Kelly, 49ers 'have all the confidence in the world' in Gabbert


Kelly, 49ers 'have all the confidence in the world' in Gabbert

SANTA CLARA – Quarterback Blaine Gabbert completed 62.9 percent of his pass attempts in the 49ers’ season opener on Monday night, but misfired on what appeared to be some simple throws.

Gabbert made his best throws in the fourth quarter, driving an 8-yard touchdown pass into Vance McDonald and sticking a 15-yard throw into tight coverage to Garrett Celek in the 49ers’ 28-0 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

“He did make it and should make it,” 49ers coach Chip Kelly said of those pass attempts. “We have all the confidence in the world in him. You look at the ball he threw to Vance for the touchdown, he ripped that one in there.

“Again, first game in our system, understanding what he’s doing. First real live game. There were some real positives that we can build upon with him.”

Gabbert completed 22 of 35 pass attempts for 170 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. He also avoided getting sacked. But there was at least one instance in which he failed to capitalize on a big-play opportunity.

Gabbert overthrew Jeremy Kerley 20 yards down the field after the slot receiver had gotten behind three Los Angeles Rams defenders in the first quarter.

Gabbert had two badly underthrown passes, both to wide receiver Torrey Smith. He skipped his first pass of the game to the right side for Smith. Later, on a fourth-down play, Gabbert again came up short to Smith, who made the catch 2-yards behind the line of scrimmage and was immediately dropped for a loss. But Kelly said it might have been more of an instance of Gabbert expecting to make shorter throws.

“I think part of it was our receivers were too wide,” Kelly said. “Some of the spacing things and their splits should have been tighter for us to execute what we wanted to execute. So I think sometimes that throws Blaine off a little bit was that he’s expecting the receivers to be lined up five yards closer than they are, and now they are five yards wider than they are. So it’s just getting everybody on the same page.”

49ers expect game-time decision whether Dee Ford will play vs. Steelers


49ers expect game-time decision whether Dee Ford will play vs. Steelers

Defensive end Dee Ford is feeling better after sitting out the second half of the 49ers’ game last week against the Cincinnati Bengals with discomfort in his knee and quadriceps, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

“Hopefully, he’ll be feeling good on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “He said he felt good. He looked good walking through. But I know that’ll go all the way up to Sunday.”

Ford, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, sat out practices Wednesday and Thursday. He was scheduled to take part in limited practice on Friday, but the 49ers dialed back their planned practice to a walk-through at their Santa Clara facility because of the high intensity of the practices earlier in the week.

“I know he’s feeling better now than he has the last few days, but he’s still not fully there, yet,” Shanahan said of Ford. “We’ll see how these last 48 hours go. Hopefully they go well. If it does, I know he feels confident to go out there, especially with time off the following week.”

The 49ers face the Steelers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. After the game, the club will have a bye week before returning to action on Monday, Oct. 7, against the Cleveland Browns.

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (ankle), and safeties Jaquiski Tartt (toe) and Jimmie Ward (hand) are also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Bosa and Tartt are expected to play, while Ward is likely to miss his third consecutive game to open the season.

Shanahan said he expects rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd to be available after the bye week. Hurd has sat out five weeks with a back condition.

“He’s on track,” Shanahan said of Hurd. “We’ll see how it is once we get back from the bye week. I know he has a lot of work to do when we all get away from here a little bit for the four days. It’ll be big the work he puts in when we’re away. We expect him to be ready when we get back.”

The 49ers will not have the services of wide receiver Trent Taylor for at least eight weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a Jones fracture on his right foot. The bone has healed, Shanahan said, but there were issues with some of the soft tissue around the bone on the outside of his foot that has caused a flareup. Taylor is eligible to return to action on Nov. 17 against the Arizona Cardinals.

The 49ers placed Taylor on injured reserve and signed veteran offensive tackle Sam Young. Shanahan said he does not think Young will be active and in uniform for Sunday’s game.

49ers injury report

RB Tevin Coleman (ankle)
WR Jalen Hurd (back)
OT Joe Staley (leg)
WR Trent Taylor (foot) – injured reserve

DE Dee Ford (quadriceps
S Jaquiski Tartt (toe)
DE Nick Bosa (ankle)
DB Jimmie Ward (hand)

Steelers injury report

FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)
LB Vince Williams (hamstring)
LB Anthony Chickillo (foot)

49ers place Trent Taylor on IR, re-sign veteran tackle Sam Young

49ers place Trent Taylor on IR, re-sign veteran tackle Sam Young

The 49ers on Friday signed veteran offensive tackle Sam Young to a one-year contract and placed wide receiver Trent Taylor on injured reserve.

Taylor, who underwent surgery Aug. 10 to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, must sit out for at least eight weeks before he is eligible to return to the 49ers’ 53-man roster and appear in a game.

Originally, the 49ers placed Taylor's timetable to return at four to six weeks. As recently as last week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he hoped Taylor would be able to return to action after the 49ers' Week 4 bye.

Taylor was expected to be one of the team’s leading pass-catchers this season before he sustained the fracture to the fifth metatarsal on his right foot. Since the 49ers selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, Taylor has appeared in 29 games and caught 69 passes for 645 yards and three touchdowns.

The 49ers re-signed Young, who was among their final cuts before the start of the regular season. The 49ers require more depth at offensive tackle after Joe Staley broke his left fibula, an injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Rookie Justin Skule is scheduled to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at left tackle.

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In his nine-year NFL career, Young has appeared in 88 games with 21 starts with Dallas, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Miami. Young will wear No. 65 for the 49ers.