of this season's journey. He envisions the final six games to serve as a set up for the 2018 season, as many players have chances to show coaches and management they are part of the solution.

“We want to continue to see who’s responding, who is going to be a part of this moving forward,” Lynch said. “But we also want to raise that standard. After a win like against the Giants, yeah, we were elated in the locker room.

“But that didn’t keep us and the coaches from going in there and coaching hard and saying, ‘Hey, guys, we won, but we can be so much better if we tighten up some of these details.’ We’re going to continue to develop that as part of our culture.”