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Family ties: Kyle Shanahan connects with another McCaffrey

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:27:37 UT

Kyle Shanahan wore No. 87 as a wide receiver at Duke and Texas because those were the digits sported by his hero: Denver wide receiver Ed McCaffrey. With his dad, Mike, serving as the Broncos’ head coach, Shanahan ran routes and learned the intricacies of the position from McCaffrey when Shanahan was in high school. Now, about two decades later, it’s Shanahan who will help tutor a McCaffrey: On Tuesday, the 49ers signed Ed’s son, wide receiver Max McCaffrey, off the Packers’ practice squad. “Obviously, my dad played for (Shanahan’s) dad, so there’s a ton of ties there,” McCaffrey said Wednesday before his first practice.

49ers’ Jimmy Garoppolo eager to play before his new Faithful

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:51:21 UT

After Sunday’s road win over the Texans, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo saluted “49er Nation” as he told reporters he heard chants for the visiting team at Houston’s NRG Stadium. On Wednesday, he said his friends sent him group-text messages letting him know he’d messed up: His new team’s fans are known as “The Faithful.” They “said, ‘Man, you’ve got to get these right. These are your fans now,’” Garoppolo said. Here’s a safe bet: The Faithful will forgive the potential Franchise for what might be his lone misstep since he was traded to the 49ers on Oct. 30.

Jimmy Garoppolo can make Levi’s Stadium his own

Thu, 14 Dec 2017 04:42:58 UT

Prediction: There will be many more butts in the seats at Levi’s Stadium on Sunday than there have been for most games this season. And not just because the temperature will be slightly below surface-of-the-sun hot. (Forecast: 67 and sunny, so lather on that sunscreen.) No, it will be because of the new quarterback: James Richard Garoppolo. The man you know as Jimmy G. There’s a buzz around the 49ers, one that hasn’t been there since Levi’s opened in 2014. Sure, when the stadium debuted, there was some hope that the 49ers could reach a fourth straight NFC Championship Game.

Packers’ Aaron Rodgers announces he’s cleared to return

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:09:11 UT

Aaron Rodgers has been cleared to return after missing seven games with a broken right collarbone, the Packers’ quarterback announced on Instagram Tuesday night. Rodgers was hurt during a loss to Minnesota on Oct. 15 and had surgery four days later. He returned to practice Dec. 2 and is eligible to rejoin the 53-man roster Friday, which means the two-time MVP could suit up for Sunday’s game at Carolina. “It’s been a long road ... but I’m happy to say I’ve been medically cleared to return,” the Cal alum wrote. “Thanks for all the love, support, prayers and well wishes over the past 8 weeks and a big thank you to Dr. (Pat) McKenzie and our incredible training staff.

Shrewd signing: 49ers’ Marquise Goodwin paying big dividends

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:36:50 UT

After he had a momentum-shifting drop in a season-opening loss to Carolina, 49ers wide receiver Marquise Goodwin sounded undeterred. “I know we’ll have many more opportunities because I’m fast as hell,” Goodwin said on Sept. 10. “And I’m going to keep running fast as hell.” Goodwin’s turnaround from a shaky start didn’t happen overnight, but three months later this is clear: He’s enjoying one hell of a season. After spending his first four seasons with the Bills as a one-dimensional speedster, the free-agent signee is making the 49ers look shrewd for bringing him aboard with a two-year, $6 million contract in March.

Fantasy football: Injuries sure to cause disruptions on rosters

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 04:14:41 UT

Rare is the fantasy owner who breezes through the season without having to overcome injuries. It’s a part of the game — real football, of course, as well as the fantasy game we love to play. Some injuries hurt more than others: David Johnson’s broken wrist in Week 1 and Aaron Rodgers’ collarbone injury five weeks later leap to mind. But losing one or more of your studs at playoff time can prove critical to your title chances. Nobody knows that better than owners of Alvin Kamara, who went down with a concussion on the first drive of the Thursday nighter.

Source: 49ers sign WR Max McCaffrey

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:30:22 UT

The 49ers have signed wide receiver Max McCaffrey to their 53-man roster off the Packers’ practice squad, a league source said. McCaffrey is the older brother of Panthers rookie running back Christian McCaffrey and his dad, Ed, is a former NFL wide receiver who was a Stanford teammate of 49ers general manager John Lynch. In addition, the McCaffrey family has ties to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan. Ed McCaffrey spent the final nine seasons of his 13-year career with the Broncos when Mike Shanahan was the head coach. Kyle Shanahan, who was a wide receiver at Duke and Texas, would run routes with Ed McCaffrey and Broncos wideout Rod Smith when he was in high school.

