Now we know it was really a serious injury. Kaepernick told The Bee that he'd suffered a chipped bone on his forefoot and ruptured the capsule in the ball of his foot when he tried to run away from a Seahawks defender along the visiting sideline.
Even with the injury, Kaepernick rushed for 524 rushing yards last season, his first full year as San Francisco's starter. It was also the second-most single-season rushing yards by a 49ers quarterback behind Steve Young's 537 rushing yards in '92. It probably could have been more if he was healthy. He never had surgery and said the injury is not an issue, and it was corrected with rest.
Tuesday, August 19, 2014, 5:26pm
Phil Dawson converted 49 of his 50 pregame kicks, even a pair of 58-yard field goals going from each direction. That's about as accurate as San Francisco's veteran place kicker has been in recent years.
So it was a bit startling to watch as he sailed his only two chances during Sunday's 34-0 loss to Denver wide right — first from 55 yards then again from 44.
Dawson planned to return to Levi's Stadium on Tuesday afternoon to get back to work figuring out a new field and its quirks. The grass, like with any new sod, is still getting its roots established and has come up in places. Not that Dawson is complaining about the elements. He can walk some 100 yards from the practice fields to the stadium to practice.
Monday, August 18, 2014, 11:45am
There's a learning curve and then there is the twisting, turning, work-fast riddle that is the Denver Broncos' offensive playbook. And that is what Broncos rookie receiver Cody Latimer must navigate to go from draft pick with piles of potential to draft pick with a productive place in a fast-paced touchdown factory.
"Our code words have code words, our signals have signals," said Broncos wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. "To be able to put that together, to know what's the real deal. Is it an audible? Is it a dummy call? It takes a while to get all that running smoothly. ... And that's the major hurdle for any young guy in our offense, just to know all there is to know as fast as we need you to know it.''
And then Tolbert added with a smile: "but I'd venture to say he's picking it up fairly well ... for a rookie."
A rookie that is looking more and more like he can be, despite the Broncos' obvious firepower and depth on offense, a contributor when the Broncos close in on the end zone. Sunday, in the Broncos' 34-0 preseason win over the San Francisco 49ers, Latimer caught his first scoring pass in a game for the Broncos.
He showed his top-tier speed up the right sideline and backup quarterback Brock Osweiler tossed a 33-yard scoring pass that he dove to catch.
The starting jobs in the Broncos' three-wide receiver look are largely spoken for with Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker and Emmanuel Sanders set to get the bulk of the plays. But when the May draft rolled around, the Broncos were still on the hunt for a little more size at the position, and when the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Latimer was still on the board when their second-round pick rolled around they grabbed him. He could end up as a WR4 on the team, but that still doesn't mean he'll have a lot of fantasy value. But as we saw last year when one of the top three went down, and Andre Caldwell stepped in, Caldwell contributed. With an offense like Denver, Latimer is definitely someone to keep an eye on at the position once the season starts.
Crabtree is unsure whether the coaches will have him play Sunday. But he claims he’s 100-percent healthy, not to mention 10 to 15 pounds lighter than he was upon last December’s comeback from an Achilles tear.
“I was fast enough to be on the field. But I wasn’t me,” said Crabtree, who had only one touchdown among his 34 catches over the final eight games, including playoffs. “You guys have been here long enough. This is going on my sixth year. You know when I’m at my best, you know when I ain’t looking right.”
Including three playoff games, Crabtree appeared in eight contests last season and averaged 4.3 catches for 61 yards and 0.13 TD. For a better indication of his potential for 2014, we should include the 10 games he played with Colin Kaepernick in 2012 (and in the 2013 playoffs). When those numbers are rolled in, Crabtree averaged 5.3 catches for 76 yards and 0.50 TD, which equates to 10.6 PPG, or strong WR2-type numbers.
Denver Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders was a question mark going into last week’s preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks, and he’s a question mark going into Sunday’s preseason game against the San Francisco 49ers.
Sanders, who had sat out Monday’s practice before participating in Tuesday’s and Thursday’s work, was held out of Friday’s morning practice with a thigh injury.
Sanders was the #35 WR in 2013, when he saw WR2 targets (112) for the Steelers. Eric Decker (138) and Wes Welker (111) saw a combined 249 targets as Denver's WR2 and WR3. With Decker gone, Welker (and TE Julius Thomas) could see a bit more work, but Sanders should be stepping into a big role. As OC Adam Gase said, Sanders is a good fit for his system and is versatile to play both inside and outside. He is very quick and is adept at making people miss, so he should thrive in Denver’s screen game. Quad injuries usually aren't a big deal; we expect he'll get some rest and be ready to go later in camp.
