Shoulder? What shoulder?
That is the scene Peter King of the MMQB described inside the John McVay Draft Room at 49ers headquarters on Thursday night when general manager John Lynch yelled across the room toward Jeff Ferguson, the team’s vice president of medical services/head athletic trainer.
The 49ers spent most of the first round trying to maneuver back into position to trade up to select Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. They accomplished their goal with the No. 31 overall pick, as they finalized a deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
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The 49ers had Foster rated as their No. 3 prospect in the draft, behind Myles Garrett and Solomon Thomas. Foster plummeted down the draft due mostly to concerns about his surgically repaired right shoulder. But Ferguson confidently confirmed the team's belief that Foster's recovery is going as planned when he suggested the shoulder is of no concern.
Foster sustained a torn rotator cuff in Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington, he said. He played through the injury in the championship game against Clemson before undergoing surgery in February. Foster said last week he is 90 percent and expects to be cleared for training camp.
But Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the 49ers’ lack of concern is not a sentiment shared around the NFL.
“The surgery didn’t take,” a person described as “a well-placed source with knowledge of the injury” told Schefter.
When asked about reports he could require additional surgery, Foster said, “That’s not accurate at all. I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
Another source said Foster’s shoulder could be damaged on any hit and predicted he would not make it through his rookie season without requiring another surgery, according to Schefter’s report.
The Buffalo Bills have signed two 49ers free agents within the past two days.
After signing wide receiver Rod Streater on Wednesday, the Bills announced the signing of linebacker Gerald Hodges on Thursday.
The 49ers acquired Hodges in a 2015 trade with the Minnesota Vikings for center Nick Easton and a sixth-round draft pick. Hodges started 12 games last season and ranked second on the team with 92 tackles.
Hodges left the 49ers shorthanded for a late-season game against the Atlanta Falcons when he violated team rules. Then-coach Chip Kelly did not disclose the nature of Hodges infraction. Hodges offered no explanation or apology.
The 49ers entered the game against the high-powered Falcons with just two healthy inside linebackers due to Hodges’ deactivation. Starter Nick Bellore sustained an elbow injury on the third play of the game, and the 49ers were forced to use safeties Antoine Bethea and Vinnie Sunseri, and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks at various points of the game.
The 49ers showed no interest in re-signing Hodges as a free agent.
Streater, a five-year NFL veteran, saw action in all 16 games last season after being acquired in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs in September. He caught 18 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
It was Jim Harbaugh's first season as head coach of the 49ers.
The 4-1 49ers were in Detroit and scored 10 points in the final 5:29 to beat the Lions 25-19.
An excited Harbaugh got a little too agressive during his postgame handshake with Lions coach Jim Schwartz. The two had words for each other and had to be separated.
Six years later, Harbaugh took the blame for what happened and said that he and Schwartz have patched things up.
"I went in too hard on that, too aggressive on the handshake. I've since changed that. Not doing that anymore. Can't blame him. I went in too hard. And you respect him for taking exception. We've talked, and we're good. We're back to friends. There is a protocol in a postgame handshake. I've been there as the winner. I've been there as loser. You just, 'Hey, nice game,' then go celebrate. Premature celebration there, in the wrong," Harbaugh said Tuesday on Barstool Sports' Pardon My Take podcast.
Harbaugh sounds like he's learned his lesson from that incident with Schwartz.
"The postgame handshake isn't the place for anything. If you're bitter, than change the I to an E. Don't get bitter, get better. Nothing's really changing at the postgame handshake. Just professionally shake hands and go on your way," Harbaugh said.
Harbaugh moved on from the 49ers to coach the Michigan Wolverines. Schwartz coached the Lions through the 2013 season and currently serves as the defensive coordinator for the Eagles.