49ers

49ers receiver Dante Pettis leaves practice early with knee injury

49ers receiver Dante Pettis leaves practice early with knee injury

SANTA CLARA – 49ers wide receiver Dante Pettis sustained a knee injury during the early portion of practice on Wednesday, leaving his availability for the game Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens in question.

Pettis sustained an injury to his left knee during a special teams drill and walked off the field for further evaluation, the Bay Area News Group reported.

Because he began practice, Pettis was listed as “limited” on the team’s injury report. The severity of his injury was not immediately known.

Running back Matt Breida (ankle) returned to limited practice after sitting out the past two games. Wide receivers Emmanuel Sanders (ribs) and Deebo Samuel (shoulder) were limted, too.

Left tackle Joe Staley (finger), edge rusher Dee Ford (hamstring) and tight end George Kittle (ankle, knee) did not practice. Kittle is expected to be available to play, while Staley and Ford are “day to day.”

Kicker Robbie Gould returned to full practice after missing the past three games with a right quadriceps strain.

Pettis has seen his role decrease in recent weeks. He played just two offensive snaps in Week 11 against the Arizona Cardinals and seven plays Sunday night in the 49ers’ 37-8 win over Green Bay.

Pettis ranks 10th on the team with 11 receptions for 109 yards and two touchdowns while seeing action in every game. As a rookie last season, Pettis had 27 catches for 467 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games (seven starts).

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The 49ers deactivated veteran Marquise Goodwin against the Packers, but could be in line to suit up for Sunday’s game in Baltimore if Pettis misses time. Goodwin has 12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown this season.

49ers practice report

Did not practice
DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring)
TE George Kittle (knee, ankle)
T Joe Staley (finger)

Limited
RB Matt Breida (ankle)
WR Dante Pettis (knee)
WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (ribs)

Full practice
K Robbie Gould (right quadricep)
DT Jullian Taylor (jaw)

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

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USATSI

Henry Ruggs, who ran 4.27 40-yard dash, met with 49ers during combine

The 49ers saw firsthand how a blazing-fast receiver like Tyreek Hill of the Kansas City Chiefs can change a game when Hill's deep catch on third-and-15 swung the momentum in Super Bowl LIV. Henry Ruggs, believe it or not, might be even faster. 

As San Francisco looks to upgrade its receivers for coach Kyle Shanahan's motion-heavy offense, a speedster like Ruggs could be a game-changer. The Alabama receiver said Thursday that he has met with the 49ers at the NFL Scouting Combine. 

Ruggs put on an absolute show Thursday at the combine. After measuring in at 5-foot-11 and 188 pounds, Ruggs ran a ridiculous 4.27 40-yard dash. That is the fastest among receivers this year, and the best time thus far at the combine. His time also is tied with current 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin, who could be on his way out of San Francisco, as the fourth-fastest at the combine since 2006.

That was just the start to Ruggs' big day, too. He also recorded a 42-inch vertical leap and had a 10'11" broad jump. His athleticism simply is off the charts. 

Ruggs joins a growing list of receivers the 49ers have met with at the combine. But it seems highly unlikely he will be available for the NFC champions. The 49ers own the No. 31 pick in the draft this year, and a handful of teams ahead of them make sense as a landing spot for Ruggs. 

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Before the combine, Ruggs was selected No. 18 overall by the Miami Dolphins in our latest mock draft. It would be a big surprise to see him fall past the New Orleans Saints at No. 24 overall.

It's clear the 49ers are doing their due diligence on a loaded receiver class, and could be eyeing a future star at the end of the first round. Adding Ruggs would be gold to Shanahan's offense.

George Kittle's agent 'very patient' in 49ers contract negotiations

George Kittle's agent 'very patient' in 49ers contract negotiations

George Kittle still is under contract for one more season. The record-breaking tight end will wear a 49ers jersey in the 2020 season, however, the front office already is thinking of how to keep him in San Francisco for years to come.

Kittle is set to earn a base salary of $2,144,000 this upcoming season. Soon, that will be a tiny slice of his contract. The 49ers must sign Kittle to a multiyear contract, and soon. His agent, though, will take his time when it comes to negotiations. 

Kittle's agent, Jack Bechta, told The Athletic's Matt Barrows at the NFL Scouting Combine that he will be "very patient" in getting Kittle the right kind of contract. 

“He’s the poster child of culture for that team, of the type of player they want on that team,” Bechta said to Barrows in Indianapolis.

Kittle is the best player on the team. That isn't changing any time soon. The former fifth-round draft pick was voted first-team All-Pro last season and isn't slowing down. He's the rare combination of size and speed, who is just as excited to block as he is to catch a touchdown pass. 

As of this publishing, Kittle is scheduled to be the 49ers’ 31st highest-paid player for the 2020 season. That soon won't be true. No matter how patient Bechta is, it seems reasonable to expect Kittle to become the highest paid tight end in football, and should make well over $10 million annually.

[RELATED: Kittle's secret to Shanahan's wife gets back to 49ers coach]

Kittle has gone from the steal of the 2017 draft, to perhaps a top-five player in the NFL. He and his agent should both wait until the 49ers back up the Brinks truck. 

It's certain that Kittle is about to get paid. Big time. It just might not happen right away.