NFL Wire News

49ers Kaepernick appears improved in loss


The Sports Xchange

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Much maligned San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick saved his best for the national spotlight in Sunday’s 30-27 loss to the New York Giants.

Blame him for the 49ers’ three-game losing streak they packed for the trip to New York. But he did way more to nearly prevent No. 4 than he did to contribute to it.

Kaepernick threw for 262 yards and two touchdowns, and led a seven-play, 80-yard drive late in the game that produced a go-ahead touchdown by running back Carlos Hyde with 1:45 remaining.

It was quite a reversal from the four-interception debacle two weeks ago at Arizona, and the 160-yard outing that resulted in the 49ers scoring just three points the previous week.

49ers head coach Jim Tomsula wasn’t surprised to see it.

“I felt like practice showed up in the game,” he said. “He’s done things that we’ve all seen him do. We saw him do things that he does. It’s there.”

–The 49ers cut free-agent signee Shareece Wright on the eve of the game so that guard Andrew Tiller could be activated off the practice squad for the first time this season.

Tomsula then wasted little time getting Tiller into the action at the troubled right guard position, sending him in for starter Jordan Devey in the second quarter.

The two wound up splitting the 68 offensive snaps exactly in half.

“There were some good things out of both of them in the game,” Tomsula said, refusing to say that Tiller had moved ahead of Devey on the depth chart. “Tiller’s a big, strong, heavy-handed guy. (I) thought it was time to get him up and give him a shake.”

–The 49ers reported only one injury after the game, but one that went unreported probably will turn out to be their biggest concern leading into this week’s game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Running back Carlos Hyde looked strong in scoring the 49ers’ go-ahead touchdown with 1:45 to play. But earlier, he walked gingerly on the field and had to be sidelined on at least a couple of occasions despite the fact that his backup, Reggie Bush, was unable to enter the game because of a recurring calf injury.

Tomsula didn’t acknowledge Hyde’s hamstring/groin issue Monday, noting that it’ll probably be Wednesday before any lingering problems from Sunday’s game become more apparent.

Tomsula labeled Bush’s calf as being “stiff” rather than pulled. That’s good news. But it’s caused him to miss two full games and parts of the other three, so the club likely will be conservative in its treatment.

The coach added that tight end Vernon Davis (bruised knee) and outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks (death in the family), both of whom missed the New York game, are likely to return to practice this week and face the Ravens.

Notes: Wide receiver Anquan Boldin caught eight passes for a season-best 107 yards and a touchdown against the Giants. The 100-yard game was the 37th of Boldin’s career. … Tight end Vernon Davis (knee) missed his second consecutive game. … Guard Brandon Thomas was active for the first time this season, but saw no action in the game. … Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman led the 49ers in tackles with 16 but was beaten by Giants tight end Larry Donnell for the game-winning touchdown with 21 seconds remaining in the game. … Outside linebacker Ahmad Brooks did not accompany the 49ers on their trip to New York because of a death in the family. … Cornerback Tramaine Brock recorded his second interception of the season.

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