49ers

49ers place TE Vance McDonald on injured reserve

49ers place TE Vance McDonald on injured reserve

Vance McDonald's season went from good to bad in the span of three days.

On Monday, the 49ers placed the tight end on injured reserve, just three days after he signed a five-year contract extension.

McDonald left Sunday's game against the Jets in first half with a shoulder injury. After being evaluated after halftime, he was ruled out early in the third quarter.

In his fourth season with the 49ers, McDonald is the team's third-leading receiver with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns.

In a corresponding roster move, the 49ers claimed offensive lineman Josh Allen off waivers from the Buccaneers. An undrafted free agent sign by Tampa Bay in 2014, Allen has spent most of the last two seasons in the Bucs' practice squad.

During his press conference on Monday, head coach Chip Kelly voiced his support for McDonald getting a contract extension.

“I don’t negotiate contracts,” Kelly said, “but they asked me if wanted Vance back and I said, ‘Yes.’”

Super Bowl 54: Why history is on 49ers' side as underdogs vs. Chiefs

Super Bowl 54: Why history is on 49ers' side as underdogs vs. Chiefs

As the dust settled Sunday and the two teams competing in Super Bowl LIV were revealed, the early odds have the 49ers as one-point underdogs against reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs.

While that margin shows that the sportsbooks clearly are torn on who they see coming out on top, it does indicate that there’s a consensus among bettors that Kansas City is the better team.

But if past records are any indication, the 49ers should embrace the underdog role.

"Let's not forget that in 28 career starts, Jimmy Garoppolo is 23-5," Fox Sports 1's Todd Fuhrman said. "Let's not discount his abilities and what he can do in this particular stage."

[RELATED: 49ers, Chiefs show importance of bye weeks in NFL playoffs]

There’s still plenty of time between now and kickoff at Hard Rock Stadium, so expect the lines to shift over that span.

But it might just be the time to throw down that bet while the odds still are in your favor.

 

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo has best passer rating in NFL when trailing

49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo has best passer rating in NFL when trailing

The 49ers haven’t trailed much this season, as San Francisco’s imposing defense and physical running game helped lead the team to a 13-3 record and a pair of dominant playoff wins on the way to an appearance in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2.

But in the limited time the Niners have been behind this season, no quarterback has been more effective than Jimmy Garoppolo.

Jimmy G has the highest passer rating in the NFL this season when his team is losing.

The 28-year-old also was the architect of four fourth-quarter comebacks in 2019, which ties him with Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen and Seahawks signal-caller Russell Wilson for the best mark in the NFL.

He’s also made big plays with his arm when it counts, as evidenced by these game-clinching plays from the second half of San Francisco’s season.

[RELATED: Why Mostert credits his wife for rise to stardom with 49ers]

While he got some help from Kittle in the win over New Orleans, it wouldn’t have happened if Garoppolo hadn’t put the ball in the perfect spot to keep his tight end from having to break stride.

So if by some chance the 49ers fall behind to Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs during Super Bowl LIV, fans can put their faith behind the clutch play of Jimmy G.

Programming note: NBC Sports Bay Area feeds your hunger for 49ers Super Bowl coverage with special editions of “49ers Central” all week (5:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday; 8:00 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; 6:00 p.m. Friday).