James, Dixon take over for injured Hunter, disgruntled Jacobs

dixon_anthony_49ers_red_kaepernick_colin.jpg

James, Dixon take over for injured Hunter, disgruntled Jacobs

SAN FRANCISCO -- Disgruntled veteran running back Brandon Jacobs, who has written on Twitter and Instagram that he hates playing for the 49ers, spent another game on the sideline.

He might not see the field again this season, as it appears the 49ers have found a way to compensate for Kendall Hunter's season-ending injury.

Jacobs was inactive for the 10th time in 13 games. Instead, the 49ers went with rookie LaMichael James and Anthony Dixon as the backups to starter Frank Gore.

James got his first chance to play this season, and he responded with 30 yards on eight rushing attempts.

"I'm happy for (James)," Gore said. "I saw LaMichael when he first got here. The offense was kind of rough for him. Camp was going kind of rough. He wasn't used to playing in small spaces, but he did a hell of a job. Our offensive coordinator G-Ro (Greg Roman) did a great job of putting him in a great situation in what he's used to doing in college. And he kept me fresh."

Dixon carried twice for 9 yards. He had an 8-yard gain to set up Gore's 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Then, Dixon entered after Gore gained 19 yards to the 1-yard line. Dixon responded with a 1-yard scoring plunge.

"I feel like we have the best backfield in the league," Dixon said. "We have a lot of talent. We are super deep. I know coach has a hard time trying to figure out what to do with all of us. It's a good problem. We just try to feed off each other."

James' value to the 49ers appears to be in running the zone read play with Kaepernick. Both players are familiar with that style of running game from their college days. Kaepernick ran the pistol offense at Nevada, while James thrived in Oregon's spread attack.

"I think it's something we're both comfortable with, so it doesn't take a whole lot for us to practice that," Kaepernick said.

Jacobs was not among the 49ers' 46 players active for Sunday's game. He was also the first to leave the locker room and head to the players' parking lot after Harbaugh's post-game speech to the team.

In recent days, Jacobs posted numerous photos of himself while with the New York Giants. In response to one followers question whether he hates playing for the 49ers, Jacobs responded, "Yes I do, and for good reason."

INJURY REPORT: Defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs, one of the 49ers' top special-teams players, is expected to miss time with a right knee injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh suggested the injury is not expected to sideline Dobbs for the rest of season.

"We might have dodged a bullet," Harbaugh said. "He may miss some time."

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

Reid: National anthem protest accomplished goal of awareness

SANTA CLARA – Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold, who joined Colin Kaepernick in kneeling during the national anthem last season, will not continue the protest this season.

Reid said Wednesday they achieved their goal of bringing attention to racial inequality in the United States.

“When we started doing that, our goal was to open up the floor to conversation. I believe we’ve achieved that goal,” Reid said. “So now we just want to move forward and just partner with people that’s trying to make a change.

“We accomplished that goal. People talked about it. I think we raised a lot of awareness about issues in this country. And now it’s time to move on to just affecting change.”

Reid and Harold are back with the 49ers, while Kaepernick remains a free agent. The 49ers have expressed no interest in retaining Kaepernick after opting to sign free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley, instead.

“I stay in touch with him,” Reid said of Kaepernick. “I’m rooting for him. Obviously, he isn’t on a team, yet, but I’m rooting for him but hopefully he gets that call after the draft.

“It’s surprising. You see some of the other quarterbacks that have been signed around the league and why he hasn’t been, it’s just unfortunate.”

When asked if thought Kaepernick was paying the price for his protest, Reid answered, “I think so. It’s unfortunate, it’s sad. People want to shy away from him because of media, PR reasons.

“You’re doing something to better the world. I mean, the guy got a plane sent to Somalia to help with the famine there. He’s been doing things that if it were anybody else in a different situation without the anthem (protest), they’d be praising him and giving him awards for it.”

 

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

Coming off Achilles injury, Bowman returns to 49ers practice at full speed

SANTA CLARA – NaVorro Bowman, who sustained a season-ending torn Achilles in Week 4 of the 2016 season, has been a full participant as the 49ers return to the practice field this week.

Bowman worked with the first team at middle linebacker Wednesday and appeared to move at top speed as the 49ers went through the second day of on-field workouts at a voluntary minicamp.

The 49ers, under new coach Kyle Shanahan, are allowed an extra voluntary minicamp as part of their offseason program. Bowman's return to the practice field was the highlight as the 49ers enter their third-week of the offseason program.

In other notes:

--The 49ers had tryouts with three unsigned veteran players: cornerback Steve Williams, and offensive linemen Tim Barnes and Kitt O’Brien.

--Wide receiver DeAndre Carter made the best catch of the day on a deep throw from quarterback Matt Barkley. Carter beat Williams on the reception.

--Defensive lineman Arik Armstead, who is a candidate to play the “Leo” position, was held out of competitive drills as he continues to recovery from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder.

--Ronald Blair lined up at the “Leo” position with the first-team defense and beat No. 2 right tackle Garry Gilliam for a sack in the “non-contract” drills. Aaron Lynch was at the “Leo” position with the second team.

--Tank Carradine lined up at the 5-technique, which is a position where the 49ers could target Stanford’s Solomon Thomas with the No. 2 overall pick.

--Kyle Juszczyk showed the versatility that prompted the 49ers to make him the highest-paid fullback in the league with several pass receptions during the 90-minute practice.

--Rashard Robinson and Dontae Johnson lined up at the cornerbacks with the first-team defense. Robinson made a leaping interception of a Brian Hoyer deep sideline pass against Rashad Ross during 7-on-7 drills.

--Hoyer and receiver Pierre Garçon teamed up for a 20-yard completion on the opening play of the 11-on-11 period.

--Wide receiver Bruce Ellington, who spent all of last season on injured reserve, did not practice due to a soft-tissue injury not related to his hamstring injury of a year ago.

--Offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah (soft tissue), tight end Je’Ron Hamm (leg), running back Raheem Mostert (soft tissue), linebacker Eli Harold (toe) and tight end Blake Bell (cut forehead) did not practice.