49ers scout team receiver familiar with Welker's game

hall_chad_eagles_white_pointing.jpg

49ers scout team receiver familiar with Welker's game

SANTA CLARA -- At 5-foot-8, 187 pounds, wide receiver Chad Hall has often been compared to Wes Welker.

So it only goes to reason that Hall would don No. 83 and play the role of the New England Patriots' top threat in the passing game this week during 49ers practices to help get the defense prepared for the real thing Sunday night in Foxboro, Mass.

Hall, a third-year player from Air Force, is on the 49ers' practice squad. His main duty during the week is to run pass routes on the scout team to help prepare the 49ers' defense for the upcoming opponent.

This week, his assignment is a natural.

[RELATED: Welker poses immense challenge for Rogers]

Welker is listed at 5-9, 185, so Hall has already studied Welker as the template for achieving his own NFL success. Hall has spent time in the past dissecting Welker's game in hopes he can pick up some keys to make himself a better player.

"He's very patient," Hall said of Welker. "He doesn't try to do too much. He just takes what the defense. You can tell he's very experienced. He reads the coverage well and sits in holes. He's a really good player."

Welker leads the Patriots with 95 catches for 1,116 yards. He is closing in on becoming the first player in NFL history with five 100-catch seasons.

Hall played 15 games the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles, catching 14 passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. In his final season at the Air Force in 2007, Hall rushed for 1,478 yards and 15 touchdowns while also catching 50 passes for 524 yards. He also handled kickoff- and punt-return chores.

The 49ers signed Hall to the practice squad on Nov. 27. Since then, Hall has been sleeping on the couch at the one-bedroom apartment of quarterback Scott Tolzien. Hall and Tolzien's older brother, Mike, attended Air Force together.

***

Former 49ers receiver Brandon Lloyd is second on New England with 57 catches for 650 yards. Practice-squad receiver Ricardo Lockette played the role of Lloyd during 49ers practice on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a former scout team receiver is beginning to wear his own uniform at practices. Rookie A.J. Jenkins, the 49ers' first-round draft pick, saw his first NFL action on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins. Jenkins played eight snaps, but did not see any passes thrown his way. However, he did make a block to help running back Frank Gore pick up 19 yards and set up a touchdown.

***

Wide receiver Mario Manningham went through limited practice with a right shoulder injury after sitting out the game against the Dolphins. Manningham's status is not certain for Sunday's game. Jenkins said he does not know if he'll have a role against the Patriots, but he said he is satisfied with his development.

"It's a fast-paced game and I feel a lot more comfortable out there," Jenkins said. "It feels good to come out there and contribute. You have to start from somewhere. This week might be more. I don't know."

"I'm fortunate to feel good right now. I'll go out there and keep grinding."

* * *

WEDNESDAY'S PRACTICE PARTICIPATION REPORTS
49ERS
Limited participation: LB Tavares Gooden (ribs), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder)
Full participation: K David Akers (pelvis), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), CB Chris Culliver (knee), RB Frank Gore (wrist), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), DT Will Tukuafu (wrist), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)

PATRIOTS
Did not participate: TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm, hip), DT Kyle Love (not injury related)
Limited participation: CB Kyle Arrington (knee), DT Ron Brace (elbow), S Patrick Chung (shoulder, hamstring), G Dan Connolly (back), CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), DE Chandler Jones (ankle), WR Brandon Lloyd (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)
Full participation: LB Jerod Mayo (elbow)

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

49ers, McDonald agree to five-year extension

The 49ers signed tight end Vance McDonald to a five-year contract extension through the 2021 season, the team announced late Friday.

The deal is worth $35 million, including $16 million in guaranteed money, ESPN reported. The actual contract terms and amount of fully guaranteed money is expected to be less than the reported figures.

McDonald ranks third on the 49ers with 24 catches for 391 yards and four touchdowns. He has touchdown receptions this season of 75 and 65 yards.

"Vance has shown consistent growth throughout his four-year career and his production this season is the result of his dedication and hard work,” 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “We believe he has only scratched the surface of what he will be able to accomplish in his career. Vance is a tremendous ambassador for the 49ers, and his passion for helping others provides a wonderful example for this organization. We look forward to his continued contributions to this organization, both on and off the field.”

McDonald is in the final season of his original four-year, $3.99 million contract he signed as a second-round draft pick in 2013.

In McDonald’s three previous seasons, he caught just 40 passes for 475 yards and three touchdowns.

McDonald spoke last week about the greater chances he's gotten to prove himself since the 49ers traded Vernon Davis last season.

“I just always look back at the opportunity when Vernon went to (Denver),” McDonald said. “Just being able to have the trust and the opportunity to start games and play every down.”

Said 49ers coach Chip Kelly, "He’s one of our weapons on the offensive side of the ball and he runs better than most tight ends in this league. So really depends on week to week what people have available at the safety spot to kind of match up with him. But he’s certainly someone that I think people defensively have to game plan for.”

 

 

Injury report: Staley's streak of 92 consecutive starts in serious jeopardy

Injury report: Staley's streak of 92 consecutive starts in serious jeopardy

Five-time Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley is listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game due to a hamstring injury, the 49ers announced on Friday.

Staley has the third-longest active streak among offensive tackles with 92 consecutive starts. Only Cleveland's Joe Thomas (156) and Oakland's Donald Penn (153) rank ahead of him on the list. Staley has not missed a game since the beginning of the 2011 season.

Coach Chip Kelly said Friday morning on his weekly show on KNBR that the 49ers have two more days of training “and then we’ll see what Joe’s status is going into the game on Sunday.”

Kelly added, “That’s kind of what we normally do with everybody. The best thing to say with Joe is he’s day-to-day. We’re hopeful, but we have two more days out on the field.”

With Staley not expected to play, the 49ers will likely shift left guard Zane Beadles to left tackle. Andrew Tiller, who started the first five games of the season at right guard, would likely start at left guard.

The 49ers expect outside linebacker Aaron Lynch to return to action on Sunday after missing five games with a high-ankle sprain, Kelly said on KNBR. Lynch is listed as questionable, along with defensive tackle Quinton Dial, who has a left elbow injury

The Jets will be without at least one starter. Right tackle Breno Giacomini was ruled out due to injuries. Brent Qvale, a third-year player from Nebraska, is scheduled to make his fifth NFL start.

Defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.

49ERS
Doubtful
T Joe Staley (hamstring)
Questionable
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)

JETS
Out
RB Khiry Robinson (lower leg)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
Questionable
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)