INDIANAPOLIS -- Texas A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller attended the NFL scouting combine over the weekend but was not healthy enough to showcase his skills for the attending coaches and scouts."Unfortunately, I got a stress fracture in my foot from the Senior Bowl so I'm not going to be participating in anything until March 25th at my pro day," Fuller said.It's a disappointment, to be sure. But Fuller has every reason to maintain a positive outlook.All he has to do is look to his father, former 49ers safety Jeff Fuller, for inspiration and perspective.Jeff Fuller, 49, was a hard-hitting member of the 49ers' secondary whose career ended in 1989 when his violent hit on New England Patriots fullback John Stephens ripped the nerves at C-5, C-6 and C-7 from his spinal cord."Everything pretty much came back in a day or two, except for my right arm," Fuller said five years ago in an interview for "San Francisco 49ers: Where Have you Gone?""For a while, you'll think you're getting ready to turn the corner and it'll be better, but I've adjusted. It's been quite a while and you learn to adapt."More than two decades later, Fuller still has paralysis in his right arm and elbow, and the movements in his wrist and hand are restricted."I can run; I can do just about everything," Fuller said. "I don't play basketball or golf, but I'm able to do almost everything without being held back."Fuller also realized he was fortunate because of the circumstances surrounding his devastating injury. The 49ers played that game at Stanford Stadium because the Loma Prieta earthquake five days earlier had damaged Candlestick Park."That was the best thing for me because the (medical) facility was right there on campus," Fuller said. "If I had been somewhere like Candlestick, it would've been a lot more difficult."In comparison to what his father experienced, even before the injury, his son realizes how easy he's had it."We kind of came up differently," he said. "He (dad) was brought up in a not-so great part of Dallas and I was brought up in the suburbs of Dallas. He's been through a lot on the field, and so have I. Tough injuries. He went to A&M. I went to A&M. He got drafted in the (fifth) round. That's probably similar to where they're drafting me."He just told me that nothing ever comes easy. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and competing and being on a team."In retrospect, Fuller's NFL stock might have been higher a year ago when he was coming off a season in which he caught 72 passes for 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns.As a senior, Fuller still managed 70 catches but his average-per-reception fell 3 yards. He battled an early season hamstring injury and some dropped passes throughout the year."You can't think 'shoulda, woulda, coulda.' I definitely don't think like that anymore," Fuller said.And neither does his father. He played in two Super Bowl victories with the 49ers and earned another ring when the 49ers won the championship less than three months after his career-ending injury."When I look back, it was a great career," Fuller said. "And what made it such a special part of my life was having so many great friends."We don't have any pictures of the 49ers on the wall (at home) or anything like that. It's mainly because that's part of my life in is the past. We don't watch any tapes related to it. It happened, and I'm moving forward."
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.”
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.
T Joe Staley (hamstring)
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
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)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)