Thursday, August 14, 2014, 12:08pm
At no point last season did the 49ers’ aerial attack look as strong as it has during this training camp. Actually, it’s stunning to see how much better this area is than it was last season. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick is surely benefiting. A few examples: As a rookie, Quinton Patton was the No. 3 receiver last year. This year, he’s improved, but he might be the sixth and final receiver on the 53-man roster. Jonathan Baldwin was a frontline receiver for a spell in 2013. This year, he was cut 10 days into training camp. The additions of veterans Stevie Johnson, Brandon Lloyd and explosive fourth-round pick Bruce Ellington to go with holdover starters Michael Crabtree and Anquan Boldin make for a pretty special group. It has showed in camp.
In his last 18 games with Michael Crabtree in the lineup, Kaepernick has averaged 20.9 FP, which equate to #3 QB numbers. In 11 games without Crabtree, he averaged 16.1 FP. He averages 2.5 more pass attempts (i.e. the 49ers throw the ball more) and his YPA jumps from 7.4 to 8.4 with his top receiver in the lineup. The addition of Stevie Johnson should help as well. We like Kaepernick in the 8th to 10th round, depending on format.
Arizona went 7-2 over the final nine games, and the offense, a complex system that HC Bruce Arians installed after being hired in January 2013, was finally understood and, as cliché as it sounds, began clicking on all cylinders.
It's just gotten better during this season's training camp.
Quarterback Carson Palmer and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald have said it. Arians has repeated it. The Cardinals are “light years” ahead of where they were last year at this time. It's obvious in the route running, which is crisper, and the formations, which aren't discussed by receivers pre-snap.
Palmer was the #22 QB through eight weeks, but was #6 from Week 10 to Week 17, after the team’s Week 9 bye. He said he felt much more comfortable in Bruce Arians’ offense down the stretch and his numbers reflect that. His receiving corps is good with Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, who had a breakout season in his second year. Still, it’s hard to get too excited about Palmer as anything more than a committee type given the fact that one-quarter of his schedule consists of matchups against the Seahawks and 49ers. He’s a very cheap option and ideal for a QBBC.
Sunday, August 10, 2014, 1:22pm
Pitta did not appear to be injured Saturday, though he was involved in some particularly physical pass blocking plays with the 49ers defense.
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 8:01pm
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 5:16pm
Only a scaled-down version of new offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak's playbook was revealed Thursday night, but the Ravens' overhauled offense got positive reviews.
Based on the limited sample of 10 plays during the Ravens' opening drive against the San Francisco 49ers, quarterback Joe Flacco is upbeat about the potential of the offense.
Flacco orchestrated an 80-yard drive that lasted nearly five minutes and was capped by running back Bernard Pierce's pounding 2-yard touchdown run behind blocks from right guard Marshal Yanda and right tackle Bill Wagner.
"We ran the ball really well and protected really well," Flacco said Saturday before a joint practice with the 49ers at the Ravens' training complex. "There is a lot to build on. I think we built a good foundation there. I think each week from here on out, we have to keep showing that improvement and building off what we did.”
During that drive, Flacco completed 4 of 5 passes for 52 yards. He had a long completion of 17 yards to versatile fullback Kyle Juszczyk and connected with tight end Dennis Pitta on a 14-yard screen. Flacco also had a 12-yard throw to wide receiver Jacoby Jones and a 9-yard pass to new wide receiver Steve Smith.
Saturday, August 9, 2014, 10:00am
A corresponding roster move is unknown at this time.
Lewis’ addition makes sense in that Chuck Jacobs hyperextending his right knee late in Thursday night’s 23-3 exhibition loss to the Ravens.
The 49ers have practiced for a week without Michael Crabtree and Brandon Lloyd because of what’s believed to be leg injuries.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 12:21pm
The Dallas Cowboys have talked about building their success around the offensive line, which means running the ball more.
Thursday’s preseason opener against the San Diego Chargers was a good start.
The final numbers look only pedestrian -- 23 carries, 92 yards -- but the first drive offered a bit of hope that what the line has done so far in training camp can carry over to when the games start for real Sept. 7 against the San Francisco 49ers.
The Cowboys ran the ball six times for 29 yards with the first-team offensive line on the field for one series, and that included a no gain on the first carry. Joseph Randle, who was starting while DeMarco Murray and backup Lance Dunbar rested, gained 50 yards on 13 carries.
Friday, August 8, 2014, 10:01am
49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said his first impression of the game was that his team has some work to do.
Harbaugh was pleased with the way rookie running back Carlos Hyde ran. Hyde was authoritative and explosive as he had 39 yards on five carries.
The 49ers will need someone to step up and backup Frank Gore this season and perhaps so far Hyde is the early leader. Kendall Hunter is out for the year and LaMichael James will miss the preseason.
Thursday, August 7, 2014, 10:04pm
Hyde racked up 34 yards on three carries on his first professional drive, helping to set up a field goal as San Francisco took an early 3-0 lead.
Hyde’s gains were seven, 19 and eight yards, respectively. On the 19-yarder, a block from fullback Bruce Miller helped him get the corner off left end.
Hyde will likely serve as the primary backup to Frank Gore with Kendall Hunter out for the year. He's a good handcuff for Gore owners and for other owners who are looking for a winning ticket in the middle rounds.
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