SANTA CLARA -- Four days before 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander went down with a torn pectoral, Houston Texans star J.J. Watt sustained the same injury.
It was thought to be season-ending for both players. But Watt will return this week in the playoffs, and Alexander might not be far behind.
Alexander ended up getting Watt’s phone number from a former teammate, and the two players spoke as they were progressing through their respective rehabs.
“I talked to him,” Alexander said Thursday upon completing his first practice since his Oct. 31 injury. “I’m happy to see him back. I can’t wait to see him play on Saturday. He lifted me up a little bit. I appreciate him, too.
“You see he’s back and he’s been doing well.”
Watt returned to practice during the final week of the regular season. This week, the Texans activated him to their 53-man roster. Watt is expected to play Saturday when the AFC South-champion Texans open the wild-card round of the AFC playoffs with a home game against the Buffalo Bills.
Alexander, who went on injured reserve on Nov. 5 after surgery to repair his left pectoral, was designated to return off the injured reserve list on Thursday. The 49ers can activate him at any point. He took part in the 49ers’ hour-long practice on Thursday, lining up alongside starting middle linebacker Fred Warner during individual drills. Alexander wore a blue jersey to signify that he is off-limits for contact.
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But it is uncertain whether Alexander will be in uniform for the 49ers’ first playoff game in the divisional round on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Levi’s Stadium. Alexander said he will be ready for whatever the team’s performance staff and 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan decide.
“Whatever coach tells me,” Alexander said. “I’m going to be ready for whatever situation it is. I’ll be prepared if it is.”
49ers fans love to hate Russell Wilson, and he gave them another reason to give him grief Sunday.
A few hours before Tiger Woods teamed up with Peyton Manning to take on Phil Mickelson and Bay Area native Tom Brady in "The Match: Champions for Charity," Wilson took a Twitter shot at Brady.
When Brady got off to an awful start to "The Match," Wilson went at Brady again.
There are a few problems with Wilson's jabs at Brady.
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First, Wilson lost to Brady and the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. Instead, Seattle's quarterback should have been trolling Manning, whom the Seahawks beat in Super Bowl XLVIII.
Second, Brady redeemed himself and made Wilson look silly when he sank an incredible birdie on hole No. 7.
Yes, Brady is out of his element on the golf course, but Wilson should have known who he was messing with.
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49ers fans certainly won't miss the chance to let Wilson hear about this.
Who would you want to narrate any portion of your life? Samuel L. Jackson could be a top pick for any occasion, especially when some of the greatest athletes of our generation hit the greens.
But he’s not holding back -- not even for charity.
The Match: Champions for Charity debuted on Sunday with golf pros Tiger Woods facing Phil Mickelson in a highly-anticipated event. Woods teamed up with NFL legend Peyton Manning with another NFL superstar, Tom Brady, paired with Mickelson.
During the introductions, being narrated by Jackson, the Bay Area native received a funny quip from Jackson:
“Why do old people always move to Florida?” Jackson said.
We knew the trash talk would happen, but wow.
Brady, of course, just signed a two-year, $60 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in March after spending the entirety of his 20-year career with the New England Patriots. And at 42-years-old, Jackson took quite the dig at the three-time MVP quarterback.
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But if you’re going to get trolled by anyone, it might as well be done by someone with as epic of a voice as Jackson.
The entertainment was worth the burn.