Sam Bradford may not play vs. 49ers Sunday

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Sam Bradford may not play vs. 49ers Sunday

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- St. Louis Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was very limited in practice, leaving his availability in doubt for Sunday's game at San Francisco.

"He didn't do much at all," coach Steve Spagnuolo said. "He's still a little sore, so we'll see where we're at tomorrow."

Bradford aggravated a high left ankle sprain in last week's loss to the Seahawks and didn't practice Thursday. Spagnuolo thought Bradford hadn't improved much since then.

Bradford, who was listed as questionable, was not made available to reporters.

Backup A.J. Feeley would make his third start if Bradford isn't able to go. One of Feeley's starts was the Rams' best game of the year, a 31-21 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

"It helps when you get reps in practice," Feeley said. "But I fully anticipate Sam being ready to go."

The Rams re-signed quarterback Tom Brandstater to the practice squad as insurance, releasing linebacker Eddie Jones.

Bradford didn't practice much leading up to the Arizona game in early November, but started in an overtime loss after missing two games with the injury. He had been listed as questionable.

"We're going to make sure he's OK," Spagnuolo said. "It's kind of like the Arizona game, we didn't play him until we knew he could get himself in and out of trouble."

Spagnuolo said Bradford was hurt making a throw, rather than getting the ankle rolled on by a tackler.

Wide receiver Danario Alexander (hamstring) has been practicing all week, giving the Rams a potential deep threat. Alexander has missed five games.

"Danario adds a little bit of a different element," offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels said Thursday of the 6-foot-5 Alexander. "He's got obviously a lot of size and length and has made some down-the-field plays for us that have really helped us."

Safety Darian Stewart (concussion) ruled himself out for this week, saying he didn't feel right, although the team has not made anything official and listed him as questionable. Spagnuolo said Stewart did a lot in practice Thursday but didn't feel well afterward.

"I'm not feeling normal," Stewart said. "Just playing it safe."

Defensive end Chris Long (ankle) missed his second straight day of practice and also was questionable, but said Thursday it was "100 percent" that he'd play. Defensive tackle Justin Bannan (shoulder) was questionable.

Punter Donnie Jones didn't test his sprained left ankle, saving it for game day. Jones was hurt when his cleats got caught in the turf trying to make a play on Patrick Peterson's 80-yard punt return for touchdown last week, but made a couple of punts after that.

Kicker Josh Brown is the backup punter.

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

49ers visit with free-agent defensive end

PHOENIX – The 49ers had a recent visit with Tampa Bay free-agent defensive end Jacquies Smith, general manager John Lynch confirmed on Sunday.

Smith, 27, sustained a torn right ACL in the Buccaneers’ season opener in September while running down the field on punt coverage against the Atlanta Falcons. The 49ers gave Smith a physical during his visit to Santa Clara. The club has yet to make a contract offer, Lynch said.

"We wanted to get him checked out medically, and we’ll see," Lynch said at the NFL owners meetings.

Smith (6-foot-2, 260 pounds) recorded 6.5 sacks in 2014 and seven sacks in 2015 for the Buccaneers.

After going undrafted in 2012 out of Missouri, Smith signed with Miami. He spent time with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before landing on the New York Jets’ practice squad. Smith worked his way into the Buccaneers’ defensive-line rotation in ’14 after being claimed off waivers from the Buffalo Bills.

The Buccaneers gave Smith the low tender of $1.797 million as a restricted free agent. Any team can sign Smith to an offer sheet. Tampa Bay would have the right of first refusal but would get no compensation if the team chooses not to match the contract.

With 71 players under contract, the 49ers have $74.5 million in cap space, according to the NFL Players Association.

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former 49ers OL/DE Clay Matthews Sr dies at 88 years old

Former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman/defensive end Clay Matthews Sr. passed away on Thursday, March 23rd at the age of 88. 

Matthews originally entered the NFL as a 25th round (247th overall) draft choice by the Los Angeles Rams in the 1949 NFL Draft. He spent four seasons with San Francisco (1950, 1953-55), appearing in 45 games and registering one interception. After spending his rookie season of 1950 with the 49ers, he went on to spend two years (1951-52) in the United States Army where he served in the Korean War.

A native of Charleston, SC, Matthews attended Georgia Tech where he played guard, tackle and end while earning All-Southeastern Conference honors in 1948. In 1949, Matthews was the All-Southeastern Conference heavyweight wrestling and boxing champion at Georgia Tech.

Matthews was the first of three generations to play in the National Football League. His two oldest sons, Bruce and Clay Jr., each spent 19 seasons in the NFL. Originally selected by the Houston Oilers in the first round (9th overall) of the 1983 NFL Draft, Bruce was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2007 after 14 Pro Bowl and seven First-Team All-Pro selections. Clay Jr. was selected by the Cleveland Browns in the 1st round (12th overall) in the 1978 draft and was a four-time Pro Bowl selection.

Three of Bruce’s sons, Jake, Kevin and Mike, and two of Clay Jr.’s sons, Clay III and Casey, either have spent time or currently play in the NFL. Clay III is currently a member of the Green Bay Packers and a six-time Pro Bowl selection at linebacker while Jake is currently an offensive lineman for the Atlanta Falcons after being selected in the first round (6th overall) by the team in 2014. 

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