Jenkins begins camp behind experienced receivers


Jenkins begins camp behind experienced receivers

SANTA CLARA -- It's not often that a first-round draft pick shows up to training camp with three proven players clearly ahead of him on the depth chart.But that is A.J. Jenkins' situation.Jenkins hit the practice field Monday, along with other 49ers rookies and selected veterans. The remaining the veterans are scheduled to report to camp on Thursday with the first full-squad practice slated for Friday.The 49ers have three established wide receivers on the roster: Michael Crabtree, Randy Moss and Mario Manningham. Unless there's an injury that keeps one of the top three players out of action for a while, there does not figure to be many chances for a fourth receiver to contribute.
The good thing for Jenkins is that he can learn a lot about the game as a rookie behind the scenes. He said he took advantage of being around those players during the offseason program."I've learned a lot," Jenkins said "I've talked to them over the offseason to see what they do and how they get their bodies ready for camp. I've taken a lot of advice from all of the guys, Michael Crabtree and Ted Ginn. I'm like a sponge taking in everything that I'm told."Jenkins never hooked up this offseason with Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, who reached out to Jenkins via Twitter.REWIND: Rice challenges Jenkins to run 'The Hill'
There was talk about Jenkins running the famed San Carlos hill that Rice and many 49ers in the 1980s and '90s used for offseason conditioning. Of course, now that training camp has started for Jenkins, his next opportunity to run with Rice will come after the season.While Jenkins might not figure prominently into the team's plans this season, there is a lot of interest in his development because of his first-round status. As the No. 30 overall pick, Jenkins discovered during the offseason that he'll be subject to more scrutiny than he ever experienced during his playing career at Illinois.In short, he had the kind of offseason that one would expect from a rookie receiver. Coach Jim Harbaugh pointed out after the first practice of the rookie minicamp that Jenkins was not in acceptable physical condition. But Jenkins' endurance was never questioned again after the first weekend. And on the final day of the team's mandatory minicamp, Jenkins provided the best catch that was seen during any of the offseason practices that were open to the media.Some outside reports may have been unfairly critical. Jenkins said he did not notice. But, clearly, he did."I don't pay attention to that stuff," Jenkins said. "I don't go on the Internet and I don't 'Google' my name. I don't do any of that stuff. There's no point because it's all about the 49ers."I made long strides, as far as that (conditioning and strength). Obviously, I had some criticism when I first came in from not being in shape, being a bust, all that other stuff. Right now, that's all irrelevant. I'm just trying to just help this team win, whether that's playing special teams or offense or being a real good teammate. Right now, that's my focus."Jenkins, who never returned a punt during his college career, worked in the offseason in that phase of the game. During one open practice, Jenkins and each of the return men struggled catching punts from Andy Lee in a stiff wind. But Jenkins said he is getting more comfortable."It's a lot more comfortable when you have Ted Ginn back there to coach you up and to have one of the best punters ever kicking to you every day," Jenkins said.The 49ers may have only four wide receivers active for regular-season game days with that fourth player -- more than likely, Ginn -- having a primary role as a return specialist.RELATED: Healthy, stronger Ginn reports with 49ers rookies
The 49ers may never have four receivers on the field at the same time because of the receiving prowess of tight end Vernon Davis and such running backs as Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter or LaMichael James being valuable on pass plays.So unless Jenkins can unexpectedly surpass Manningham on the depth chart, he figures to have a quiet rookie season. Kyle Williams likely begins camp ahead of Jenkins, too.
Here is a look at each team's 2011 production from the fourth-leading wide receiver:Arizona: Chansi Stuckey 4 catches, 39 yards, 0 TDs
Atlanta: Eric Weems 11-90-0
Baltimore: LaQuan Williams 4-46-0
Buffalo: Donald Jones 23-231-1
Carolina: Seyi Ajirotutu 1-4-0
Chicago: Devin Hester 26-369-1
Cincinnati: Andrew Hawkins 23-263-0
Cleveland: Carlton Mitchell 3-31-0
Dallas: Kevin Ogletree 15-164-0
Denver: Eddie Royal 19-155-1
Detroit: Rashied Davis 4-63-0
Green Bay: Donald Driver 37-445-6
Houston: Bryant Johnson 6-90-1
Indianapolis: None
Jacksonville: Chastin West 13-163-2
Kansas City: Keary Colbert 9-89-0
Miami: Clyde Gates 2-19-0
Minnesota: Greg Camarillo 9-121-0
New England: Julian Edelman 4-34-0
New Orleans: Devery Henderson 32-503-2
N.Y. Giants: Ramses Barden 9-94-0
N.Y. Jets: Derrick Mason 13-115-0
Oakland: Jacoby Ford 19-279-1
Philadelphia: Riley Cooper 16-315-1
Pittsburgh: Emmanuel Sanders 22-288-2
St. Louis: Austin Pettis 27-256-0
San Diego: Vincent Brown 19-329-2
San Francisco: Josh Morgan 15-220-1
Seattle: Sidney Rice 32-484-2
Tampa Bay: Arrelious Benn 30-441-3
Tennessee: Kenny Britt 17-289-3
Washington: Leonard Hankerson 13-163-0

