49ers

49ers LB Lynch worked on specific aspect of his game during suspension

49ers LB Lynch worked on specific aspect of his game during suspension

UPDATE (1:05pm) -- The 49ers activated Aaron Lynch and placed NaVorro Bowman on injured reserve, the team announced.

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The 49ers have until 1 p.m. to activate outside linebacker Aaron Lynch to the 53-man roster in order to be eligible to play Thursday night against the Arizona Cardinals.

In order for Lynch to play Thursday, the likely corresponding move would send linebacker NaVorro Bowman to injured reserve. Bowman is out for the season due to a torn left Achilles tendon.

“It’s a horrible loss,” Lynch said of Bowman's absence. “We hope he comes back healthy, and takes as long as he needs to take. But he was one of the leaders of our defense. Everybody knows who NaVorro Bowman is, so he’s always one of the players on the field that they game plan for, so losing him on the defense, it’s horrible.

“But as far as mindset, it doesn’t change. We’re still going to go out there and play our defense. We’re going to miss him, but now we have to go play for him.”

[MAIOCCO: Lynch sheds 30 pounds after gaining weight during wife's pregnancy]

Lynch served a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on substances of abuse to open the season. Lynch recorded 12.5 sacks in his first two professional seasons, and was expected to be the team's best pass-rusher this season. The 49ers have seven sacks in the team’s first four games. Eli Harold started in Lynch's place. Tank Carradine also saw time as a nickel pass rusher. Neither Harold nor Carradine recorded a sack in four games.

Although Lynch was not allowed to practice with his teammates or work on football activities with the coaching staff, he was able to attend meetings and work out daily at the team’s headquarters in Santa Clara during his suspension. He got his weight down to approximately 270 pounds, he said.

“I’ve lost a lot of weight,” Lynch said. “I’ve been able to run every day. We’ll know Thursday if I’m in game-ready shape, but I feel good. I’ve got the weight down about 30 pounds. I feel ready to go.

“I think what I’ve improved most on the field is the mental aspect of football. Because I couldn’t do anything physically, I really had to be in the books and I’ve learned when I went out to practice (Monday), the plays came a little easier than I thought they would. I prepared myself mentally because I couldn’t do the stuff physically.”
 

Tom Brady reacts to Jimmy Garoppolo's injury: 'I feel terrible for him'

Tom Brady reacts to Jimmy Garoppolo's injury: 'I feel terrible for him'

Tom Brady and Jimmy Garoppolo spent three and a half seasons together in New England. The two quarterbacks are close, as Garoppolo revealed last week.

So when Garoppolo went down Sunday in Kansas City with what is feared to be a season-ending ACL injury, Brady felt his former backup's pain.

"I saw it yesterday on the way to the game," Brady told WEEI's Kirk and Callahan on Monday morning. "I feel terrible for him. It's a tough injury. I feel bad for Jimmy. It's football, things happen like that. I've been through an ACL [injury], and it just sucks."

Brady suffered his torn ACL is in the 2008 season opener against ... wait for it ... the Chiefs in Kansas City. The five-time Super Bowl champion missed the rest of the 2008 season, but he made a full recovery by the start of the 2009 season and started all 16 games.

Garoppolo will undergo an MRI on Monday, and it's expected to confirm that he tore his left ACL. 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan made it clear after Sunday's game that he is confident in C.J. Beathard's ability to assume the starting quarterback role.

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Why the chance of a Colin Kaepernick-49ers reunion is subatomic

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Why the chance of a Colin Kaepernick-49ers reunion is subatomic

Ultimately, Colin Kaepernick has to follow his heart. If he needs football as much as he loves football, he should seize the best opportunity, even if it is the only opportunity. And so far, the only football opportunity he has been offered is of the "none at all" variety."

But given what football has done to him lately and how much his world view has grown while outside it, I wonder why he’d bother anyway.

Kaepernick's name is back in the news, of course, grafted onto the Jimmy Garoppolo knee injury that almost surely ends his season and dramatically mars that of the San Francisco 49ers. It always happens when a quarterback of substance goes down, and sometimes it happens when his lawyer teases TMZ with vague hints of potential hookups with teams like the New England Patriots or the Oakland Raiders.

By all accounts, the 49ers are not interested in a second go-round with him, content instead to use C.J. Beathard as the starter and Billy Don OffTheStreet as a new backup. This simply might be a football decision by coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch, though one should never assume that politics isn’t in there shoving its two cents in when it comes to Kaepernick.

Either way, the chance of a Kaepernick reunion in San Francisco is subatomic. And frankly, those of us who want to see if there are legally enforceable limits to the NFL’s hubris probably should view that lack of opportunity as a good thing.

For one, football is nobody’s friend unless you happen to be at the billionaire end of the funnel, as Garoppolo’s knee and hundreds of concussive incidents on Sunday alone can contest. This goes to Kaepernick’s all-encompassing need for the game, which might or might not exist and to which only he can attest.

For two, his collusion case against the league is frankly more important than his spot holding a clipboard and standing next to Shanahan until the moment the 49ers waive him because a quarterback less visible comes along. There would be something dismaying in the notion that challenging the status quo and its naked power could be so easily neutralized, and with such a small reward to weigh against all that assumed risk. Co-optation, thy name is backup quarterback.

Not that this will be put to the test, mind you. Even if Lynch and Shanahan weren’t viscerally offended by Kaepernick’s protest milieu (and we have no knowledge that suggests that is either true or false, as they have both deftly avoided the subject), Shanahan gains nothing as head coach having Kaepernick on the roster unless he is absolutely convinced beyond all argument that Kaepernick is the best alternative to run an offense Kaepernick barely knows and would need weeks to learn. In the hyper-practical world in which they live, coaches think of risk-reward, too, and they don’t risk anything on behalf of a backup quarterback.

Kaepernick has been playing for bigger stakes, namely to show (or fail in the attempt) that even at its most elemental level the NFL is not a meritocracy at all but just another company where the market can be fixed for an agreed-upon goal by men and women who ostensibly are supposed to be competing.

But if they offered, and he wanted it that much, then so be it. It is, after all, his life, which is the core of what we’ve been talking about all this time. His activation would energize Donald Trump and maybe depress Nike’s market value (which has risen $6 billion since the ad campaign), but those are all calculations Kaepernick would have to make himself.

It’s just that in this case, like all the others to date, he won’t have to.

MORE ON THE 49ERS

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Shanahan said he's happy with QBs already on the team

Ratto: “Next man up” is a hard pill to swallow

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