INDIANAPOLIS -- Texas A&M wide receiver Jeff Fuller attended the NFL scouting combine over the weekend but was not healthy enough to showcase his skills for the attending coaches and scouts."Unfortunately, I got a stress fracture in my foot from the Senior Bowl so I'm not going to be participating in anything until March 25th at my pro day," Fuller said.It's a disappointment, to be sure. But Fuller has every reason to maintain a positive outlook.All he has to do is look to his father, former 49ers safety Jeff Fuller, for inspiration and perspective.Jeff Fuller, 49, was a hard-hitting member of the 49ers' secondary whose career ended in 1989 when his violent hit on New England Patriots fullback John Stephens ripped the nerves at C-5, C-6 and C-7 from his spinal cord."Everything pretty much came back in a day or two, except for my right arm," Fuller said five years ago in an interview for "San Francisco 49ers: Where Have you Gone?""For a while, you'll think you're getting ready to turn the corner and it'll be better, but I've adjusted. It's been quite a while and you learn to adapt."More than two decades later, Fuller still has paralysis in his right arm and elbow, and the movements in his wrist and hand are restricted."I can run; I can do just about everything," Fuller said. "I don't play basketball or golf, but I'm able to do almost everything without being held back."Fuller also realized he was fortunate because of the circumstances surrounding his devastating injury. The 49ers played that game at Stanford Stadium because the Loma Prieta earthquake five days earlier had damaged Candlestick Park."That was the best thing for me because the (medical) facility was right there on campus," Fuller said. "If I had been somewhere like Candlestick, it would've been a lot more difficult."In comparison to what his father experienced, even before the injury, his son realizes how easy he's had it."We kind of came up differently," he said. "He (dad) was brought up in a not-so great part of Dallas and I was brought up in the suburbs of Dallas. He's been through a lot on the field, and so have I. Tough injuries. He went to A&M. I went to A&M. He got drafted in the (fifth) round. That's probably similar to where they're drafting me."He just told me that nothing ever comes easy. I'm just looking forward to getting out there and competing and being on a team."In retrospect, Fuller's NFL stock might have been higher a year ago when he was coming off a season in which he caught 72 passes for 1,066 yards and 12 touchdowns.As a senior, Fuller still managed 70 catches but his average-per-reception fell 3 yards. He battled an early season hamstring injury and some dropped passes throughout the year."You can't think 'shoulda, woulda, coulda.' I definitely don't think like that anymore," Fuller said.And neither does his father. He played in two Super Bowl victories with the 49ers and earned another ring when the 49ers won the championship less than three months after his career-ending injury."When I look back, it was a great career," Fuller said. "And what made it such a special part of my life was having so many great friends."We don't have any pictures of the 49ers on the wall (at home) or anything like that. It's mainly because that's part of my life in is the past. We don't watch any tapes related to it. It happened, and I'm moving forward."
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.