49ers' Adams at full strength after 'Posey injury'


49ers' Adams at full strength after 'Posey injury'

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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
It has been a long road back for 49ers cornerback Phillip Adams, who sustained the Buster Posey injury five months before Buster Posey.A week ago, Adams fielded a Raiders punt, darted between would-be tacklers Jon Condo and Josh Bullocks and then veered toward the right sideline. Adams showed a bust of speed he had not shown since camp opened en route to a 32-yard return.The play signified a significant development in Adams' comeback from a gruesome broken left ankle he sustained Dec. 26 while blocking on a kickoff return against the St. Louis Rams. Adams spent most of the offseason unable to run while the bone healed.The mental barrier Adams said he had to overcome was lining up 45 yards down field, all alone, to field a punt with opposing players bearing down on him. It's much like a catcher awaiting a throw from the outfield with a baserunner coming down the third-base line.
Adams does not know much about the Giants' catcher who sustained a season-ending injury in May in a collision at home plate. But he said his trainer told him that Posey's injury was identical to the one Adams sustained. It's an injury from which Adams now feels fully recovered.

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"Coach put me out there to see what I can do -- to see if I'm healthy enough to do it," Adams said. "And I am. I feel like I'm back to where I was.""You're very vulnerable in that situation when you're returning a punt. It's a risky situation, and it's one of the hardest things to do on the football field. The confidence was there in practice. The game was icing on the cake. I work hard in practices to catch punts."I think I can do punt returns in this league and on this team, and I'm getting the opportunity."The 49ers selected Adams of South Carolina State in the seventh round of the 2010 draft. He earned a roster spot and saw action, mostly on special teams, in the first 15 games before sustaining the injury.Adams is not eligible for the practice squad, so it's all or nothing for him as a second-year pro. He remains in a battle to earn a roster spot on a team that also features cornerbacks Carlos Rogers, Shawntae Spencer, Tarell Brown, Tramaine Brock and rookie Chris Culliver."For me, it's climbing the mountain again," Adams said. "I'm used to dealing with adverse situations as a player. There are a bunch of great players at my position. I'll continue to work hard and earn the trust of my teammates and my coaches."The most important part is that Adams has regained the trust that he is healthy enough to give him a strong chance to succeed."My coaches believe my body is sound and they put me out there," Adams said. "I feel good. My body feels good. Practice has been good. Repetitions are going good. The team's going good, so I'm feeling good."

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle

Seahawks lose Thomas, but run all over Panthers in Seattle


SEATTLE -- Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.

Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception . It was the start of miserable night for Carolina (4-8) and a laugher that moved Seattle (8-3-1) one step closer to the NFC West title.

Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Carolina entered the week giving up less than 80 yards per game on the ground.

Rawls finished with 106 yards on 15 carries, quiet in the second half after briefly being checked for a concussion. He was just the second 100-yard rusher for a run game that has lagged most of the season. Rawls' 8-yard run gave Seattle an early 10-0 lead and his 45-yard sprint early in the second quarter pushed it to 17-7.

Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.

Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton's pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a "cracked tibia," coach Pete Carroll told Seattle's radio broadcast.

On the play after Thomas' injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.

Rawls immediately answered, darting through the Carolina defense for the 45-yard touchdown run and a 17-7 lead. Steven Hauschka added two more field goals before halftime and Lockett raced 75 yards on a reverse on the first play of the second half. In less than 10 minutes of game time, Seattle extended the lead to 30-7.

Newton's benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Anderson rolled out to throw a pass to Mike Tolbert. It bounced off Tolbert's hands and into the arms of Mike Morgan, a disastrous result for that only added to questions about coach Ron Rivera's intention with the punishment.

Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.


It was seventh meeting in the past five years between the Seahawks and Panthers, playoffs included. It was the first time of the seven the game was decided by more than 14 points. Five of the previous six were decided by seven points or less. The biggest win during the stretch was Seattle's 31-17 win in the 2014 playoffs.


Carolina's injury list grew again.

The Panthers were already without starters Kurt Coleman and Luke Kuechly (concussions), and defensive end Mario Addison (foot) on defense, and right tackle Daryl Williams (ankle) on offense. Carolina then lost cornerback Daryl Worley and linebacker David Mayo to concussions against the Seahawks.


One of the most emotional players on Seattle's roster, Thomas hinted at retirement in a tweet sent just before halftime.

"This game has been so good to me no regrets. A lot is running through my mind including retirement thanks for all the prayers," Thomas tweeted from the Seattle locker room.

Thomas missed the first game of his career last week at Tampa Bay due to a hamstring injury.


Panthers: Carolina returns home and hosts San Diego.

Seahawks: Seattle travels to Green Bay.

Cardinals beat Washington, allow Cowboys to clinch playoff spot


Cardinals beat Washington, allow Cowboys to clinch playoff spot


GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, David Johnson scored twice and the Arizona Cardinals held on to beat Washington 31-23 on Sunday.

The loss by Washington (6-5-1) clinched a playoff spot for the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys.

Palmer's 25-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with 11:09 to play put Arizona ahead 24-20, the fourth lead change of the second half.

After a Washington field goal, Palmer's 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson with 1:56 padded gave the Cardinals (5-6-1) a 31-23 lead.

Washington drove to the Arizona 28-yard line before Patrick Peterson's interception of Kirk Cousins' pass with 41 seconds left sealed the victory.

Johnson, who also scored on a 1-yard run, became the second player in NFL history to top 100 yards from scrimmage in the first 12 games of a season. Edgerrin James was the other.

Johnson carried the ball 18 times for 84 yards and caught nine passes for another 91.

Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 78 yards, moving past Cris Carter into third on the NFL career receptions list.

Cousins completed 21 of 37 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown. His 59-yard pass to DeSean Jackson on the first series of the second half set up his 1-yard touchdown sneak.

In the third quarter, Cousins was stripped of the ball by Calais Campbell, and Markus Golden returned the fumble 20 yards to set up Palmer's six-yard touchdown pass toMichael Floyd.

That gave Arizona a 17-13 lead. Washington came right back. Cousins threw to a wide-open Jamison Crowder on a 26-yard touchdown play to put Washington back on top, 20-17, with 1:06 left in the third quarter.

The Cardinals avoided what would have been the team's first three-game losing streak since coach Bruce Arians came to the desert four seasons ago.

Washington center Spencer Long left the game early to be evaluated for a concussion and did not return.

Washington was without standout tight end Jordan Reed and Arizona didn't have do-everything defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. Both have shoulder injuries.

Washington: Washington returns to NFC East play with a game at Philadelphia next on Sunday.

Cardinals: Arizona travels across the country to face Miami on Sunday.