Injuries force 49ers to consider return options

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Injuries force 49ers to consider return options

SANTA CLARA -- If Ted Ginn and Kyle Williams are unavailable for the 49ers' game Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, the team will turn to its next line of return men.Backup defensive back Reggie Smith would handle punt-return chores, while running back Kendall Hunter and cornerbacks Chris Culliver are the candidates to be back deep on kickoffs, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed Friday afternoon.The 49ers have yet to officially fill the roster spot that opened when the club released veteran wide receiver Braylon Edwards this week. In all likelihood, undrafted rookie Joe Hastings will get the call.The 49ers plan to make the roster move on Saturday. So why the delay?"Until we know exactly how we want to do it," Harbaugh said. "Ted had a good workout (Friday). We didn't practice him. We held him out. But he's coming along very well, so we'll see how he responds to that. See how he looks tomorrow, and that is the purpose."Ginn missed last week's game with a left ankle sprain. Neither he nor Williams (concussion) practiced this week. Harbaugh said Williams is "progressing well."Also, it looks as if linebacker Patrick Willis will be a game-time decision. Willis has missed three games with a right hamstring strain. If Willis is healthy, he'll play, Harbaugh said. Willis, who went through limited practice this week, is expected to be available for the game.The 49ers will be without the services of second-string tight end Delanie Walker, who sustained a fractured jaw last week against the Seahawks.The 49ers were scheduled to leave Friday afternoon for St. Louis. 49ERS INJURY REPORT
Out: TE Delanie Walker (jaw)
Questionable: CB Chris Culliver (shoulder), WR Ted Ginn (ankle), RB Bruce Miller (knee), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Kyle Williams (concussion), LB Patrick Willis (hamstring)RAMS INJURY REPORT
Doubtful: QB Sam Bradford (ankle), QB A.J. Feeley (right thumb)
Questionable: DE Chris Long (ankle)
Probable: CB Josh Gordy (abdomen), RB Jerious Norwood (illness), LB Brady Poppinga (illness)

49ers' Smith, Raiders' Williams not among Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists

49ers' Smith, Raiders' Williams not among Walter Payton Man of the Year finalists

Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald, Giants quarterback Eli Manning and Panthers tight end Greg Olsen are the three finalists for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award.

Fitzgerald, one of the top receivers in the league, has made grants of more than one million dollars for the "First Down Fund."

The fund promotes reading and technology access for kids from kindergarten through 12th grade as well as supports efforts to prevent and cure breast cancer and support breast cancer survivors. 

Also, the fund makes grants to the American Cancer Society as well as breast cancer organizations based in Arizona and Minnesota, for activities such as education, support groups, and free mammograms. 

Fitzgerald was a finalist in 2012.

Olsen founded "Receptions for Research" after watching his mother deal with breast cancer in 2009.

The foundation’s program focuses on cancer research, support and education programming.

The program has distributed more than $520,000 to six hospitals and foundations.

The program’s most notable and largest fundraiser, Kicks for a Cure, has raised over $850,000 in its eight year history.

Olsen was previously nominated in 2015.

Manning is a two-time Super Bowl winner. He supports "Tackle Kids Cancer" at the Hackensack (N.J.) University Medical Center. Their research team gives patients access to more than 100 cutting-edge clinical trials to combat pediatric cancer.

Manning has volunteered for the "Tackle Kids Cancer" campaign since the start of the 2015 season and has visited the Children’s Cancer Institute.

Manning was previously nominated from 2007-2013 and was a finalist in 2015.

The winner will be announced the week of the Super Bowl in Houston.

Report: Kelly candidate to replace Shanahan with Falcons

Report: Kelly candidate to replace Shanahan with Falcons

The person who replaces the next 49ers head coach could reportedly be the previous 49ers head coach.

Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn, who reportedly told his staff last week that Kyle Shanahan would take the 49ers job, has been compiling a list of offensive coordinator candidates.

On that list to interview is former 49ers coach Chip Kelly, reported Jay Glazer of Fox Sports. Kelly interviewed with Jacksonville Jaguars coach Doug Marrone for the team's offensive coordinator position last week. Marrone hired Nathaniel Hackett.

The 49ers are not allowed to hire Shanahan until the Falcons’ season is over. A source told CSNBayArea.com that the 49ers' interview scheduled depends on the outcome of the Falcons' NFC Championship game on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. The 49ers plan to interview Shanahan for a second time Monday and Tuesday if the Falcons lose on Sunday. If the Falcons win and advance to the Super Bowl, the Falcons will make Shanahan available for an interview on Friday.

The 49ers announced the firings of Kelly and general manager Trent Baalke just hours after the team concluded its 2-14 season.