Five 49ers to watch: 2. Kyle Williams


Five 49ers to watch: 2. Kyle Williams

(This is Part 4 in a series that will spotlight five 49ers players to watch in the team's exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings on Friday, 6 p.m., at Candlestick Park.)

Five 49ers to watch: 5. Alex Boone
Five 49ers to watch: 4. Perrish Cox
Five 49ers to watch: 3. Demarcus Dobbs
The 49ers have a deep stable of wide receivers. Kyle Willams is competing for a spot. Look for the 49ers to keep six wideouts on their 53-man roster.The 49ers are also looking for a clear picture in the return game. Ted Ginn should be a lock. Currently, coach Jim Harbaugh considers Williams as the No. 2 man on punt returns.Of course, we all know what happened the last time the 49ers played. Williams' two turnovers on punt returns were pivotal developments in the team's overtime loss to the New York Giants in the NFC championship game.How does Harbaugh expect the home fans to react to Williams on Friday night?"To Kyle? He's a 49er. He's one of us," Harbaugh said.Clearly, Harbaugh would be disappointed in 49ers fans if they did not give Williams anything but their unconditional support.Williams handled the disappointment of his playoff experience with aplomb. He made himself available and accountable while addressing the topic with the media. He had a determined offseason, using the turnovers as fuel to come back faster and stronger.Williams had a strong offseason program. And he got off to a good start in training camp. He has put himself in prime position to earn a roster spot. Even 49ers CEO Jed York expressed his wish for Williams to have a "breakout" season.
But Williams struggled on Wednesday with a muffed punt and a couple of drops. Then, Harbaugh ordered him off the field after Williams got into a brief "scuffle" -- Harbaugh's word -- with rookie cornerback Deante' Purvis.There is more pressure on Williams than any other player. It does not matter that it's just an exhibition game. He will definitely return punts. And it will not be easy. After all, the capricious winds at Candlestick Park are generally worse during this time of year than any other.

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.

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)