49ers

49ers-Seahawks injury report: Jaquiski Tartt on verge of returning

49ers-Seahawks injury report: Jaquiski Tartt on verge of returning

SANTA CLARA -- When 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh gets the go-ahead, strong safety Jaquiski Tartt will be back in the starting lineup.

The 49ers play the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night in a game that will determine the NFC West champion. Tartt played a key role in the 49ers’ secondary through 12 games before exiting the lineup with fractured ribs.

“It would come from the performance staff on whether or not he’s healthy to get back with us,” Saleh said on Thursday. “I know he’s been practicing and trying to get back into it. As soon as he’s ready to roll and when we get clearance, he’ll be in there.”

Defensive tackle Jullian Taylor’s status is uncertain for Sunday's game after he sustained a knee injury in practice on Thursday. Taylor missed the past three games with an elbow injury. He is expected to undergo an MRI on his knee to diagnose the specifics of the injury.

Tartt missed the 49ers’ past three games with fractured ribs he sustained while making a tackle of Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram on Dec. 1. Tartt returned to limited practice this week, but Saleh said he has yet to be cleared.

Tartt serves an important role in play-to-play communications on defense, along with middle linebacker Fred Warner. Second-year player Marcell Harris has filled in for Tartt.

“The amount of calm he brings, not to say Marcell hasn’t been able to get a little bit better every single week, which he has,” Saleh said. “He’s had major strides from Game 1 to Game 2 to Game 3, but just the overall communication, the disguise, the alignments, all the things that we ask out of that strong safety, he had been on point.”

Defensive end Dee Ford did not take part in practice due to quad and hamstring injuries. He is not expected to be available for Sunday’s game, but the club expects him to be available for the team’s first playoff game.

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49ers participation report

Did not practice
DE Dee Ford (quadricep, hamstring)
Limited
LB Azeez Al-Shaair (knee)
G Mike Person (neck)
WR Deebo Samuel (shoulder)
S Jaquiski Tartt (ribs)
DT Jullian Taylor (elbow, knee)
Full participation
CB Tarvarius Moore (concussion)

Seahawks participation report

Did not practice
T Duane Brown (knee, biceps)
S Quandre Diggs (ankle)
G Mike Iupati (neck)
WR Malik Turner (concussion)
Limited
DE Jadeveon Clowney (core)
C Joey Hunt (fibula)
T Germain Ifedi (knee)
T Jamarco Jones (shoulder)
C Ethan Pocic (core)
Full participation
T George Fant (knee)
CB Shaquill Griffin (hamstring)
LB Mychal Kendricks (hamstring)
LB Bobby Wagner (ankle)
LB K.J. Wright (shoulder)

Watch 49ers' Robbie Gould use kids as goal posts in kicking session

Watch 49ers' Robbie Gould use kids as goal posts in kicking session

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

With the global coronavirus pandemic forcing athletes to stay home, they are finding unique ways to train and stay in shape.

For 49ers kicker Robbie Gould, that means he can't practice his craft at the team's facility or any other football complex.

So, on Sunday, Gould got creative.

Yep. Gould lined his kids up as makeshift goalposts and picked footballs over them.

As Gould noted in his tweet, he did make sure his kids were wearing protective gear.

It's definitely an interesting way for Gould to bond with his kids, but again, the choices are limited while everyone is staying home in an effort to flatten the coronavirus curve.

Last year, Gould asked the 49ers to trade him, a request they did not fulfill. Instead, the two sides agreed to a new four-year contract.

By Gould's standards, he's coming off the worst season of his 15-year career. He made 23 of his 31 field goal attempts, a 74.2 percentage. The 37-year-old did make 41 of his 42 extra-point attempts in 2019.

[RELATED: Could Gore or Walker return?]

If Gould bounces back in 2020, you can give some of the credit to his kids.

Merton Hanks hypes Conference USA prospects to 49ers, other NFL clubs

Merton Hanks hypes Conference USA prospects to 49ers, other NFL clubs

Merton Hanks is not shy about reaching out to his former NFL team to provide tips on college prospects he knows well.

Hanks, who played eight seasons with the 49ers (1991-98) and won a Super Bowl, is the Senior Associate Commissioner of Conference USA, which consists of 14 football-playing universities.

“We want to make sure and give our young men every opportunity to be viewed by NFL clubs,” Hanks said on The 49ers Insider Podcast. “So I tend to call my peer group around the NFL to make sure they’re paying attention to our players.

“Oh, I bug everybody, (including) the 49ers with John Lynch and Martin Mayhew, that whole staff. They do a great job of sourcing talent from Division III all the way up to the (power five). They go to where the good players are, and we have some good players in the conference.”

The 49ers have six players from Conference USA on their roster, including such draft picks as safety Tarvarius Moore (Southern Mississippi), and receivers Trent Taylor (Louisiana Tech) and Richie James (Middle Tennessee State).

The 49ers signed quarterback Nick Mullens (Southern Mississippi) as an undrafted rookie in 2017, and he started eight games for the club in 2018.

One of the top prospects from Conference USA this year is Florida Atlantic tight end Harrison Bryant, who undoubtedly is on the 49ers’ radar.

The 49ers will be looking to add a tight end in the draft to pair with George Kittle. Bryant was the 2019 Mackey Award winner as the top tight end in college football.

“He reminds me of Brent Jones,” Hanks said, “a good pass-catching tight end and a willing blocker.”

Hanks also mentioned defensive back Amik Robertson of Louisiana Tech. Hanks envisions Robertson overcoming his less-than-ideal size (5-foot-8, 187 pounds) to carve out a 10-year NFL career with a playing style that reminds some of Tyrann Mathieu.

With the restrictions on private workouts and pro days due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hanks said he believes the college athletes from Conference USA or from any college program who were not invited to the NFL Scouting Combine are at an inherent disadvantage this year.

“Those players are in a bit of a tough spot, in the sense that teams won’t be able to circle back and get on campus and really take a look at them,” Hanks said.

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One Conference USA prospect who might not suffer from not being invited to the combine is Middle Tennessee defensive end Tyshun Render.

New England coach Bill Belichick went to campus in late-February to pace Render through a workout while most of his NFL peers were in Indianapolis for the combine.

“Conference USA has been fortunate,” Hanks said. “We’re a football-playing conference in every sense. We put a lot of resources toward football and NFL clubs understand that they can come get good players.”

49ERS FROM CONFERENCE USA
LB Azeez Al-Shaair, Florida Atlantic
WR Richie James, Middle Tennessee State
S Tarvarius Moore, Southern Mississippi
QB Nick Mullens, Southern Mississippi
WR Trent Taylor, Louisiana Tech
RB Jeff Wilson Jr., North Texas