49ers trying to 'regroup, refit and reorganize'


49ers trying to 'regroup, refit and reorganize'

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jim Harbaugh kept his sentences short and information at a minimum Monday, repeating a phrase he will rely on following the worst loss of his NFL coaching career: regroup, refit and reorganize.

That's all the San Francisco 49ers can do at this point.

Beat up and down, San Francisco's 42-13 blowout loss at Seattle cost the 49ers (10-4-1) more than just a game. They have another pair of key starters questionable with injuries, let control of a first-round playoff bye slip away, and head into Sunday's regular-season finale at home against Arizona (5-10) with a half-game lead in the NFC West.

``No excuses or justifications,'' an overwhelmingly grim, tight-lipped and humbled Harbaugh said back at 49ers headquarters. ``Our team needs to bounce back.''

The only way the 49ers can secure a No. 2 playoff seed - and the first-round bye that comes with it - is a win against the Cardinals coupled with a Green Bay loss at Minnesota. If they lose and Seattle (10-5) wins at home against St. Louis, the Seahawks will steal the division and send San Francisco on the road for the first round.

Complicating matters even more, the 49ers enter the finale with their depth depleted.

Wide receiver Mario Manningham, bothered by a shoulder injury previously, limped out of the locker room Monday on crutches. He was scheduled to have an MRI exam on his left knee after he was tackled low by Leroy Hill and fumbled in the third quarter.

Tight end Vernon Davis must clear the league's NFL concussion protocol after getting knocked off his feet along the sideline by safety Kam Chancellor on a huge hit that looked legal but drew a penalty for thumping a defenseless receiver.

And defensive lineman Justin Smith's streak of 185 straight starts ended when he sat out with an elbow injury. Harbaugh remained mum on Smith's status, except for saying ``he has not undergone a procedure.'' Asked if Smith will need surgery at some point, Harbaugh would only say ``we'll see.''

San Francisco already had lost backup running back Kendall Hunter (lower leg), wide receiver and punt returner Kyle Williams (left knee) and defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs (right knee) to season-ending injuries. Defensive lineman Will Tukuafu added to Harbaugh's headaches when he hurt his back against the Seahawks and did not return, and backup linebacker Clark Haggans missed the game with a shoulder injury.

``I feel our team's leadership, I feel the intellect of the staff, I think the talent of the players, the work ethic of the players will pave the way,'' Harbaugh said.

There are still plenty of problems for the 49ers who are healthy.

Seattle's loud fans flustered quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the coaching staff from the start, forcing the 49ers to call two timeouts and get two delay-of-game penalties in the first half alone. Kaepernick completed 19 of 36 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown with one interception in the end zone.

What do the 49ers have to do offensively to avoid penalties and clock-management problems?

``Fix it,'' Harbaugh said.

``That's the only option we have,'' left tackle Joe Staley said. ``You learn from the film, you watch it and make the corrections. Our whole team didn't play well.''

Frank Gore was held to 28 yards on six carries after rushing for a season-high 131 in San Francisco's 13-6 win against Seattle in Week 7. The loss of Justin Smith seemed to affect the entire defense, and Russell Wilson's slipperiness in the pocket didn't help. Aldon Smith is still stuck on 19 1/2 sacks after getting locked up by Seattle's Russell Okung.

Red Bryant also blocked David Akers' 21-yard field-goal attempt, Richard Sherman scooped up the ball and sprinted untouched for a 21-0 lead that put the game out of reach.

``Rather than go position by position, or any one particular phase, I don't think anybody looks back on this and feels like it was good enough,'' said Harbaugh, handed a miserable loss on his 49th birthday by longtime rival and Seattle coach Pete Carroll.

If there's a bright side to San Francisco's setback, Harbaugh is 7-0 after a loss in his two-year tenure and competition will not be nearly as difficult as the last two weeks at Seattle and New England.

The 49ers routed the Cardinals 24-3 in the desert on a Monday night in late October, a game Alex Smith completed 18 of 19 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns. Smith has since been replaced by Kaepernick, a high-risk, high-reward, dual-threat quarterback who is 4-2 as the starter.

While the 49ers also have looked dominant at times this season, they have yet to put together a winning streak. Five times this season San Francisco has won two consecutive games, and five times they have failed to win the third game, including a 24-24 tie against St. Louis in Week 10.

To win the Super Bowl - or even just get there - the 49ers will have to change that.

``It was a punch in the face,'' cornerback Carlos Rogers said of the loss in Seattle. ``But the thing about it is we still have a chance to win the division and we're in the playoffs. It's a new season once the playoffs start.''

NOTES: The 49ers released LB Alex Hoffman-Ellis from the practice squad. He had been signed on Dec. 4.... Players are off Tuesday for Christmas.


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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

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Scott Brooks, Ramon Sessions hoping for best with Tyronn Lue's health issues

As a fellow NBA head coach, Scott Brooks understands what Tyronn Lue of the Cleveland Cavaliers is going through. As his former teammate, Ramon Sessions knows how tough Lue is.

Both members of the Wizards shared their reactions after Monday's practice to the news Lue is stepping away from the Cavs to deal with a health issue. Both expressed hope Lue will not be out long as the NBA continues its trek towards the playoffs.

"All of our thoughts are with him," Brooks said. "You hope that it's nothing serious. Health is the most important [thing]. The game is secondary."


"Prayers out to T-Lue," said Sessions, who played with Lue in Milwaukee. "It's one of those things where you've gotta take care of yourself at the end of the day. Him stepping away is the best thing."

Lue's illness has been a mystery to doctors, according to a statement he released on the Cavaliers' website. He has dealt with chest pains and other symptoms while also struggling to sleep. The hope is that having time off will allow him to get the rest he needs.


Brooks knows firsthand how difficult it is to get sleep during the regular season as a coach.

"You just have to figure out ways to get your rest. Some days are better than others. Sometimes you think after a good win you can have a good night's rest or sometimes it's the opposite. It's just hard to get rest. You're traveling in different timezones. You are emotional after games. You eat late. There are a lot of factors that go into it. We don't have a set schedule every night. I have a good staff and I rely on them," he said.

Lue, 40, will be replaced by associate head coach Larry Drew in the interim. The Cavs happen to be in a tight playoff race with the Wizards and other teams in the Eastern Conference battling for position.

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

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Redskins add another ex-Cowboy as they sign CB Orlando Scandrick

The Redskins seem to love former Cowboys. They signed another one today.

Mike Garafolo of NFL Media is reporting that Washington has agreed to terms with cornerback Orlando Scandrick. The early numbers put the contract at up to $10 million over two years.

Scandrick, 31, has played for the Cowboys since they made him a fifth-round pick in the 2008 draft. In nine seasons in the league, Scandrick has eight interceptions and seven forced fumbles.

He has been plagued by injuries the last three years. Scandrick was out for the entire 2015 season with a torn ACL. In 2016 he missed four games with a hamstring injury and he finished last season on injured reserve with a back injury. Whether his struggles last year were due to injuries or age remains to be seen.

Scandrick joins Nosh Norman, Quinton Dunbar, Fabian Moreau, and Josh Holsey at cornerback for the Redskins. Holsey is the only natural slot corner in the group and he played very sparingly as a rookie last year. Scandrick likely will fill the slot role until Holsey is ready.

We will see what the signing costs in terms of salary cap impact when we see the details of the contract. The phrase “up to” generally means that there are incentives included in the deal so we will have to see.

In recent years, the Redskins have signed former Cowboys defensive linemen Stephen Bowen, Jason Hatcher, and Terrell McClain.


Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter @TandlerNBCS.