A prolific passer? Jimmy Garoppolo could be 49ers’ streak-buster

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:40:43 UT

In his first two starts, Jimmy Garoppolo has pulled off what a 49ers quarterback hadn’t managed in 13 years. Garoppolo has thrown for 627 yards in wins over the Bears and Texans, the most in back-to-back games in the same season since Tim Ratty (716 yards) in October 2004. Rattay threw for 299 yards in a 24-14 loss to the Rams and added 417 in a 31-28 win over the Cardinals. If his first two starts are a harbinger of yards to come, Garoppolo figures to break an extended drought in 2018: A 49ers quarterback hasn’t thrown for more than 3,400 yards in a season since Jeff Garcia in 2001, which is easily the longest streak in the NFL.

Looking ahead: 49ers’ 2018 schedule

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:39:01 UT

The 49ers will finish last in the NFC West. The Buccaneers will finish last in the NFC South. And the Giants will almost assuredly occupy the cellar in the NFC East. Translation: The 49ers’ 2018 regular-season schedule is just about set. Next season, the 49ers (3-10) will play the same-place finisher from the NFC South (Tampa Bay) and the NFC East, which figures to be the Giants (2-11). New York will finish last in their division with a loss or a win by Washington (5-8) in the final three weeks of the season. The 49ers will also play the NFC North and AFC West, in addition to their division games in 2018.

Dolphins slow Brady, defeat Patriots

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:01:32 UT

Tom Brady threw two interceptions and was held without a third-down conversion Monday night, and the host Dolphins snapped New England’s winning streak at eight games with a 27-20 victory. Miami (6-7) kept the Patriots (10-3) from clinching their ninth consecutive AFC East title for at least one more game. “It was a bad night,” Brady said. “We’ve had a lot of good nights this year. This was a bad night.” Brady was 24-for-43 passing for 233 yards and one touchdown. Miami sacked him twice, hit him five times and held the Patriots to 25 yards rushing. New England was 0-for-11 on third down.

Jimmy Garoppolo’s future with 49ers: Kyle Shanahan encouraged

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 05:22:39 UT

Kyle Shanahan played along with Jimmy Garoppolo, and why not? Everyone else seems to be following the quarterback’s lead these days. “We’re going to keep Tennessee guessing also,” the head coach said of his quarterback choice for the 49ers’ next game. “They’ll find out Sunday at kickoff.” Cute. A day after Garoppolo led the 49ers to a 10-point victory in Houston and joked that he hadn’t been told whether he’d be the starter in the Tennessee game at Levi’s Stadium, Shanahan said, “I think he knows the answer. I think he was just playing along with it, as I am also.

Steelers rally to edge Ravens, pay tribute to Ryan Shazier

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 23:44:03 UT

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger’s record-setting night finished with a carry just as valuable as any of the franchise-record 66 passes he threw. As the Steelers poured onto the Heinz Field turf to celebrate a frantic 39-38 victory over Baltimore that wrapped up their third AFC North title in four years, Roethlisberger grabbed the familiar No. 50 jersey of injured linebacker Ryan Shazier and joined in the party. An emotionally draining week for the Steelers ended with Shazier recovering from spinal surgery in a nearby hospital but still very much in the middle of things. “We love our brother,” Roethlisberger said. “We wanted to get this one for him, and I’m glad we did.

Texans’ QB Tom Savage twitches on ground after hit, stays in game

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 03:26:56 UT

HOUSTON — The 49ers-Texans game almost broke the Internet, and not because of Jimmy Garoppolo’s light blue plaid suit. No, it was because of the stomach-churning footage of Houston quarterback Tom Savage, who, after being hit by 49ers linebacker Elvis Dumervil, lay stricken, twitching. Despite that, Savage was back under center for the next series, before yielding to backup T.J. Yates. Eventually, it was announced that Savage was out with a concussion. He will enter the league concussion protocol. So why, for heaven’s sake, was he allowed to go back into the game after being evaluated by an independent neurologist? “We evaluated him,” head coach Bill O’Brien said.

49ers cornerback Dontae Johnson burned, then benched

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 02:48:32 UT

HOUSTON — Dontae Johnson was burned so often Sunday that he got benched. In a 26-16 win over the Texans, the 49ers’ cornerback struggled to keep up with Pro Bowl wideout DeAndre Hopkins, who had 11 catches for 149 yards and two touchdowns. After Hopkins beat Johnson and safety Adrian Colbert for a 29-yard score early in the third quarter, Johnson slammed his helmet to the ground and stood alone on the bench. On the next series, he was replaced by undrafted rookie Greg Mabin. “I’ll chalk this one down as a performance that I would like to give back and redo it again,” Johnson said.

49ers: Grades for win over Texans

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 01:52:39 UT

Offense After the 49ers’ first four possessions featured three punts and an interception, they scored on six of their final eight full drives. QB Jimmy Garoppolo (334 yards) proved his debut was no fluke and had completions of 61, 32, 39 and 28 yards despite facing significant pressure (two sacks, nine hits). Hope you enjoyed Garrett Celek’s 61-yard gallop; that might not happen again. Defense The 49ers allowed just 311 yards and 3.9 yards a carry, but they had no answer for WR DeAndre Hopkins until CB Dontae Johnson was benched.