Swain eager for possible starting role

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Swain eager for possible starting role

SANTA CLARA -- Brett Swain flew in from San Diego in October to take part in a one-day competition to fill the spot on the 49ers' roster that opened due to Joshua Morgan's season-ending injury.Obviously, he knew T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Brian Finneran and Chris Chambers. But he identified somebody else that day as a threat.When all the receivers lined up to race 40 yards, Swain finished a close second behind undrafted rookie receiver Joe Hastings. Still, Swain was signed ahead of the 49ers' practice-squad receiver.Hastings is expected to join Swain on the 49ers' 53-man roster for the regular-season finale on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams after the club released Braylon Edwards this week.
And Swain might join Michael Crabtree in the starting lineup, 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. Ted Ginn (ankle) and Kyle Williams (concussion) were not expected to practice Thursday.Since signing with the 49ers in mid-October, Swain has suited up for four games. He has played 20 snaps from scrimmage and has one catch for nine yards. Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday that it's possible Crabtree and Swain will be the starters Sunday against the St. Louis Rams."If I got in there at any position, I'll be ready to be able to make plays and hopefully help the team win," Swain said. "I think the expectations for everybody is the same. Coaches put in the guys they think they can win games with. When I get on the field and able to jump in there, I have to be ready to roll."Swain remained ready for his opportunity after the Green Bay Packers released him prior to the start of the season. He remained in shape and took advantage of the chance the 49ers gave him as part of a tryout.
"That day was definitely a competitive environment," Swain said. "There were four or five guys out here fighting for a job. Joe stood out as, 'Hey, I'm going to be out here and I'm going to be working hard just like you guys.'"And I think that's what it came down to, is who was going to outwork each other. And Joe was that guy that I had my sights on. This guy is going to work hard. He's going to run his routes hard. He's going try to be good technically at everything he does."Swain and center Jonathan Goodwin are the only 49ers with Super Bowl rings. Swain caught six passes last season for the Green Bay Packers and played special teams in the Super Bowl.

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

Seahawks lose All-Pro S Earl Thomas for season

RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks will be without safety Earl Thomas for the rest of the season due to his broken lower left leg, no matter how far the team advances in the playoffs.

Coach Pete Carroll said Monday that further examination determined Thomas' fractured left tibia will require a recovery time that does not allow for the possibility of a return during the 2016 season. Carroll said after Sunday's 40-7 win over Carolina that Thomas' injury usually takes a minimum of six weeks of recovery time.

It's the first major injury of Thomas' career. He played 106 straight games before missing Seattle's loss at Tampa Bay last week with a hamstring injury. He quickly recovered to play against the Panthers, but was hurt in a second-quarter collision with teammate Kam Chancellor going for an interception.

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Former 49ers coach Mike Nolan supports Trent Baalke over Chip Kelly

Mike Nolan coached the 49ers for three full seasons before he was fired after Week 7 in his fourth year at the helm.

On Monday morning, he was asked about the situation in Santa Clara and if he would make a change at head coach or general manager.

"It's sad that it's gone to where it is," Nolan said on 95.7 The Game. "They're beginning to look much like when I took the job over in 2005 ... and there really was not a lot of good personnel on the team.

"The difference though that is better and will continue to be better, they will be (in) a much better cap situation going forward than we ever were back then ... but the losing I should say is really killing them.

"The personnel is not as bad as they're playing and that's the thing that really gets under your skin as a coach because you're frustrated by what's going on ... the thing that I have thought most of the season when people were talking about changes as the losses started to mount up, was not to change it. Because I know Trent (Baalke) personally, and Trent does a good job with personnel and that's his primary job.

"But for a lot of strange reasons -- guys retiring, guys quitting a couple years ago, just a lot of weird things that occurred -- their roster has kind of fallen off a little bit, but it is still a much better roster than some of these other teams that are not winning."

After winning their Week 1 game against the Rams, the 49ers have lost a franchise-record 11 straight games.

Chip Kelly is under contract through 2019 and the team owes Jim Tomsula $7 million over the next two years combined.

Baalke's contract runs through 2018.

"It's about players first and I think they have the right guy in place to pick the players but unfortunately for Trent, I think the choice of Tomsula hurt him and currently right now with Chip Kelly it's not helping him either," Nolan added. "They do not have a bad roster.

"Obviously they need a quarterback. They could be a .500 team in my opinion if they get a quarterback as near as next year even ... they got a tough decision to make at the end."