49ers

Goodell welcomes new, safe NFL season in letter to fans

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Goodell welcomes new, safe NFL season in letter to fans

Editor's note: NFL Commissioner Roger Gooddell issued a letter to fans Friday welcoming in a new season of football and promising a safe environment free of bounties. Here is the letter:
To NFL Fans:

The 2012 NFL regular season is about to begin, and it promises to be another exciting, competitive, and unpredictable year of football which NFL fans have come to expect every season.

Part of our responsibility in helping teams and players prepare for each NFL season is to make sure they understand and respect league policies and rules. As always, we hold everyone, including ourselves, strictly accountable for protecting the integrity of the game, starting with the health and safety of our players. This year is no exception - bringing with it a clear, consistent, and renewed emphasis on enforcing our longstanding bounty prohibition.

Let me be clear: there is no place for bounties in football. No exceptions. No excuses. Bounties are an affront to everything that competitive sports should represent. Everyone in the NFL is responsible for adhering to these rules and we are all accountable for protecting the safety of our players - present and future.

The bounty prohibition forbids offering or accepting any reward - cash or otherwise - for on-field misconduct, plays that incentivize or result in injury to opposing players, or for performance against an opposing player, group of players, or team. The bounty prohibition not only preserves the competitive integrity of our game, but also protects player safety by removing incentives that could lead to dangerous play or unnecessary andor intentional injury. As a league, we will ensure that the prohibition against bounties is clearly understood and consistently enforced. Period.

We will aggressively protect the health, safety and long-term livelihood of our players, both on the field and off. We can preserve the fierce competition that makes football great, while simultaneously committing to the relentless pursuit of safer play. Our players do not make excuses on the field; we will not make them off the field.

It is our job to protect, preserve, and promote the game of football that we all love. We want an exciting game featuring the worlds most talented football players enjoying long and successful careers. The bounty prohibition plays an instrumental role in achieving that. And we are committed to holding every team, player and owner accountable.

We appreciate your interest and hope you enjoy the 2012 NFL season.

Roger Goodell

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.

Shanahan evaluates Hyde's performance in early goings of 2017 preseason

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AP

Shanahan evaluates Hyde's performance in early goings of 2017 preseason

SANTA CLARA – Carlos Hyde, the 49ers’ No. 1 running back, has gained just 26 yards on 10 carries in the first two exhibition games.

But aside from a play Saturday night against the Denver Broncos when he did not gain as many yards as coach Kyle Shanahan thought he should, the 49ers appear satisfied with what they’ve seen from Hyde.

“It takes 11 guys to execute a play,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “Usually, the guy with the ball in his hands is the one who’s rewarded or blamed. But I’ve been happy with Carlos’ reps during the preseason.

“I definitely want to do better. I want to score every time we call a play, so I’m usually disappointed if it doesn’t end in a touchdown. But he’s done a good job for us.”

That does not mean that Hyde has been perfect. Shanahan recounted a play on Saturday in which Hyde did not read the blocking correctly and gained fewer yards than his coach expected.

“There was one run in particular I thought the O-line blocked it for about a 4-yard gain and he got 1 yard,” Shanahan said. “(He was) trying to do too much on one play, which happens a lot with running backs. So there was one play he left about 3 yards on the field.”

Hyde finished the first half with gains of 6, 2, 7 and 7 on a series that ended with a lost fumble from backup running back Tim Hightower.

“We blocked well and he got to the right hole and when contact hit him at 5 yards, he fell for 2 more,” Shanahan said of Hyde. “So I thought he got exactly what we blocked for and a little more after that.”