The next steps of Colin Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL


The next steps of Colin Kaepernick's collusion case against the NFL

Colin Kaepernick’s collusion case against the National Football League can advance further. The matter of when it will be settled remains unsettled, and as such this remains an argument about principle, and principal.
Mediator Stephen Burbank ruled Tuesday (and announced today) that Kaepernick’s complaint against the 32 owners that they conspired to keep him out of football can go forward to trial. It means more interviews of league and team officials by Kaepernick’s lawyer Mark Geragos, and ultimately a hearing to determine how much money, if any, Kaepernick will be entitled to if he wins.
Which is as it should be, really. Everyone’s already gone this far and may as well see it through, even though the owners won’t see it that way. Then again, they’re the ones who made this a thing with their usual brutish clumsiness.
The first is an interesting legal point. The second, of course, isn’t.
But as a practical matter, Kaepernick is playing only for lost wages, optics and the principle of opposing wrong. There is no football job waiting for him; by the time this is settled, he will have been out of the league two years, and likely will have lost the bug to keep chasing a football career.
Fortunately, playing football isn’t what this is about. Meeting in concert toward a desired end (in this keep, keeping Kaepernick from ever playing again) in violation of union rules is, though. That’s what we law professors and scholars call “illegal,” and what we in public relations call “an awful look.”
The NFL seemingly hasn’t minded looking bad on this from the start, between signing an army of quarterbacks clearly inferior to him to unconvincingly explaining why to blaming their three years of lowered ratings on the movement he began two years ago as a one-man statement.
But now the standard isn’t about optics, but evidence. Geragos has to find a smoking inconsistency in a mountain of depositions that will convince a judge, and then he and Kaepernick will have to brace themselves for an appeal, although the standard at the appellate level is not typically good for defendants.
There is no guarantee that Kaepernick will win, of course, or that the league will prevail either. This is still a circumstantial case on the surface, though Geragos is entitled now to hunt for more of the goods. The story that lives forever, just got some more forever tacked on to it.

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.

[RELATED: 49ers place Taylor on IR, re-sign Young]

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.

[RELATED: Jimmy G headlines 49ers to watch in Week 3]

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.