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San Francisco 49ers Add Depth at Tight End; Waive Josh Johnson

September 20th, 2014 at 7:07 PM
By Edwin Mariano Santiano Wise

The San Francisco 49ers could be without tight ends Vernon Davis and Vance McDonald when they face the Arizona Cardinals this Sunday afternoon. As a result, the Niners promoted Asante Cleveland from the practice squad.

If Davis (ankle/knee) and McDonald (knee) aren't able to suit up due to injures, then Cleveland, along with long snapper Kyle Nelson, will assume the backup tight end position behind Derek Carrier. Normally the third-string tight end, Carrier had three catches for 41 yards late in the game against the Chicago Bears, while Davis was being examined on the sidelines last week.

Cleveland signed with the Niners back in May as a undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami. Listed at 6'5" 260 pounds, the former Hurricane appeared in 40 games during his collegiate career, which included 10 starts and accumulated 14 catches for 151 yards and a touchdown. During the preseason, the 22-year old caught three passes for 22 yards and a touchdown.

Cleveland was one of the final cuts during training camp by the Niners, but was resigned to the practice squad on August 31st.

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San Francisco 49ers’ 3rd String Tight End May Have a Big Role in Division Matchup

September 20th, 2014 at 3:29 PM
By Edwin Mariano Santiano Wise

The San Francisco 49ers starting Pro Bowl tight end Vernon Davis is dealing with a knee and ankle issue, while backup Vance McDonald is also nursing a knee injury. Neither one is a guarantee to even be active for tomorrows matchup against divisional foe, the Arizona Cardinals. Which then leads us to the third string tight end, Derek Carrier.

I wouldn't be surprised if very few have ever heard of Carrier considering he made his first ever NFL regular season catch last week against the Chicago Bears. The 6'4" 240 pound tight end finished the night with three catches for 41 yards.

Carrier is a two-year pro who originally signed with the Oakland Raiders as a undrafted free-agent out of Beloit College (a small, private liberal arts school Wisconsin) back in 2012. A converted basketball player, Carrier played small forward for the Buccaneers and according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, Carrier averaged 8.3 points per game while starting 21 games.

After a short stint with the Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles (where he appeared in zero games), the Niners signed Carrier to their practice squad last season and promoted him to the active roster later in the season for depth reasons and subsequently appeared in five games.

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San Francisco 49ers Hoping Anthony Davis Can Return in Arizona

September 18th, 2014 at 6:57 PM
By Edwin Mariano Santiano Wise

The San Francisco 49ers had a major opportunity to head into Week 3 with a 2-0 record, however, after collapsing halfway through their matchup with the Chicago Bears, the Niners are a bit banged up and are hoping to avoid starting 1-2. In order to do so, the Niners may need more help at right tackle.

Anthony Davis has been nursing a hamstring issue which caused him to miss the season and home opener and has only participated in strength drills this week. This comes after Davis nearly missed the entire training camp and preseason as he recovered from offseason shoulder surgery. In his place has been third-year pro Jonathan Martin. Martin was decent during the preseason and did a serviceable job against the Dallas Cowboys but struggled mightily in the second half against the Bears, allowing Chicago's defense to come up with a pair of big late-game sacks on quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

According to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez, Martin had posted a "-1.2 grade" for his Sunday evening performance, while also allowing four pressures on Kaep, per Pro Football Focus (which statistically attempts to grade an offensive lineman's play).

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Kaepernick Leads Meltdown in San Francisco 49ers’ Home Opener Loss

September 15th, 2014 at 2:46 PM
By Edwin Mariano Santiano Wise

17-0 late in the second quarter, with Levi's Stadium packed and overflowing in a sea of red jerseys, it appeared as though the San Francisco 49ers were halfway through a blowout victory…unfortunately, four turnovers from your starting quarterback is hard to withstand.

"Terrible," is Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick described his play during Monday night's 28-20 loss to the Chicago Bears.

The Niners looked to be in control of everything in the first half of their home opener. The passing game was clicking, running back Frank Gore was finding holes and running hard, and the Niner's defense was disruptive and keeping all-purpose back Matt Forte in check. But suddenly the 49ers lost their edge as halftime approached. Bears' quarterback Jay Cutler fired a 17-yard pass into the endzone when Pro-Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall made a leaping, one-handed grab for the touchdown and cut the Niners lead to 17-7 at the half.

From there on out, Kaepernick looked like a boxer who had dominated the first six rounds of a fight, but took a stiff shot to the ribs as the sixth round expired. The air was taken out of the Niners QB, and despite the early lead, Kaep was shakened…taken out of his game…and made careless decisions mixed with sloppy play…only to have the momentum slip away.

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San Francisco 49ers Look to Open Levi’s Stadium with a Bang; 3 “X-Factors”

September 14th, 2014 at 2:22 PM
By Edwin Mariano Santiano Wise

The San Francisco 49ers quieted the doubters in the season opener against the Dallas Cowboys with a 28-17 victory. In order to build on those good vibes, the Niners will look to give the home crowd a hearty welcome in Levi's Stadium's first regular season game.

Here's my three "X-Factors" for tonights game:

The starting corners: Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver sustained injuries against the Cowboys and both have been listed as "questionable." Brock suffered a toe injury, while Culliver suffered a concussion. Last weeks starters looked sharp during their time on the field, including Culliver's "scoop and score" for the games first touchdown, but with both players missing a big chunk of the game its hard to gauge how reliable they will be from week to week. This is Brock's first season as a true starter and Culliver missed all of last season with a ACL injury. Fortunately, Perrish Cox and Dontae Johnson came in to relieve Brock and Culliver and did an exceptional job. Cox came away with an interception and Johnson constantly disrupted the Cowboys with his play in coverage. Additionally, the Chicago Bears have arguably the best wide receiver duo in the league with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, but both are questionable plays; Jeffery has a hamstring injury and Marshall is nursing an ankle injury.

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