Gore, Whitner replacements make big plays


Gore, Whitner replacements make big plays

CINCINNATI -- Safety Donte Whitner left the game in the first quarter with a hip contusion. Running back Frank Gore sustained a right ankle sprain in the second quarter but remained in the game without much success.The 49ers got key contributions Sunday from their backups -- Reggie Smith and Kendall Hunter -- in the team's 13-8 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.It was another rough game for Gore, who gained just 42 yards on 17 carries. His fourth-quarter fumble led to the Bengals kicking a field goal for a 6-3 lead.Hunter, however, replaced Gore for most of the next drive and scored the game's only touchdown on a 7-yard run. Hunter finished with 26 yards on nine carries.

Gore played all but three of the 49ers' first-half offensive plays but saw considerable action on the sideline in the second half with Hunter getting the most action thus far of his rookie season. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Gore was removed because of the injury."I kind of tweaked and I couldn't go the way I wanted to," Gore said. "Yeah, I couldn't be myself. Some of the runs, I couldn't make the cut I wanted to make. Hopefully, I get better this week."When asked if he'd be able to play next week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gore answered, "I can't tell until tomorrow. See how I'm feeling."Whitner sustained his hip injury when he landed hard while going for a third-down pass on the first drive of the game. He did not return to action."It's just a minor injury that a lot of guys get in this league. I expect to be back next week," Whitner said.When asked if there was a thought about returning to the game, Whitner said, "There was until I couldn't handle the pain. But I'll be ready. It's not that serious."With Whitner on the sideline, Reggie Smith entered at safety in nickel situations. His diving interception with 1:45 remaining all but clinched the 49ers' victory.

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

MIAMI -- A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

"We're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized," Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. "I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence's plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.

"I didn't get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame," Lawrence wrote. "Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it's a rallying cry."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports - and many levels, from youth all the way to professional - have followed his lead in various ways.

Heat players and coaches stood side by side for the anthem before their game with Philadelphia, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. The team plans to continue standing that way for the anthem this season as a show of unity.

"Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday in New York. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though he was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."

49ers promote RB to active roster ahead of game vs Bucs

49ers promote RB to active roster ahead of game vs Bucs

The 49ers on Saturday promoted running back DuJuan Harris to the active roster to be eligible to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium.

The team waived defensive lineman Taylor Hart to make room for Harris on the 53-man roster. Hart, originally a fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, was claimed by the 49ers off waivers on Sept. 5. He appeared in one game and recorded two tackles.

Running back Carlos Hyde has been ruled out of Sunday’s game due to a right shoulder injury. Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn have served as the 49ers’ backup running backs through the first six games of the season.

Harris (5 foot 7, 206 pounds) has bounced between the 49ers’ 53-man roster and practice squad this season. He has yet to appear in a game. Last season, he played in two games, rushing for 140 yards on 27 carries. He also caught nine passes for 97 yards.

Draughn and Davis are the 49ers’ fourth- and fifth-leading rushers this season behind Hyde and quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick. Draughn has 55 yards rushing on 18 attempts, while Davis has 18 yards on 10 carries.