Leonard Davis passes first tests toward role with 49ers


Leonard Davis passes first tests toward role with 49ers

SANTA CLARA -- Guard Leonard Davis passed his physical and the team's conditioning test Thursday morning.And, now, he's ready to compete to return to a familiar role as a starter.Davis, 33, has started all 155 games in which he appeared with the Arizona Cardinals (six seasons) and Dallas Cowboys (four seasons). Last year, he signed with the Detroit Lions at midseason as an insurance policy and never stepped on the field.In March, he visited the 49ers shortly after undergoing foot surgery. It was the only free-agent visit he made in the offseason. He said he was cleared medically in April or May."I was hoping it was going to happen sooner," Davis said of the one-year deal he signed with the 49ers. "But they had decisions to make. And at the time, me not being here was the best decision. Right now, I'm here and I'm glad to be here and be a part of the team and help the team be successful."Davis' chance to break into the starting lineup will likely come at right guard. Alex Boone was moved from tackle to right guard during the offseason, as the 49ers look to replace Adam Snyder. The 49ers did not offer Snyder a free-agent contract and he signed with the Arizona Cardinals in the offseason.Davis said he is a good fit for the 49ers because of the team's affinity for running the football. Davis (6-foot-6, 375 pounds) is built to provide push in the run game."I felt like that last year when I was in Detroit," Davis said when asked if he feels he can still be a starter. "But when I got there, they told me, explained what my role was, and at the time they had great chemistry. So they didn't want to do anything to mess that up."Lions guards Rob Sims and Stephen Peteman started all 16 games last season.Davis showed up Thursday morning in good shape. He was able to pass the team's conditioning test with 18 runs of 40 yards in under 7 seconds, he said."I went out and ran it," he said. "They told me to do a certain number, but I was kind of like, 'This isn't too bad,' and I did the same as everyone else."

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.