49ers

49ers hit by injuries during offseason program, 18 players missing time

49ers hit by injuries during offseason program, 18 players missing time

SANTA CLARA – After two seasons in which the 49ers have been ravaged by injuries, the club is missing 18 players during the offseason program due to injuries.

“Just going off experience, this is the most time I’ve had with people missing OTAs,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. “But we’ve been really healthy the last two OTAs, and it’s been the opposite in (training) camp.

“So maybe it’ll be the opposite this year. We’re not healthy in OTAs, which might be a good sign for training camp.”

First-round draft pick Nick Bosa was added to the list on Tuesday with a right hamstring injury. The severity of his injury is not known, but many other players are certain to sit out the remainder of the offseason program, which wraps up June 13.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo took 20 snaps Tuesday in 7-on-7 drills and completed 75 percent of his pass attempts. But he will be held out of all 11-on-11 drills during the offseason program as a precaution after sustaining a torn ACL in his left knee in Week 4.

“It’ll take him a while before he’s able to protect himself and react, and keep people away from his legs,” Shanahan said of Garoppolo.

Running backs Jerick McKinnon, Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert will not be available until training camp. McKinnon is returning from a torn ACL that wiped out his entire 2018 season. He is expected to be ready for the opening of training camp. Breida recently sustained a partially torn pectoral muscle in the weight room. 

Breida did not require surgery, Shanahan said.

“It’s frustrating for Breida because he can do just about everything,” Shanahan said. “He just has to avoid contact. He can’t be out there running with other people on the field.”

Mostert sustained a fractured forearm in Week 9 against the Raiders and had surgery to insert a plate.

“They had to re-do the exact same thing,” Shanahan said. “When it’s not growing back together the right way it’s better to just start it over. . . (It’s) not too big of a deal, it just added another month.”

Veteran tight end Garrett Celek, who sustained a concussion in Week 16 and was inactive for the season finale, has yet to be cleared from concussion protocol, Shanahan said. He is also experiencing problems with his back, which places his future in question.

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“He can’t get cleared from that until training camp, so (we’re) going to have to be patient with him, too,” Shanahan said.

Linebacker Fred Warner recently underwent arthroscopic surgery to clean out his knee and will not participate in OTAs, Shanahan said. The club expects him to be cleared for the start of training camp.

Linebacker Kwon Alexander (knee), cornerback Jason Verrett (Achilles), center Weston Richburg (knee-quadriceps) and rookie receiver Jalen Hurd (knee) are among the players who are not practicing due to surgeries from injuries sustained last season.

49ers sign kicker Robbie Gould to four-year contract as holdout ends

49ers sign kicker Robbie Gould to four-year contract as holdout ends

After months of acrimony, a deadline brought the 49ers and kicker Robbie Gould together,

The two sides agreed to terms Monday morning on a contract extension, a league source confirmed. The 49ers announced the agreement later Monday afternoon.

“Over the years, Robbie has established himself as one of the best at his position in the NFL, which is precisely why we were so committed to working out a new contract with him,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said. “I would like to thank everyone who worked so hard to make this deal come to fruition. We are very happy to start off the year on the right foot with this agreement in place so that Robbie can get back with his teammates and focus on making the most out of the upcoming season.”

The 49ers and Gould agreed to a fully guaranteed contract worth $10.5 million over two years but with an option clause, it could become a four-year, $19 million deal with $15 million guaranteed, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, who first reported the agreement.

The two sides have seemingly been at odds since the 49ers restricted Gould’s ability to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason with the application of the franchise tag -- a deal that was set to pay him $4.971 million for one year. Gould requested a trade, but coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch both declared that the 49ers would not trade him because of his importance to the team.

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Gould, a 14-year NFL veteran made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts in his first two seasons with the 49ers after signing a two-year, $4 million contract on the first day of free agency in 2017. Gould ranks No. 2 all-time in the NFL in field-goal accuracy at 87.7 percent behind only Baltimore’s Justin Tucker.

With Gould now set to report to training camp in Santa Clara on July 26, the only players under 49ers control who remain unsigned are defensive end Nick Bosa and wide receiver Deebo Samuel, the team’s top two draft picks.

NFL preview 2019: 49ers' three most important players for next season

NFL preview 2019: 49ers' three most important players for next season

After combining to win a total of 10 games the last two seasons, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch enter a crucial third year steering the ship in Santa Clara. 

The 49ers recently have been closer to the No. 1 overall pick in the draft than the playoffs. It's time for that to change. But it won't be easy. 

Rising up the ranks in the NFC West is a tough task. The Los Angeles Rams were an ugly Jared Goff game away from winning the Super Bowl last year, Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are always competitive, and the Arizona Cardinals should be exciting with Kyler Murray and a healthy David Johnson. 

In order for the 49ers to have a successful 2019 season, these three players will have to perform on the field. 

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB

Thanks, Captain Obvious. 

Everything starts with Garoppolo. The 49ers go as he goes. It's simple as that. 

Garoppolo says he's "good to go" for training camp, which begins July 27th, after tearing his ACL in the third game of the season last year. Through nine games with the 49ers -- eight starts -- Garoppolo has gone 6-2 as a starter while throwing 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He has thrown for 2,278 yards in red and gold, and has completed 64.8 percent of his passes. 

To contend for the playoffs, Garoppolo will have step up his game and prove he's worth his $137.5 million contract this season.

Ahkello Witherspoon, CB

This easily could have been Richard Sherman. The 49ers badly need their secondary to improve this season after snatching only two interceptions. In his first season as a 49er, Sherman failed to have an interception for the first time in his career. He also was coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon. 

“I’m much healthier. I was kind of out there on one leg," Sherman told the Sacramento Bee in May. 

Sherman should have a better year after going through an offseason where he didn't have to focus on rehabbing his Achilles. He's expected to still be the team's top cornerback, but as he ages, the No. 2 cornerback is just as important. 

There's still plenty of competition for who will line up opposite of Sherman. It's Witherspoon's job to lose, though, and he looked like the 49ers' best player on defense at times during the offseason program. 

Witherspoon, standing 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, has the same kind of long build at cornerback as Sherman. He suffered a PCL injury last year and missed the final two games, but proved he's healthy during the offseason.

This could be a make-or-break year for the 24-year-old. If he proves the offseason program wasn't a fluke, Witherspoon might turn into one of the best surprises in the NFC West this season.

Fred Warner, MLB

Warner was one of the better draft picks in all of football last season. Selected in the third round by the 49ers, Warner started all 16 games and recorded 124 tackles as a rookie.

This year, it's time for him to captain Robert Saleh's defense. 

In just his second professional season, Warner is expected to man the middle with Kwon Alexander and Malcolm Smith playing on the outside. That could be an extremely athletic group of linebackers, but Alexander is coming off a torn ACL and Smith constantly has been injured the last two years. 

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The 49ers are expecting big things out of Warner in his sophomore season, and reasonably so. Seen as a natural leader, Warner can't have a slump this season.

With a dominant defensive line in front of him, Warner must keep it going and turn the team's linebackers into a force to be reckoned with.