49ers

49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin downplays concern over head injuries

49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin downplays concern over head injuries

SANTA CLARA -- Marquise Goodwin received medical attention twice in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ 27-23 loss to the New York Giants on Monday.

Twice the wide receiver was examined for head injuries, and twice he returned to the game.

Goodwin downplayed the injuries and concern over his condition afterward. He said the night was no more or less physical than the standard NFL game.

“That is every week,” Goodwin said. “That is the name of the game.”

Goodwin, 27, has been placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol a reported six times in his six-year career, including last year’s season finale against the Los Angeles Rams. He was taken to a Los Angeles hospital after being knocked unconscious from a helmet-to-helmet hit from Rams safety Blake Countess. Goodwin was released, and traveled home with his teammates after the Dec. 31 game.

Goodwin was not immediately diagnosed with a concussion Monday night.

He was injured on a 13-yard reception late in the third quarter on a play in which Giants linebacker Alec Ogletree was penalized for unnecessary roughness for a high hit. After sitting out one play, Goodwin returned for the first play of the fourth quarter.

Later, Goodwin got both hands on a Nick Mullens pass but failed to make the catch, and Giants linebacker B.J. Goodson made an interception off the deflection. Goodwin was injured when he made helmet-to-helmet contact with Goodson on the tackle.

When asked if the 49ers’ medical staff tried to convince him to not go back in the game, Goodwin answered: “I have no idea. They were saying the same thing that they would say when anybody is on the ground, which is to take your time getting up.”

Goodwin returned to the game and had a 26-yard catch and run to set up one final 49ers play from the Giants’ 21-yard line. He played 61 of the 49ers’ 73 offensive snaps and caught four passes for 69 yards.

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he has “zero” say whether players are cleared to return from injuries. He leaves those decisions entirely in the medical staff’s hands.

“The guy is a warrior,” 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk said of Goodwin. “We have seen him fight through injury before. It is unfortunate that he has to even experience that. We appreciate him putting his body out there and coming back and giving us a chance to win.”

[RELATED: 49ers Report Card vs Giants]

[MORE: Whitner didn't like Goodwin's dance-off]

Arik Armstead's run defense as good as it gets, says Kyle Shanahan

armsteadap.jpg
USATSI

Arik Armstead's run defense as good as it gets, says Kyle Shanahan

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers in April picked up the fifth-year option on defensive end Arik Armstead for the 2019 season.

But his one-year, $9.046 million salary does not become guaranteed until March.

Armstead, a first-round draft pick in 2015, has three sacks while starting all 13 games at defensive end. But he appears to be earning his money in the run game, where coach Kyle Shanahan places him among the NFL’s elite.

“I’m extremely happy,” Shanahan said on "49ers Game Plan," which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).

“He’s as hard as anyone there is to go against. I’ve seen him practice every day. He’s a pain for us to go against every day in training camp. I see it on Sunday, also.”

Armstead rates as the NFL’s No. 3 edge defender against the run, according to Pro Football Focus’ grading system. Only Jacksonville’s Calais Campbell and Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney rank ahead of Armstead.

At 6-foot-7, 292 pounds, Armstead has 40 tackles and six tackles for loss, ranking second on the 49ers among defensive linemen behind DeForest Buckner. Linebacker Fred Warner was asked if Armstead can manhandle offensive linemen.

“He can and he does,” Warner said. “He’s a big dude, and he uses his size and his strength to his advantage. He makes some plays, like, ‘Oooh.’ He makes plays that jump off the tape. That’s been big for us up front.”

The 49ers rank 12th in the NFL in run defense, allowing 107.8 yards per game. The opposition is averaging 4.1 yards per rushing attempt, which ranks 10th-best in the league.

Still, the 49ers have a decision to make in the offseason with Armstead, even if it appears obvious the coaching staff will lobby for Armstead's return.

[RELATED: 49ers snap count: Looking to the future, going younger on defense]

Rookie defensive linemen Kentavius Street, who was cleared this week to practice after sustaining a torn ACL before the draft, and Jullian Taylor also play the “big end” position.

But while the $9.046 million devoted to Armstead is large, the 49ers are expected to have more than $65 million in cap space next season even with Armstead’s salary on the books.

“We’d love sacks, of course. I know he would; I would; fans would. But that doesn’t always happen,” Shanahan said. “We need four guys rushing great together. I know Arik can get better in that area, but he also has done some good things in the pass rush.

"Just collectively, I think we can get better. But you ask me about the run game, Arik is as good as anyone I’ve seen right now.”

Richard Sherman says Frank Clark's comments didn't bother him at all

sherm.jpg
USATSI

Richard Sherman says Frank Clark's comments didn't bother him at all

SANTA CLARA — As expected, Richard Sherman was ready to respond to Seahawks defensive end Frank Clark’s testy comments from a few days ago.

“It’s like a mouse in a room, you know?” Sherman quipped. “It’s like, kids say the darndest things. It didn’t bother me at all. It just seemed like a guy who’s probably tired of hearing the same questions.”

“At the end of the day, this is my team now,” Clark said previously. “This is my defense. Richard Sherman, his era is over here. If he's got anything to say about our defense, he can say it on the field.”

Clark’s comments were made after the Seahawks beat the Vikings 21-7 on Monday night. Sherman found it a bit odd that his name came up after a game that he wasn’t playing in.

“I wasn’t even part of that game,” Sherman said. “And they are still asking him questions after the game about me.”

“I’d probably be pretty annoyed too,” he continued. “We won a game and somebody comes up and asks about a player who wasn’t either involved in this game, or on my team.”

Realistically, while many pleasantries were exchanged when Sherman returned to Seattle, he knows where he plays.

“It’s kind of weird,” Sherman said, “but it doesn’t bother me. The era was over in my mind, obviously, I’m here.”

Sherman is still connected to the city of Seattle and admits there were some emotions about his first game there as a member of the visiting team.

“Just the nostalgia of seeing your friends and seeing the personnel and all the guys that you’ve played with.”

Sherman added more context about it in his blog as well.

“There was a lot of emotion the last time going back to Seattle but it’s just another game against another opponent this time.”

Just another opponent? Really? 

When pressed about that statement, the 49ers DB added a few more details. 

“This time we will be at home,” Sherman said. “We will be grinding it out. We know how it went last time and got a sour taste in our mouths, so we’ll look forward to the challenge.”