Injury report: Justin Smith returns for late-game contribution


Injury report: Justin Smith returns for late-game contribution

ST. LOUIS -- Defensive lineman Justin Smith aggravated a left knee injury Sunday, and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh thought his day was over.But when the 49ers needed the defense to step up, Smith stepped out on the field without seeking approval from the team's coaches, Harbaugh said."I thought he was out of the game in the first quarter," Harbaugh said. "He comes back in at the end of the game and takes it over when we had to have them stopped."The 49ers wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs with their 34-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. And with a first-round bye, the 49ers will get some much-needed rest before their first playoff game on the weekend of Jan. 14-15.RECAP: 49ers clinch first-round bye with 34-27 win over Rams
The 49ers had to hold off the Rams, who scored 14 points in a 13-second span late in the fourth quarter. Smith went back on the field for a crucial sequence in which the 49ers' defense held.Smith is not the only Pro Bowl-bound 49ers player who saw limited playing time Sunday. Running back Frank Gore carried just seven times for 9 yards. The 49ers managed to win the game without their top back touching the ball for the final 35 minutes of the game."It's big," Gore said. "We get our bodies all fresh as a team."Harbaugh indicated that Gore was held out of action due to an unspecified injury. But Gore said nothing physically prevented him from playing. Gore played in all 16 games for the 49ers this season. He led the team with 1,211 yards on 282 rushing attempts."I'm good. I'm cool," Gore said. "He (Harbaugh) said I was good. We were up."The 49ers should be at full strength for their first playoff game, with the possible exception of tight end Delanie Walker, who sustained a fractured jaw Dec. 24 against the Seattle Seahawks.Wide receiver Kyle Williams sat out Sunday's game with a concussion. He said he will be cleared to play in the playoffs. He said he has been symptom-free for a couple days."It (medical clearance) will definitely happen before we play next," Williams said. "I'll definitely be back for the next game."Wide receiver Ted Ginn (left ankle) missed his second game. He has been running, and is expected to be ready for the 49ers' playoff opener, as well.Fullback Bruce Miller, who has been limited in practice due to a left knee injury, aggravated his injury in the first quarter. He returned to action late in Sunday's game.

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

Comings and goings: 49ers coaching staff

First-year coach Kyle Shanahan is close to completing his 49ers coaching staff.

Shanahan will handle the duties of the offensive coordinator, the position he held with Houston, Washington and Atlanta over the past nine NFL seasons.

Robert Saleh is the 49ers' new defensive coordinator, while Richard Hightower has been hired as the special-teams coordiator.

Here's a look at the 49ers' coaching staffs under Shanahan and last season under Chip Kelly:

Position: Coach (2016 job)
Head coach: Kyle Shanahan (Falcons, offensive coordinator)
Defensive coordinator: Robert Saleh (Jaguars, linebackers coach)
Special teams coordinator: Richard Hightower (Bears, assistant special teams)
Assistant head coach/tight ends: Jon Embree (Buccaneers, tight ends)
Run game specialist: Mike McDaniel (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Quarterbacks: Rich Scangarello (Wagner, offensive coordinator)
Running backs: Bobby Turner (Falcons, running backs)
Wide receivers: Mike LaFleur (Falcons, offensive assistant)
Offensive line: Vacant
Offensive assistant: T.C. McCartney (LSU, offensive assistant)
Senior defensive assistant: Jason Tarver (49ers, outside linebackers)
Defensive line: Jeff Zgonina (N.Y. Giants, assistant defensive line)
Linebackers: Johnny Holland (Browns, inside linebackers)
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Offensive quality control: Taylor Embree (Chiefs, defensive assistant)
Defensive quality control: Bobby Slowik
Head strength and conditioning: Ray Wright

* * *

Position: Coach (current status)
Head coach: Chip Kelly
Offensive coordinator: Curtis Modkins (Bears, running backs)
Defensive coordinator: Jim O’Neil
Special teams coordinator: Derius Swinton
Quarterbacks: Ryan Day (Ohio State, quarterbacks)
Running backs: Tom Rathman
Wide receivers: Bob Bicknell
Tight ends: Jeff Nixon (Baylor, co-offensive coordinator/running backs)
Offensive line: Pat Flaherty (Jaguars, offensive line)
Assistant offensive line: Eric Wolford (South Carolina, offensive line)
Defensive line: Jerry Azzinaro (Cal, defensive line)
Assistant defensive line: Vince Oghobaase
Outside linebackers: Jason Tarver (49ers, senior defensive assistant)
Inside linebacker: Joe Bowden
Defensive backs: Jeff Hafley (49ers, defensive backs)
Assistant defensive backs: Roy Anderson (Bears, assistant secondary)
Assistant special teams: Michael Clay
Offensive quality control: Mick Lombardi (Jets, offensive assistant/assistant QBs coach)
Defensive quality control: Tem Lukabu
Senior analyst: Dana Bible
Director of human performance: Mark Uyeyama

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

Report: 49ers receive permission from Broncos to interview O-line coach

John Benton, who coached on the same staff during Kyle Shanahan’s four seasons with the Houston Texans, has reportedly received permission from the Denver Broncos to interview with the 49ers.

The Broncos hired Benton on Jan. 15 to work as the team’s assistant offensive line coach under line coach Jeff Davidson.

But Denver coach Vance Joseph and general manager John Elway provided Benton permission to interview with the 49ers, Denver’s 9News reported. The Sacramento Bee was first to report the 49ers were looking at Benton.

The offensive line coach is the last major position that remains vacant on Shanahan’s staff.

Benton worked last season as Jacksonville’s assistant offensive line coach. He worked the previous 13 seasons as offensive line coach with the St. Louis Rams (2003-05), Houston (2006-2013) and Miami (2014-15).

Shanahan’s first NFL coaching job was with Houston in 2006, when he coached wide receivers. Shanahan became the quarterbacks coach with the Texans in 2007 before spending the next two seasons as offensive coordinator under then-coach Gary Kubiak.

The 49ers announced nine additions to the coaching staff on Friday.

Also, the 49ers are expected to hire Daniel Bullocks as assistant defensive backs coach, according to The Sporting News. Bullocks worked in the same role with the Jacksonville Jaguars last season. The Jaguars' linebackers coach last season, Robert Saleh, is the 49ers' new defensive coodinator. Bullocks appeared in 31 games in three NFL seasons with the Detroit Lions in 2006 and '08.