49ers

Richard Sherman: NFL teams now shunning Colin Kaepernick out in open

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Richard Sherman: NFL teams now shunning Colin Kaepernick out in open

Quarterback-needy Washington twice passed up on signing former San Francisco 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick, and that didn't set will with current Niners corner Richard Sherman.

He told the "PFT PM" podcast on Tuesday that it's becoming painfully clear to him teams are purposefully keeping Kaepernick out of the league. 

“I think it’s one of those situations where, it’s disappointing, but that’s exactly the case, you know, because there’s nothing legally stopping the teams from doing it,” Sherman said. “There’s not enough public pressure, nothing that’s going to force a team to [sign him], you know?

"Like at it first it was, ‘Colin Kaepernick’s stats weren’t good enough’ or ‘he stopped playing at a high level,’ and then you see some of the quarterbacks that they picked up and you’re like, ‘Well, you know, if you’re picking up Mark Sanchez, he’s has some up and down years.’ Colt McCoy’s the same way. They’ve had up and down years and Colin has played at a higher level than I would say any of those guys ever performed at the peak of their careers. You start to see stuff like that and it’s almost like teams are purposefully making it obvious that, like, they’re keeping him out." 

Sherman would know.

His Seattle Seahawks squared off against a Kaepernick-led 49ers squad nine times in the regular season and playoffs. Seattle won seven of those games, including the last NFL game Kaepernick played on Jan. 1, 2017. Kaepernick wasn't great in those games, but he and the 49ers were a Sherman tipped pass away from winning a second consecutive NFC championshipin 2014. 

Kaepernick filed a collusion grievance against the NFL last year, and a trial reportedly set to take place early next year in Philadelphia. The QB became a free agent in 2017, the off-season after he was the first NFL player to kneel during the national anthem to protest racial and social injustice. He has not been signed since. 

When Kaepernick's case is eventually heard, that may be the external catalyst for teams to sign him, one that Sherman says they currently lack. 

Four 49ers players to watch in NFL Week 15 game vs. Seahawks

Four 49ers players to watch in NFL Week 15 game vs. Seahawks

Kyle Shanahan has been around for the past three games of the Seattle Seahawks’ dominance over the 49ers.

He'd prefer not to be reminded of an ongoing streak next season.

“Regardless of whether I’ve been here for two years or since 2013, I don’t like having to answer that question,” the coach said on "49ers Game Plan," which airs Saturday at 7 p.m. on NBC Bay Area (Ch. 3).

“I don’t want to hear it for another year, that it’s been that long since the 49ers have beaten them. I’d like to only have to talk about that until Sunday and then not have to talk about it again.”

For the record, the Seahawks have beaten the 49ers in 10 consecutive head-to-head matchups, beginning with the victory in the NFC Championship game after the 2013 regular season. The Seahawks blasted the 49ers 43-16 two weeks ago in Seattle.

Here are four 49ers players to watch in the rematch Sunday at Levi’s Stadium:

QB Nick Mullens

Mullens threw for 300 yards against the Seahawks just two weeks ago.

Let’s clarify: Mullens threw for 300 yards against the Seahawks just two weeks ago ... in the second half.

Mullens finished with 414 passing yards, but nearly three-quarters of those yards came after halftime when the 49ers were hopelessly behind. Mullens will make his sixth consecutive start when the Seahawks come to Levi’s Stadium, and the 49ers must get off to a better start.

Mullens has thrown for 746 yards in the past two weeks. He ranks behind only Jimmy Garoppolo for most passing yards in his first five starts, and he has placed himself in an advantageous position to challenge C.J. Beathard for the backup role next season.

He even has caught the eye of Hall of Famer Joe Montana, who recognized that Mullens generally has been making good decisions.

“He knows he has to continue to do the things that he knows he can do and not try to become a player that he’s not,” Montana said.

SS Marcell Harris

Harris made his first NFL start two weeks ago in Seattle. It was a rough outing, as he missed three tackles, but his play dramatically improved last week with some big stops in the 49ers’ win over the Denver Broncos.

Harris will play close to the line of scrimmage, and he figures to be a major factor in the 49ers’ bid to slow down the Seahawks’ running game.

“I’m going to redeem myself with tackling, most definitely,” Harris said. “The first game I came out of, I felt like I didn’t do well. From here on out, that’s one of my biggest keys. Keep moving forward and keep stacking these games on top of each other.”

NT D.J. Jones

Jones replaced veteran nose tackle Earl Mitchell in the starting lineup last week, and he appeared to add some spark with his young legs. Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay was one of the hottest runners in the league, but the 49ers held him to 30 yards on 14 carries.

The 49ers’ defense will face a challenge against the Seahawks after yielding 168 rushing yards to them two weeks ago. Running backs Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and Mike Davis all have been used with success. Quarterback Russell Wilson also is a threat with his legs.

Jones likely will see the most action at nose tackle on base downs for the remainder of the season to show whether he's capable of being a starter next season.

TE George Kittle

After his 210-yard receiving game against the Broncos, Kittle isn't sneaking up on anyone. He already has put together the most prolific season for any tight end in 49ers history.

Kittle has been the 49ers’ most consistent offensive threat with 69 receptions for 1,103 yards and four touchdowns. Two weeks ago in Seattle, he caught six passes for 70 yards.

49ers-Seahawks injury report: Jaquiski Tartt out for second consecutive game

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USATSI

49ers-Seahawks injury report: Jaquiski Tartt out for second consecutive game

SANTA CLARA — The 49ers will face the Seattle Seahawks without safety Jaquiski Tartt, who will sit out for the second week in a row. 

This will be the sixth game that Tartt has missed over the course of the season while dealing with a re-occurring shoulder injury. Marcell Harris and Antone Exum Jr. will reprise their roles at the safety positions as a result. 

Harris had a much improved performance in the team’s win over the Broncos, exemplifying the learning curve that was expected by coach Robert Saleh. 

[RELATED: 49ers rookie Harris gets quick chance for redemption vs. Seahawks]

Wide receivers Marquise Goodwin and Dante Pettis are questionable, which is a better sign than being downgraded, after being limited in practice this week. Expect to still see Kendrick Bourne in the lineup frequently, as well as tight end George Kittle working in as a receiving weapon. 

Running back Matt Breida also is questionable, but with solid performances by rookie Jeff Wilson over the last few weeks, there is less pressure to get him onto the field. His snap counts could be limited. 

Good news for the offense is that all offensive linemen are off the injury report. That could help their ability to work against a Seahawks front seven that held the 49ers to 66 yards on the ground in their first matchup. 

49ers injury report

Out
S Jaquiski Tartt 

Questionable 
RB Matt Breida
WR Marquise Goodwin
LB Mark Nzeocha
WR Dante Pettis
CB K’Waun Williams
DL Cassius Marsh

Seahawks injury report 

Out
S Maurice Alexander 
RB Rashaad Penny
LB K.J. Wright

Doubtful
G D.J. Fluker

Questionable 
WR Doug Baldwin 
S Bradley McDougald
DT Jarran Reed