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

Anthem singer at Heat-76ers game kneels during performance

MIAMI -- A woman performing the national anthem before an NBA preseason game in Miami did so while kneeling at midcourt.

Denasia Lawrence opened her jacket just before she started to sing, revealing a "Black Lives Matter" shirt, then dropped to her left knee and performed the song. She said it was her way of protesting racial oppression.

"We're being unjustly killed and overly criminalized," Lawrence wrote early Saturday in a Facebook post. "I took the opportunity to sing and kneel to show that we belong in this country and that we have the right to respectfully protest injustices against us."

Miami Heat officials said they had no advance knowledge of Lawrence's plan to protest. Lawrence, a social worker, kept the shirt hidden until her performance.

"I didn't get paid to sing the national anthem nor was this moment about any sort of fame," Lawrence wrote. "Black Lives Matter is far larger than a hashtag, it's a rallying cry."

The anthem issue has been a major topic in the sports world in recent months, starting with the decision by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick to not stand while it is played. Kaepernick cited racial injustice and police brutality among the reasons for his protest, and athletes from many sports - and many levels, from youth all the way to professional - have followed his lead in various ways.

Heat players and coaches stood side by side for the anthem before their game with Philadelphia, all with their arms linked as has been their custom during the preseason. The team plans to continue standing that way for the anthem this season as a show of unity.

"Throughout all of this, I think the most important thing that has come out is the very poignant, thoughtful dialogue," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We've had great dialogue within our walls here and hopefully this will lead to action."

The NBA has a rule calling for players and coaches to stand during the anthem.

"All I can say is what we've seen in multiple preseason games so far is our players standing for the national anthem," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said Friday in New York. "It would be my hope that they would continue to stand for the national anthem. I think that is the appropriate thing to do."

Heat guard Wayne Ellington often speaks about the need to curb gun violence, after his father was shot and killed two years ago. He had his eyes closed for most of the anthem Friday, as per his own custom, though he was aware of Lawrence's actions.

"At the end of the day, to each his own," Ellington said. "If she feels like that's the way she wants to stand for it, then more power to her."

Making a statement in the manner that Lawrence did Friday is rare, but not unheard of in recent weeks.

When the Sacramento Kings played their first home preseason game earlier this month, anthem singer Leah Tysse dropped to one knee as she finished singing the song.

Tysse is white. Lawrence is black.

"I love and honor my country as deeply as anyone yet it is my responsibility as an American to speak up against injustice as it affects my fellow Americans," Tysse wrote on Facebook. "I have sung the anthem before but this time taking a knee felt like the most patriotic thing I could do. I cannot idly stand by as black people are unlawfully profiled, harassed and killed by our law enforcement over and over and without a drop of accountability."

49ers promote RB to active roster ahead of game vs Bucs

49ers promote RB to active roster ahead of game vs Bucs

The 49ers on Saturday promoted running back DuJuan Harris to the active roster to be eligible to play Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi’s Stadium.

The team waived defensive lineman Taylor Hart to make room for Harris on the 53-man roster. Hart, originally a fifth-round draft pick of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2014, was claimed by the 49ers off waivers on Sept. 5. He appeared in one game and recorded two tackles.

Running back Carlos Hyde has been ruled out of Sunday’s game due to a right shoulder injury. Mike Davis and Shaun Draughn have served as the 49ers’ backup running backs through the first six games of the season.

Harris (5 foot 7, 206 pounds) has bounced between the 49ers’ 53-man roster and practice squad this season. He has yet to appear in a game. Last season, he played in two games, rushing for 140 yards on 27 carries. He also caught nine passes for 97 yards.

Draughn and Davis are the 49ers’ fourth- and fifth-leading rushers this season behind Hyde and quarterbacks Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick. Draughn has 55 yards rushing on 18 attempts, while Davis has 18 yards on 10 carries.