If the 49ers and Seattle Seahawks play a rubber match in the NFC playoffs, new 49ers nemesis Richard Sherman will be available.
Sherman, the Seahawks' outstanding young cornerback, revealed Thursday morning via Twitter that he won his appeal of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing drugs.
His Seahawks teammate, cornerback Brandon Browner, will serve the final game of his four-game suspension on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. Sherman was allowed to continue to play while appealing his suspension. Had he lost the appeal, he would have been ineligible for the playoffs.
"Thank you #nfl for upholding the truth!" Sherman wrote on Twitter.
Sherman in late-November denied ingesting any form of the banned prescription drug Adderall. He told NFL.com that any reports to the contrary were "incorrect." His appeal hearing took place Friday, two days before the Seahawks played the 49ers.
Sherman, who played for 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh at Stanford, returned a blocked field goal 90 yards for a touchdown on Sunday night in the Seahawks' 42-13 victory over the 49ers. He also intercepted a Colin Kaepernick pass in the end zone.
The 49ers (10-4-1) can clinch their second straight NFC West title with a victory Sunday over the Arizona Cardinals. The playoff-bound Seahawks (10-5) can only win the division with a victory over the St. Louis Rams, coupled with a 49ers loss.
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.
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.