Eight 49ers named to NFC Pro Bowl team


Eight 49ers named to NFC Pro Bowl team

The NFC West-champion 49ers had eight players named to the initial NFC Pro Bowl team on Tuesday.The 49ers who were honored are:PRO BOWL-BOUND
Defensive end Justin Smith
An 11-year NFL veteran, Smith has now been selected for the Pro Bowl in each of the past three seasons after not being chosen in his first eight. Smith is in his fourth season with the 49ers after seven years with the Cincinnati Bengals. Coach Jim Harbaugh has touted Smith for NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He has been exceptional play in the run game and has shown a willingness to give himself up to enable teammates to get to the quarterback. Smith has 6.5 sacks this season. He was named a starter.
Inside linebacker Patrick Willis
It's five trips to the Pro Bowl in his first five NFL seasons for Willis, who was having another outstanding season before sustaining a hamstring strain on Dec. 4. He was named a starter.
Tackle Joe Staley
The fifth-year pro has regularly graded out as the 49ers' top offensive lineman. He has not previously been selected to play in a Pro Bowl. He was named a starter.
Cornerback Carlos Rogers
After Rogers spent his first six seasons with the Washington Redskins, he signed a one-year contract with the 49ers and has turned in his best season. Rogers has six interceptions on the season, topping his previous best of two interceptions. He has not previously been named to any Pro Bowls. He was named a starter.
Free safety Dashon Goldson
He entered the season with five career interceptions in his first four seasons. Goldson has six interceptions this season. Goldson had not previously been named to any Pro Bowls.
Running back Frank Gore
Previously named to the NFC Pro Bowl team in 2006 and 2009, Gore became recognized as the 49ers' all-time rushing leader this season. With 1,202 rushing yards, Gore has eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the fifth time in his career. It's the second-highest total of his seven-year career, and he ranks behind only LeSean McCoy (Philadelphia) in NFC rushing.Kicker David Akers
A Pro Bowl selection on five previous occasions, Akers has already set the NFL record with 42 field goals on the season. Akers has made 7 of 9 kicks from 50-plus yards. With 156 points, Akers has already broken the 49ers franchise record, previously held by Jerry Rice.Punter Andy Lee
A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Lee is having his best NFL season with a 50.5 average and a league-best 43.5 net average. An eight-year pro, Lee previously made the Pro Bowl after the 2007 and 2009 seasons. Votes from fans, players and coaches each count one-third toward the selection of the Pro Bowl teams.The annual NFL all-star game will take place Sunday, Jan. 29, 2012 at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. Players from teams that advance to the Super Bowl will be replaced on the roster.The coaching staffs will be from the NFC and AFC teams with the best records that were eliminated in the divisional round of the playoffs. The following players were named as alternates and might end up going to the Pro Bowl as fill-ins for players named on the initial list:PRO BOWL ALTERNATES
Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman
Bowman has been outstanding in his first season as the starter. He leads the 49ers in tackles. He was ahead even before Patrick Willis was injured. And his 133 tackles are the third-best in the NFC behind inside linebacker London Fletcher (Washington) and outside linebacker Chad Greenway (Minnesota). He has three fumble recoveries this season, tooOutside linebacker Ahmad Brooks
Brooks has started every game at outside linebacker and has recorded six sacks.Special teams Blake Costanzo
The free-agent pickup signed with the 49ers to join special-teams coordinator Brad Seely, for whom he played while with the Cleveland Browns. Costanzo, a fifth-year pro, has not previously played in a Pro Bowl.Tight end Vernon Davis
The sixth-year veteran was named to the 2009 Pro Bowl team when he posted career-best numbers with 78 receptions for 965 yards and 13 touchdowns. This season, Davis ranks seventh among NFC tight ends with 59 catches for 674 yards and six TDs.Return specialist Ted Ginn
He has not been named to the Pro Bowl in any of his previous four seasons. Ginn started the season in extraordinary fashion with a kickoff return and punt return for touchdowns in the final minutes to beat the Seattle Seahawks. He ranks fourth in the NFL in kickoff and punt returns: 27.6 average on kickoff returns, and 12.3 on punt returns.Center Jonathan Goodwin
The 10th year pro has made a solid contribution in his first season with the 49ers. He previously made the Pro Bowl with the New Orleans Saints in 2009.Guard Mike Iupati
Selected with the 17th overall pick of the 2010 draft, Iupati has been a powerful force in the run game since his arrival on the scene. He is a big reason the 49ers rank seventh in the league in rushing.Fullback Bruce Miller
The rookie from Central Florida finished second in the fan voting. Early in the season he took over as the starter when veteran Moran Norris sustained an injury. Miller remained as the starter after Norris got healthy. Miller has made a quick transition to fullback from defensive end in college.Defensive end Ray McDonald
The 49ers signed McDonald to a five-year, 20 million contract at the start of free agency, and he has played nearly every snap of defense this season. He's been stout against the run and has added a career-best 5.5 sacks.Strong safety Donte Whitner
Whitner was named as an alternate in his first season with the 49ers after signing a three-year contract with the 49ers. Whitner played his first four seasons with the Buffalo Bills. Whitner has three fumble recoveries.
Here are some of the 49ers' other players who were not named to the Pro Bowl team or as alternates:PRO BOWL SNUBS?
Outside linebacker Aldon Smith
The No. 7 overall pick in the draft leads all rookies with 14 sacks, which ranks fifth among all players in the NFL. Smith has already set the 49ers' franchise record for sacks from a rookie, and he's closing in on the NFL record of 14.5 set by Jevon Kearse (Tennessee) in 1999.Quarterback Alex Smith
Coach Jim Harbaugh went on a Pro Bowl campaign for Smith, who ranks seventh in the NFC with a 90.1 passer rating. Smith has done a remarkable job of taking care of the football with just five interceptions and two lost fumbles. But Smith ranks 16th in the NFC with an average of 195.4 yards passing per game.

