Is first-round pick Jenkins ready to contribute?

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Is first-round pick Jenkins ready to contribute?

The 49ers have yet to place wide receiver Mario Manningham on injured reserve, but obviously the club has a roster spot to fill after he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the 49ers' blowout loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday night.

The 49ers remained one player shy of the roster maximum of 52 players for the game at New England because the club determined anybody they added would not suit up for action, anyway. And that is the question now: Would anyone they add to the roster be among the 46 players to suit up for games?

The team usually dresses four wide receivers for games, and that does not have to change with Manningham's injury. Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss are the starters. Rookie A.J. Jenkins vaults into the role as the third receiver. Veteran Ted Ginn is the only player currently on the 53-man roster who has ever returned a punt for the 49ers, so he must be active.

The 49ers also have two receivers on their practice squad: Chad Hall and Ricardo Lockette, who have seen previous NFL game experience with Philadelphia and Seattle, respectively.

It's not often that a team has two of its top four receivers go down with season-ending injuries and the next person in line is a first-round draft pick. But that's the 49ers' situation now with Jenkins being bumped up a couple spots on the depth chart after Kyle Williams and Manningham were lost to injuries. The 49ers are likely to employ more two-back and two-tight end formations instead of three-receiver sets. In fact, undrafted rookie tight end Garrett Celek has the largest role of any of the 49ers' first-year players.

The only reason the 49ers would sign a currently unemployed veteran receiver -- has the name Terrell Owens crossed your mind? -- would be if the club had zero confidence in Jenkins. After all, any receiver the 49ers signed with the intent of suiting up and playing would push Jenkins back to the inactive list.

Second-round draft pick LaMichael James got his chance as the No. 2 running back behind Frank Gore due to a season-ending injury to Kendall Hunter and Brandon Jacobs' suspension. James has 76 yards on 20 carries, but made an impact against the Patriots with a momentum-turning 62-yard kickoff return.

Jenkins has suited up for just two games in his rookie season, playing a total of 16 snaps. He has yet to catch a pass -- or even seen one thrown his way. Now, he should at least get an opportunity to step onto the field in the final regular-season game and for as long as the playoffs last for the 49ers.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

After signing with Giants, Draughn pens long thank you to 49ers

Shaun Draughn is now a member of the New York Giants, but he won't ever forget his brief stint with the 49ers. The running back posted a long thank you to the organization and its fans on Thursday:

"I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community," Draughn posted on Instagram. "You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever.

"Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!!"

Draughn, 29, averaged 3.1 yards per carry over two seasons with the 49ers, totaling 459 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

I want to say thank you to the @49ers for giving my family and I a place to call home, a chance to be apart of an organization with rich history, class and a passion for family and community. You guys gave me my first EVER NFL start on November 8,2015 and I will cherish that moment and milestone forever. Thank you to all the support staff, cooks(man Ima miss those crispies in the morning lol Travis and the fellas) , custodians (my man Joe keep planting those spiritual seeds my brotha), equipment (Doc, Steve, Gilby, and the crew) trainers( Ferg, ryan, Laura) pastor Earl thank you so much for your time and pouring into us spiritually. Coaches(coach Tom Rathman thank you for having a high standard for your players and forcing me to get better at my craft) and to the Niner Faithful you guys are great and very passionate about your team you made this a great experience as well!! To my teammates I love y'all like brothas and thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and making it a pleasure to go to war with y'all no matter the record!! To the @nygiants I want to say thank you for allowing me to be apart of such a first class organization!! I am excited to go to work in the quest for #5 and to the Fans I can assure you, you will get my ABSOLUTE best and nothing less, put a stamp on it‼️‼️ thank you God for ALWAYS making a way!! #Proverbs3:5-6 #BigBlue #GMen

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