49ers

Akers named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

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Akers named NFC Special Teams Player of the Week

In week 16 he did it with his feet, and in week 17 he did it with his feet and his arm. Record-setting 49ers kicker David Akers was named the NFC's Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday, after kicking two field goals, four PATs and firing an unlikely 14-yard touchdown pass in the 49ers' 34-27 win over St. Louis in the the regular season finale.Akers, 37 and in his 14th NFL season, was also chosen for the award in Week 16. Wednesday marked the eighth time overall the left-footed kicker has won the award.He signed a three-year deal with San Francisco last July after spending 12 seasons with the Eagles.
RELATED: David Akers 2011 game logs
Akers hit wide receiver Michael Crabtree on a 14-yard pass on a fake field goal late in the third quarter.The Rams did not see Crabtree on the field, leaving him uncovered, and the left-hander rifled a low throw to Crabtree who walked into the end zone. When Akers added the extra point after his first career TD pass, he broke the NFL record for most points in a season (165) with no touchdowns.More notes:
The award marks his second 2nd consecutive NFC Special Teams Player of the Week honor after having earned the award last week for his performance at Seattle (122411).
Akers is the only NFC player to win consecutive weekly POW awards this season. The only other NFL player to do it is Patriots QB Tom Brady (weeks 1 & 2).49ers Special Teams Coordinator Brad Seelys units have produced the last three NFC Special Teams POW award winners P Andy Lee (Week 15), Akers (Week 16) and Akers (Week 17).
The last time an NFL club won Special Teams Player of the Week three weeks in a row was 2007. San Diego -- P Mike Scifres (Week 8), CB Antonio Cromartie (Week 9), KR-PR Darren Sproles (Week 10).49ers Insider Matt Maiocco and NFL Media Services contributed to this report

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

Large group of Colin Kaepernick supporters demonstrate outside NFL offices

NEW YORK -- Supporters of former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who refused to stand for the national anthem to protest police brutality against blacks, showed their solidarity with him and his cause at a rally outside the headquarters of the National Football League on Wednesday.

More than 1,000 people, many wearing jerseys bearing Kaepernick's name, crowded the steps outside the NFL's midtown Manhattan offices.

Kaepernick, who once took the 49ers to the Super Bowl, opted out of his contract with the team in March and remains unsigned. Supporters say he is being blackballed for his advocacy, but some critics say he should not have sat or kneeled during the anthem or contend his lack of a job is more about his on-field talent.

Chants at the demonstration included "Boycott! Boycott!" Women's March organizer Tamika Mallory, addressing football fans, said, "I don't care how long you've been watching football, if they don't stand up for your children, turn the damn TV off."

Political commentator Symone Sanders said, "We are all standing with Kaepernick. It is time for the NFL to put up or shut up."

Earlier Wednesday, the NAACP called for a meeting with the NFL to discuss the fate of Kaepernick, who was born to a white woman and a black man but was adopted by a white couple. The civil rights organization's interim president, Derrick Johnson, said in a letter to the NFL's commissioner, Roger Goodell, that it's apparently "no sheer coincidence" that Kaepernick isn't on a roster.

"No player should be victimized and discriminated against because of his exercise of free speech - to do so is in violation of his rights under the Constitution and the NFL's own regulations," Johnson said.

The NAACP's state president in New York, Hazel Dukes, said: "Right now, the action of the league seems to imply to young black men that this league, which is comprised of 70 percent African-Americans, only values black lives if they are wearing a football uniform."

Goodell has said the league isn't blackballing Kaepernick.

Some other players followed Kaepernick's actions last season, and some are doing so in this year's pre-season. On Monday, a group of Cleveland Browns players prayed in silent protest during the national anthem. Among those kneeling was a white player, Seth DeValve. Another white player, Britton Colquitt, did not kneel but kept his hand on the shoulder of a teammate who did.

That protest earned the ire of an Ohio Supreme Court justice, the lone Democrat holding an Ohio statewide office. Justice Bill O'Neill wrote on Facebook that he wouldn't attend any games at which "draft dodging millionaire athletes disrespect the veterans who earned them the right to be on that field."

"Shame on you all," he said.

49ers activate Jimmie Ward

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AP

49ers activate Jimmie Ward

SANTA CLARA -- Safety Jimmie Ward was cleared Wednesday morning to begin practicing with his teammates after missing nearly four weeks of training camp with a hamstring injury.

Ward underwent conditioning tests on Monday and Tuesday to complete the final hurdles before the club activated him off the physically unable to perform list.

Ward sustained a hamstring injury during the conditioning test on the eve of training camp.

Ward was moved to cornerback last season, where he started 10 games.

He finished the season on injured reserve with a shoulder injury. He was the 49ers' primary nickel back in his first two NFL seasons.

Jaquiski Tartt originally took over at free safety at the beginning of camp. But after Tartt missed significant practice time with a ribs injury, undrafted rookie Lorenzo Jerome stepped in.

Jerome started the 49ers’ first two exhibition games at free safety.