Manningham not expected to play vs. Patriots

manningham_mario_49ers.jpg

Manningham not expected to play vs. Patriots

SANTA CLARA -- Receiver Mario Manningham is expected to be sidelined for a second consecutive game with a right shoulder injury.

Manningham, who took part only in individual drills this week, is listed as doubtful for Sunday night's game against the New England Patriots. He did not participate in Friday's practice because the 49ers do not go through individual drills on Fridays. Michael Crabtree and Randy Moss will see the most action among the 49ers' wide receivers.

Delanie Walker is expected to see significant playing time, as the 49ers will go with two tight ends.

Manningham's expected absence is likely to open the door for rookie A.J. Jenkins, who played eight snaps in the 49ers' 27-13 victory over the Miami Dolphins. Jenkins did not see any passes thrown his way in his limited duty.

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to be out there again to get the experience," Jenkins said on Friday. "I'll play to the best of my ability and just focus.

"I'm not a person who's been all about myself. Right now, I'm just going with the flow of things and help this team win, whether it's blocking the whole game or catching all the balls. It doesn't matter. It's about getting the win."

Jenkins did not see any action in the 49ers' first 12 games as he was behind Crabtree, Moss, Manningham, Kyle Williams and Ted Ginn on the depth chart.

"I didn't cause any controversy or anything," Jenkins said. "I'm laid back. I understood why I wasn't dressing, so I accepted it. But I knew when it was my time to suit up, I'd be ready to go. I wasn't going every week assuming I wasn't going to play. Every week for me, I was preparing for the game. I wasn't taking weeks off, so I was making big strides during that time having a good mindset through the week."

49ERS
Doubtful: WR Mario Manningham (shoulder)
Probable: K David Akers (pelvis), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), CB Chris Culliver (knee), LB Tavares Gooden (ribs), RB Frank Gore (wrist), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), DT Will Tukuafu (wrist), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)

PATRIOTS
Questionable: CB Kyle Arrington (knee), DT Ron Brace (elbow), S Patrick Chung (shoulder, hamstring), G Dan Connolly (back), CB Alfonzo Dennard (hamstring), TE Rob Gronkowski (forearm, hip), TE Aaron Hernandez (ankle), LB Dont'a Hightower (hamstring), DE Chandler Jones (ankle), WR Brandon Lloyd (knee), DT Kyle Love (knee), G Logan Mankins (ankle, calf), C Nick McDonald (shoulder), LB Brandon Spikes (knee, ankle), CB Aqib Talib (hip), T Sebastian Vollmer (back, knee), WR Wes Welker (ankle), LB Tracy White (elbow)
Probable: LB Jerod Mayo (elbow)

* * *

The 49ers plan to enter Sunday's game with one roster vacancy. The 49ers have 52 players on their roster. Each team is allowed to suit up only 46 players, so any player the 49ers would think about promoting from the practice squad would not be active for Sunday's game anyway, coach Jim Harbaugh confirmed.

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Kirk Cousins watches Kyle Shanahan's offense carve up Packers

Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent. His uncertain status has led to speculation presumptive 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan will be interested in acquiring him in the offseason.

On Sunday, Cousins got a first-hand look at his former coach’s offense.

Cousins posted a photo on Instagram from the stands at the Georgia Dome, where the Atlanta Falcons and their high-octane offense blasted the Green Bay Packers, 44-21, in the NFC Championship game.

Cousins wrote the caption, “Watching two of the best in the world do what they do & taking notes to make it to this game next year -score a lot of points!”

Washington finished third in the NFC East and out of the playoffs with an 8-7-1 record.

Shanahan, the Falcons’ offensive coordinator, coached Cousins for the first two seasons of his NFL career with Washington on the staff of his father, Mike Shanahan. Cousins appeared in just eight games with four starts in 2012 and ’13.

Cousins' career has taken off in the past two seasons while starting all 32 regular-season games. He completed 67 percent of his passes this season with 25 touchdowns and 12 interceptions and a passer rating of 97.2.

Washington placed the franchise tag on Cousins this season at nearly $20 million. He franchise tag is expected to be approximately $24 million in 2017.

If Washington places the non-exclusive franchise tag on Cousins, a team could sign him to an offer sheet at the cost of two first-round draft picks or negotiate a trade with Washington for a lesser amount.

Conflicting reports over Tomsula to Washington

Conflicting reports over Tomsula to Washington

Former 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula reportedly might be back in the NFL after a one-year hiatus.

Tomsula, who spent his first eight NFL seasons as a defensive line coach, could be returning to that job with Washington, Carol Maloney of NBC4 reported on Sunday. But according to the Washington Post, a deal is not done between the two sides.

If the deal were to happen Tomsula would be rejoining Washington defensive coordinator Greg Manusky and general manager Scot McCloughan, both of whom he worked with while members of the 49ers organization.

Tomsula was promoted to the head-coaching job over finalist Adam Gase two years ago after the 49ers' “mututal parting” with coach Jim Harbaugh. Tomsula was fired after the 49ers went 5-11 in 2015. Chip Kelly was hired to replace Tomsula. Kelly was fired after the 49ers went 2-14, including a franchise-worst 13-game losing streak.