SANTA CLARA – Cornerback Jimmie Ward has yet to be cleared for football activity and remains in the NFL’s return-to-play concussion protocol.
Ward is the only 49ers player who did not participate in practice Wednesday, as the 49ers continue preparations to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Ward, whom 49ers coach Chip Kelly said is the team’s best cornerback, sustained a concussion late in the 49ers’ 30-17 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium.
Wide receiver Torrey Smith (shoulder) and outside linebacker Aaron Lynch (ankle) took part in limited practice. Smith missed the first game of his six-year NFL career on Sunday, while Lynch has sat out three games.
49ers participation report
Did not participate
CB Jimmie Ward (concussion)
DT Quinton Dial (knee, neck)
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
LB Eli Harold (toe)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
CB Keith Reaser (ankle, shoulder)
WR Torrey Smith (shoulder)
G Zane Beadles (ankle, knee)
C Daniel Kilgore (hamstring, calf)
CB Rashard Robinson (knee)
Dolphins participation report
Did not participate
T Branden Albert (wrist)
C Mike Pouncey (hip)
RB Kenyan Drake (knee)
CB Xavien Howard (knee)
LB Jelani Jenkins (knee, hand)
WR Jarvis Landry (shoulder)
LB Spencer Paysinger (neck)
WR Kenny Stills (calf)
DT Ndamukong Suh (knee)
T Laremy Tunsil (shoulder)
DE Mario Williams (ankle)
Sorry, 49ers fans, but Mike Garafolo is here to harsh your mellow.
The NFL Media reporter recently said on TSN's "SC with Jay and Dan" that there's no sense the 49ers will strongly pursue a trade for Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown. In fact, the whole notion of a deal is being driven by Brown and a 49ers legend.
"I'm told it's just Jerry Rice and Antonio Brown, who are pretty tight, putting this out there, trying to lay the groundwork for it," Garafolo said on the Canadian sports show. "The 49ers really haven't pursued it to that extent. The Steelers really haven't had any trade talks with teams at this point, so this is still going to develop going forward."
Rice has said Brown badly wants to play for the 49ers and that the team should "go for it," but the decision rests with general manager John Lynch, who remains silent on the topic. 49ers fans, however, have been vocal about their desire to have Brown on the team, so between that and a Hall of Famer's prodding, perhaps momentum toward a move can be made.
But there's more ...
Garafolo added that the Steelers aren't ruling out Brown staying with the team, although it will take some "groveling" from the receiver. And if we know anything about NFL stars who reportedly cause locker-room rifts, demand trades and drop social media hints about joining other teams, it's that groveling isn't part of the equation.
Until the Steelers publicly say Brown isn't going anywhere -- and owner Art Rooney had that chance earlier this week --- 49ers fans will continue to dream. After all, the GOAT has spoken.
Antonio Brown sent a tweet that he claimed was a thank you, not a goodbye, to Pittsburgh Steelers fans.
It sure as heck read like a farewell letter, though.
Brown's Saturday night Twitter post featured a video of him being carried off with a calf injury in a 2017 game against the Patriots, with Steelers fans loudly cheering him, along with a message.
It's unlikely those same fans now would rain down MVP chants on Brown, who has made it clear he's ready for a new team. So whether this tweet simply was an attempt to mend fences with Pittsburgh fans or a sign that a trade indeed is in the works remains to be seen. Responses to the tweet speculated about both possibilities.
Fans across the NFL, including those in the Bay, are salivating at the prospect of Brown taking the top off defenses for their teams. In particular, Brown added to the 49ers' 2019 core of Jimmy Garroppolo, Jerick McKinnon and George Kittle sounds enticing, but the pending transaction price and the real root of the wide receiver's beef in Pittsburgh aren't known.
Brown's recent Twitter activity seem to indicate he has the 49ers on his mind, and that idea also has Hall of Fame-level supporters. Turning that idea into reality, though, likely will be harder than it seems. It always is when All-Pro talent, reported locker-room fractures and trade demands are involved.
So The Faithful wait. Still.