49ers to watch: No. 2 -- Scott Tolzien


49ers to watch: No. 2 -- Scott Tolzien

Editor's note: This is the fourth part in a series that spotlights five 49ers players to watch in the team's final exhibition game Thursday, 7 p.m. (KCBW-TV), vs. the San Diego Chargers at Candlestick Park.

No. 5 -- WR Nathan PalmerNo. 4 -- CB Tramaine Brock

No. 3 -- WR Chris OwusuNo. 2 -- QB Scott Tolzien
The San Diego Chargers did not take any chances with quarterback Philip Rivers. He did not suit up for the exhibition finale a year ago. And they took few chances with backup Billy Volek.So it was Scott Tolzien's time to show what he had.Tolzien completed 16 of 23 passes for 226 yards. It wasn't enough to win a job with the Chargers. They cut him. But the 49ers, the Chargers' opponent that game, claimed him off waivers. He spent his rookie season as the 49ers' No. 3 quarterback.
While the final exhibition game is the most dreadful from a spectator standpoint, Tolzien views it as an important opportunity."I think about last year," Tolzien said, "and I think a lot of times fans think about it as the last game before the regular season. For us, it's important for all of us trying to win a roster spot."In many ways, Tolzien is back in a similar situation as a year ago. This time he's competing for a job with the 49ers. And the Chargers might be interested if he becomes available.Tolzien appears to be on equal footing with veteran Josh Johnson for the No. 3 job behind starter Alex Smith and backup Colin Kaepernick.Smith is expected to start Thursday night against the Chargers, but he will not play much. Then, there will be time for Kaepernick, Tolzien and Johnson to play. Perhaps, the competition for the No. 3 job will be settled.The onus could be on Johnson to prove that he is the better option. Johnson is scheduled to earn 700,000 this season. The 49ers already awarded him a 350,000 signing bonus as part of his two-year contract. Tolzien is on the books for 465,000.There is a chance the loser in the competition ends up on another roster. That's what happened a year ago for Tolzien, as the Chargers retained just two quarterbacks.Tolzien said he tries not to think about things that are out of his control."That's one of those outside forces," Tolzien said. "You control it based on the product you're putting on the field. You want to put out good film and look back with no regrets."

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.

It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Mike Nolan coached the 49ers for three full seasons before he was fired after Week 7 in his fourth year at the helm.

On Monday morning, he was asked about the situation in Santa Clara and if he would make a change at head coach or general manager.

"It's sad that it's gone to where it is," Nolan said on 95.7 The Game. "They're beginning to look much like when I took the job over in 2005 ... and there really was not a lot of good personnel on the team.

"The difference though that is better and will continue to be better, they will be (in) a much better cap situation going forward than we ever were back then ... but the losing I should say is really killing them.

"The personnel is not as bad as they're playing and that's the thing that really gets under your skin as a coach because you're frustrated by what's going on ... the thing that I have thought most of the season when people were talking about changes as the losses started to mount up, was not to change it. Because I know Trent (Baalke) personally, and Trent does a good job with personnel and that's his primary job.

"But for a lot of strange reasons -- guys retiring, guys quitting a couple years ago, just a lot of weird things that occurred -- their roster has kind of fallen off a little bit, but it is still a much better roster than some of these other teams that are not winning."

After winning their Week 1 game against the Rams, the 49ers have lost a franchise-record 11 straight games.

Chip Kelly is under contract through 2019 and the team owes Jim Tomsula $7 million over the next two years combined.

Baalke's contract runs through 2018.

"It's about players first and I think they have the right guy in place to pick the players but unfortunately for Trent, I think the choice of Tomsula hurt him and currently right now with Chip Kelly it's not helping him either," Nolan added. "They do not have a bad roster.

"Obviously they need a quarterback. They could be a .500 team in my opinion if they get a quarterback as near as next year even ... they got a tough decision to make at the end."