49ers scout team receiver familiar with Welker's game


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."

* * *

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)

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)

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

MIAMI -- A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

"We're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized," Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. "I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence's plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.

"I didn't get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame," Lawrence wrote. "Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it's a rallying cry."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports - and many levels, from youth all the way to professional - have followed his lead in various ways.

Heat players and coaches stood side by side for the anthem before their game with Philadelphia, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. The team plans to continue standing that way for the anthem this season as a show of unity.

"Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday in New York. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though he was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."

49ers promote RB to active roster ahead of game vs Bucs

49ers promote RB to active roster ahead of game vs Bucs

The 49ers on Saturday promoted running back DuJuan Harris to the active roster to be eligible to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium.

The team waived defensive lineman Taylor Hart to make room for Harris on the 53-man roster. Hart, originally a fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, was claimed by the 49ers off waivers on Sept. 5. He appeared in one game and recorded two tackles.

Running back Carlos Hyde has been ruled out of Sunday’s game due to a right shoulder injury. Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn have served as the 49ers’ backup running backs through the first six games of the season.

Harris (5 foot 7, 206 pounds) has bounced between the 49ers’ 53-man roster and practice squad this season. He has yet to appear in a game. Last season, he played in two games, rushing for 140 yards on 27 carries. He also caught nine passes for 97 yards.

Draughn and Davis are the 49ers’ fourth- and fifth-leading rushers this season behind Hyde and quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick. Draughn has 55 yards rushing on 18 attempts, while Davis has 18 yards on 10 carries.