49ers

Fangio looks for reserve safety to step up

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Fangio looks for reserve safety to step up

SANTA CLARA -- The starters and top reserves are set at all but one position on the 49ers' defense.

Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is still waiting for a safety not named Donte Whitner or Dashon Goldson to earn his confidence in the final two exhibition games.

"We've got some jobs that are up for grabs in the backup area," Fangio said Tuesday. "We'd like to see somebody step forward and make the decisions easy for us, particularly at the safety positions.

REWIND: 49ers defensive player-by-player review vs. Texans

"We know we have Whitner and Goldson. But we're looking to see who are our third, fourth and, possibly, fifth safety. We need for that to clear itself up. Hopefully, guys will step forward and make it easy. Right now, it hasn't been an easy decision for us there."

The candidates?

--C.J. Spillman has been the team's third safety through the entire offseason. Known as one of the top special-teams players in the NFL, Spillman has seen only limited time on defense in three previous seasons. He was used primarily in the 49ers' goal-line defense last year, playing just 16 snaps of defense in 16 regular-season games.

REWIND: 49ers camp battle: C.J. Spillman vs. Trenton Robinson

--Darcel McBath enters his fourth NFL season after playing 20 games with the Denver Broncos in 2009 and '10, and one game last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars. "With the guys he's battling with, he does have more experience than all of them," Fangio said.

--Trenton Robinson was a sixth-round draft pick, who has showed slow and steady improvement, Fangio said. The 49ers would like to see a big spike in his play. He got turned around on a deep ball from Houston quarterback Matt Schaub to All-Pro receiver Andre Johnson on Saturday.

--Michael Thomas is an undrafted rookie from Stanford, who has not gotten much action at safety. He is seeing most of his action as a nickel back, the position from which he blitzed and picked up a sack against the Texans.

--Colin Jones, a second-year player, is a core special-teams player. He did not see any action at safety last season. He worked into the game Saturday for 10 snaps.

Or . . .

--NFL teams must trim to roster maximums of 75 on Aug. 27 and all the way down to 53 players on Aug. 31. The 49ers are sure to keep an eye on the waiver wire to see if there's a player available who might be able to lend assistance.

Trump to anthem protesters: 'Get that son of a b---- off the field'

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AP

Trump to anthem protesters: 'Get that son of a b---- off the field'

On Thursday prior to the 49ers' game against the Rams, Eric Reid continued his protest during the national anthem by taking a knee.

On Friday, President Donald Trump had an idea as to what should happen to players like Reid. 

Speaking in Huntsville, AL, Trump told a group of his supporters during a campaign rally, "wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when someone disrespects our flag to say, 'get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out. He's fired. He's fired."

The statement was welcomed by cheers from the crowd. 

Reid joined Colin Kaepernick in protest last season. Kaepernick isn't on an NFL roster. Reid sat out Thursday's game with an injury. 

Said Reid of his (non) stance earlier in the year:  “When we started last year, if you recall, we said our goal was to raise awareness and shed light on the issues that were happening in our country. I think we accomplished that goal. What I was upset about was the narrative, the false narrative, that were being told about us, people saying that we’re un-American, that we’re against police entirely and the military. That just wasn’t true. At first I thought that was a small sacrifice to pay to get the word out and raise awareness. I settled with thinking raising that awareness was victory.

“Then fast forward to Charlottesville and the country sees what an un- American protest really looks like. That’s when I had my change of heart. Because what Colin, Eli and I did was a peaceful protest fueled by faith in God to help make our country a better place. I feel I needed to regain control of that narrative and not let people say that what we’re doing is un-American, because it’s not. It’s completely American. We’re doing it because we want equality for everybody. We want our country to be a better place. So that’s why I decided to resume the protest.”

To date, at least 14 players have protested during the national anthem -- that number rises to close to 60 if you include the NFL preseason.

Trump added: “You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, ‘That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.’ And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

“But do you know what’s hurting the game more than that [referees]? When people like yourselves turn on the television and you see those players taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.”

Shanahan: Carradine could be heading to IR

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AP

Shanahan: Carradine could be heading to IR

Defensive lineman Tank Carradine will miss an extended period of time with a high ankle sprain sustained in the fourth quarter of the 49ers’ 41-39 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.

Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday the team was awaiting the results of an MRI examination. The 49ers could decide to place Carradine on injured reserve, which would make him eligible to return to action later in the season.

“We’re going to have to get that and really decide whether IR or not,” Shanahan said. “Because any time you have a high ankle sprain it’s going to be a while. We’re not exactly sure how long that’s going to be, but we’ll have to decide that probably Monday.”

The 49ers expect to be without the services of linebacker Reuben Foster and safety Eric Reid, too.

Also, fullback Kyle Juszczyk, safety Jaquiski Tartt and linebacker Brock Coyle are in the concussion protocol after sustaining head injuries on Thursday.

Although the 49ers’ medical staff no longer requires Foster to wear an orthopedic boot for his high ankle sprain, Shanahan said he would be shocked if the rookie is able to return to action Oct. 1 against the Arizona Cardinals.

“I’d be shocked if he came back this week,” Shanahan said. “I’d be surprised. We’re taking it week to week. I’m not really expecting him this week but You never know with some of these athletes. He might be there, but I’m not expecting it right now.”

Reid’s rehab is behind Foster’s, according to Shanahan. Reid sustained a left knee injury Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks and is expected to miss multiple games.

Speaking at his day-after-game press conference, Shanahan said he was disappointed that the 49ers’ pass rush did not apply more pressure to Rams quarterback Jared Goff.

“We didn’t affect the quarterback enough,” Shanahan said. “I thought we did a very good job against Seattle and we took a step back on that last night.”

When asked what he saw on the critical late-fourth-quarter play on which rookie receiver Trent Taylor was called for pass interference, Shanahan said, “I saw a very good route.“