Christian Ponder remains 49ers' No. 3 quarterback

Christian Ponder remains 49ers' No. 3 quarterback

SANTA CLARA – Colin Kaepernick will be back as the 49ers’ starting quarterback on Sunday against the New York Jets.

And coach Chip Kelly announced Blaine Gabbert will be the No. 2 quarterback on Sunday. Gabbert started the first five games of the season and replaced a struggling Kaepernick in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bears.

Meanwhile, No. 3 quarterback Christian Ponder, who has not suited up for a game this season, will continue to be inactive when the 49ers face the Jets.

Kelly said there has not been any talk about moving Ponder up the depth chart. Only 46 of each team’s 53 players are allowed to suit up for games, and the No. 3 quarterback is typically inactive.

“We haven’t had any discussions about that so far,” Kelly said about Ponder being active.

Kelly had talks with quarterbacks coach Ryan Day and offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins before deciding to stick with Kaepernick, who will make his eighth consecutive start on Sunday.

“Really, it was just who was going to be the starting quarterback against the Jets and then let’s get forward because part of game planning evolves around who’s pulling the trigger,” Kelly said. “So that was our conversation was just about who was going to start and I think both Ryan, Curtis and myself agreed that it was Kap.”

Ponder, originally the No. 12 overall pick of the Minnesota Vikings in 2011, earned a spot on the 49ers over rookie Jeff Driskel after a solid training camp. Ponder has not attempted a pass in a regular-season game since appearing in two games with the Vikings in 2014.

Injury report: 49ers DL Dial sits out practice with elbow


Injury report: 49ers DL Dial sits out practice with elbow

SANTA CLARA – Defensive lineman Quinton Dial was held out of practice Wednesday due to an elbow that places his availability in question for the 49ers’ game Sunday against the New York Jets.

Dial returned to action on Sunday against the Chicago Bears after missing the previous game with neck and knee issues. Newly acquired defensive lineman Chris Jones started the past two games in place of Dial.

Outside linebacker Aaron Lynch continues to be hobbled with a high-ankle sprain. He has missed the past five games with the injury. Lynch took part in limited practice on Wednesday

Did not practice
DT Quinton Dial (elbow)
DT Glenn Dorsey (knee)
RB Shaun Draughn (ribs)
LB Eli Harold (toe)
LB Aaron Lynch (ankle)
Full participation
DT Ronald Blair (hamstring)
C Daniel Kilgore (hamstring)

Did not practice
S Antonio Allen (concussion)
T Breno Giacomini (back, calf, shoulder)
C Nick Mangold (ankle)
WR Jalin Marshall (concussion)
LB Lorenzo Mauldin (ankle)
DT Steve McLendon (hamstring)
LB Julian Stanford (ankle)
DE Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle)
DE Leonard Williams (illness)
RB Matt Forte (knee, foot)
S Calvin Pryor (concussion)
Full participation
WR Brandon Marshall (knee, foot)
CB Nick Marshall (ankle)
CB Marcus Williams (ankle)