49ers

Manningham not expected to play vs. Patriots

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Manningham not expected to play vs. Patriots

SANTA CLARA -- Receiver Mario Manningham is expected to be sidelined for a second consecutive game with a right shoulder injury.

Manningham, who took part only in individual drills this week, is listed as doubtful for Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots. He did not participate in Friday's practice because the 49ers do not go through individual drills on Fridays. Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss will see the most action among the 49ers' wide receivers.

Delanie Walker is expected to see significant playing time, as the 49ers will go with two tight ends.

Manningham's expected absence is likely to open the door for rookie A.J. Jenkins, who played eight snaps in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Jenkins did not see any passes thrown his way in his limited duty.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to be out there again to get the experience," Jenkins said on Friday. "I'll play to the best of my ability and just focus.

"I'm not a person who's been all about myself. Right now, I'm just going with the flow of things and help this team win, whether it's blocking the whole game or catching all the balls. It doesn't matter. It's about getting the win."

Jenkins did not see any action in the 49ers' first 12 games as he was behind Crabtree, Moss, Manningham, Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn on the depth chart.

"I didn't cause any controversy or anything," Jenkins said. "I'm laid back. I understood why I wasn't dressing, so I accepted it. But I knew when it was my time to suit up, I'd be ready to go. I wasn't going every week assuming I wasn't going to play. Every week for me, I was preparing for the game. I wasn't taking weeks off, so I was making big strides during that time having a good mindset through the week."

49ERS
Doubtful: WR Mario Manningham (shoulder)
Probable: K David Akers (pelvis), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), CB Chris Culliver (knee), LB Tavares Gooden (ribs), RB Frank Gore (wrist), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), DT Will Tukuafu (wrist), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)

PATRIOTS
Questionable: CB Kyle Arrington (knee), DT Ron Brace (elbow), S Patrick Chung (shoulder, hamstring), G Dan Connolly (back), CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm, hip), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), DE Chandler Jones (ankle), WR Brandon Lloyd (knee), DT Kyle Love (knee), G Logan Mankins (ankle, calf), C Nick McDonald (shoulder), LB Brandon Spikes (knee, ankle), CB Aqib Talib (hip), T Sebastian Vollmer (back, knee), WR Wes Welker (ankle), LB Tracy White (elbow)
Probable: LB Jerod Mayo (elbow)

* * *

The 49ers plan to enter Sunday's game with one roster vacancy. The 49ers have 52 players on their roster. Each team is allowed to suit up only 46 players, so any player the 49ers would think about promoting from the practice squad would not be active for Sunday's game anyway, coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed.

Ward injures hamstring under team supervision, placed on PUP

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Ward injures hamstring under team supervision, placed on PUP

SANTA CLARA – Safety Jimmie Ward was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list to open training camp with a hamstring injury, the 49ers announced Friday morning.

General manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan stated on Thursday that all of their players were healthy and no players would be headed to PUP or the non-football injury list.

But that was before the 49ers were scheduled to have their conditioning test. Ward sustained the injury on Thursday during the team's conditioning test. The team lists him as "week to week."

He can be activated to begin practice at any time. Ward is also eligible to begin the regular season on the PUP list. Any player who opens the regular season on PUP is ineligible for the first six weeks of the season.

Ward is expected to be one of the key members of the 49ers' defense from the free safety position. His role is dubbed "The Eraser," fellow safety Eric Reid said, because of his role as a playmaker in the secondary. However, one of the major questions about Ward is his ability to remain healthy through the rigors of an NFL season.

Ward missed eight games as a rookie due to a foot injury. Last year, he sat out five games due to a shoulder injury.

Hyde 'flipped a switch' this offseason, sets lofty goal in contract year

Hyde 'flipped a switch' this offseason, sets lofty goal in contract year

SANTA CLARA – Carlos Hyde has been the 49ers' unchallenged starter since the organization allowed Frank Gore to leave in free agency after the 2014 season.

Finally, he has been challenged.

The 49ers drafted Joe Williams in the fourth round, signed veteran Tim Hightower and acquired Kapri Bibbs in a trade. Moreover, Hyde appears to be challenging himself, too.

“My goal is to be the No. 1 rushing running back in this league,” Hyde said. “I feel like I have the best opportunity to do that now with this new staff.”

General manager John Lynch said he has noticed Hyde “flipped a switch” in the offseason. Hyde remained in the Bay Area to use the 49ers’ facilities to work out and eat at the team’s cafeteria. At one point, he even asked coach Kyle Shanahan about being included on special teams.

Hyde reported to training camp Thursday at 228 pounds – the least he has weighed since his high-school days, he said. Hyde could be a good fit for Shanahan’s running scheme.

“It’s outside zone, which is downhill. I’m a downhill back. I feel like I fit the scheme very well,” said Hyde, who enters the final year of his contract.

Hyde had career-best totals of 988 yards and six touchdowns last season with a 4.6-yard average. Although the 49ers could use more a multi-pronged approach at running back, Hyde could be set up for a career year heading into free agency.

“I ran into him in the hall and he looks tremendous,” Lynch said. “He really has dedicated himself. He’s changed his body type this offseason and that to me at the least bit shows a commitment. There’s those stories, but we’re excited to see this whole thing as we take the next step.”