Smith's streak in serious jeopardy

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Smith's streak in serious jeopardy

SANTA CLARA -- All-Pro defensive tackle Justin Smith's amazing streak of durability is in jeopardy.

After originally listing Smith as "doubtful" to play Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers upgraded Smith to "questionable" on Friday afternoon despite the fact he did not take part in practice at any point this week. Still, it appears as if Smith will not be available for the key NFC West matchup.

Backup defensive lineman Ricky Jean Francois, who is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, is fully expecting to get his fourth career start with Smith's availability in question. And he spoke as if it's a foregone conclusion that Smith will not play.

"It's just another start," Jean Francois said Friday. "I ain't going to be sitting on the bench, not being able to get in the game. So this week the preparation was a little bit different -- more film, more details on their offense."

Smith sustained a left elbow injury early in the third quarter of the 49ers' 41-34 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night. Smith was unable to return to action, even as his presence was needed with the Patriots rallying to tie the game from a 28-point deficit.

Smith missed the first game of his rookie season after a protracted contract dispute with the Cincinnati Bengals. After entering the starting lineup for the final 11 games of 2011, Smith has not miss another start in his 12-year career.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said Smith's week of work consisted only of rehab, strengthening and conditioning. Smith, who has been selected to three consecutive Pro Bowl, has played in 189 consecutive games, plus three playoff games. His streak of consecutive regular-season starts has reached 185.

"Amazing man, amazing football player, amazing accomplishment," Harbaugh said.

The 49ers filled the final spot on their 53-man roster with the promotion of rookie outside linebacker Cam Johnson from the practice squad. Johnson could be active for Sunday's game with outside linebacker Clark Haggans not expected to play due to a shoulder injury.

49ERS
Questionable: LB Tavares Gooden (ribs), LB Clark Haggans (shoulder), WR Mario Manningham (shoulder), DT Justin Smith (elbow), DT Will Tukuafu (concussion)
Probable: K David Akers (pelvis), G Alex Boone (knee), LB Navorro Bowman (shoulder), LB Ahmad Brooks (shoulder), CB Tarell Brown (shoulder), S Dashon Goldson (foot), RB Frank Gore (wrist), G Mike Iupati (shoulder), RB Bruce Miller (shoulder), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), S C.J. Spillman (illness), LB Patrick Willis (shoulder)

SEAHAWKS
Questionable: S Jeron Johnson (groin), WR Sidney Rice (knee), CB Walter Thurmond (hamstring), CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)
Probable: DT Alan Branch (ankle), RB Marshawn Lynch (back), CB Richard Sherman (not injury related), RB Robert Turbin (illness), RB Leon Washington (illness)

Jaguars retain offensive coordinator, pass on Chip Kelly

Jaguars retain offensive coordinator, pass on Chip Kelly

It appears the Jaguars have passed on Chip Kelly for a second time this month.

After reportedly not getting their head coaching job, Kelly reportedly interviewed for their offensive coordinator position on Monday.

But two days later, Jacksonville announced that Nathaniel Hackett has been retained as offensive coordinator under head coach Doug Marrone.

Kelly told CSNBayArea.com recently he would take his time to determine his next career move.

“I’m not going to close the door on any opportunity, but I have to be very smart in what I do next,” Kelly said two days after his firing. “I don’t have to take anything, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. I need to make sure that I’m in the right situation.

“I don’t know what the future holds. I’ll do my due diligence. I’m not going to coach just to coach.”

The 49ers fired Kelly with three years, $18 million remaining in his contract. The 49ers hired Kelly just two weeks after the Philadelphia Eagles fired him. Kelly went 26-21 with the Eagles after leaving his successful program with the Oregon Ducks after the 2012 season.

Report: Shanahan announced as 49ers' coach to Falcons' staff

Report: Shanahan announced as 49ers' coach to Falcons' staff

The 49ers feel certain they have landed their head coach, according to sources.

And the Atlanta Falcons are reportedly convinced offensive Kyle Shanahan will be entering the head-coaching ranks with the 49ers next season, too.

Atlanta coach Dan Quinn made an announcement to coaches that Shanahan would be the 49ers’ next coach, Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported Wednesday, adding everyone in the room was “super supportive.”

On Wednesday, Quinn was asked at a press conference about Shanahan and the 49ers.

“I know it’s for sure out there, (but it’s) definitely not our story to tell,” Quinn said. “They (the 49ers) will for sure reach out to (general manager) Thomas (Dimitroff) and to the organization and there will be a window for them if they’d like to visit with him for next week. But that’s really where it’s at, and there’s nothing left to do until then."

The Falcons will face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday in the NFC Championship game. The 49ers will have a second interview with Shanahan after the game. Shanahan will also become involved in the process to hire the 49ers’ next general manager.

The 49ers are checking with the NFL to determine what is allowable under the league’s anti-tampering policy, according to a league source. If the Falcons win on Sunday, the 49ers would not be able to officially hire Shanahan until after the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.

According to sources, the 49ers have narrowed their initial search for the next general manager to four candidates: Eliot Wolf and Brian Gutekunst of Green Bay, Minnesota’s George Paton and Terry McDonough of Arizona.

The general manager candidates are expected to meet with Shanahan, but it’s unclear whether Shanahan can interview the candidates if the Falcons advance to the Super Bowl and he is not officially the 49ers’ coach. The 49ers are expected to hold a second round of general manager interviews early next week and could fill the position by the end of next week.