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Golden Nuggets: Washington will be without their top running back against the 49ers

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Saturday, December 12, 2020

Washington Football Team v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

We’re close to the Alex Smith revenge game. I’m not sure how petty Kyle Shanahan is, but designing a pass near the goal line for Trent Williams feels like a must, as does getting Jordan Reed a touchdown.

Jason Verrett said he hasn’t had any contract negotiations with the 49ers, but added San Francisco is, “definitely a place I want to be.”

‘Take the diaper off’: Recalling Jerry Rice’s colorful critiques of Alex Smith during 49ers tenure

In 2006, following Smith’s disastrous rookie season, Rice was ready to write off the young quarterback: “I feel like Alex Smith is not the quarterback of the future,” he said. He added that Smith would never “fill [the] shoes” of legendary quarterbacks Joe Montana and Steve Young. “He might be OK,” Rice said. “But I don’t think he’s going to be that good.”

Smith stunk it up for the next few years as well, and while reflecting on his 49ers tenure during a 2017 appearance on “In Depth with Graham Bensinger,” he said he actually preferred playing on the road to avoid disappointing the home crowd. “I knew it was really dysfunctional, I knew that this wasn’t the way successful places operated,” he said of the 49ers. “But when you’re a young quarterback, it’s hard to vocalize that.”

Antonio Gibson ruled out for Washington’s Week 14 matchup with 49ers, running back dealing with toe injury

In his absence, J.D. McKissic and Peyton Barber will both likely see an increased workload in Scott Turner’s offense. Barber, who scored a one-yard touchdown against Pittsburgh last time out, will largely handle the role as a traditional between-the-tackles runner for Washington while McKissic will be the passing-down back. In Week 13, McKissic notched career-highs in catches (10) and receiving yards (70).

“Peyton’s been a big part of this team,” Turner told reporters Thursday, via the official team website. “Obviously, you’ve seen him in the role he’s played in, but he can do more than that. We’ll need him more. We’ll need more from J.D. [He’s] given a lot, but we’ll need him to give some more.”

8 key 49ers free agents who could leave in offseason

High-quality slot play is essential in the modern NFL, and Williams is one of the league’s top nickel corners. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities he finds a deal in the $10 million per year range which maybe north of what San Francisco can afford. If they can make it work though, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them prioritize Williams in free agency.

No bubble: 49ers manage their mental health at temporary home in Arizona - San Francisco 49ers Blog- ESPN

Many turn to video games. Call of Duty is the game of choice and offers the best opportunity to bond, as teammates can put on a headset and chat while they play. To maximize the gaming, assistant Nick Kray has even put in some extra time working to increase the internet bandwidth at the hotel.

“You can’t sit there and bond and play cards and shoot the stuff,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “That’s what’s cool about technology. We can sit there with mics and play video games and still social distance and have a good time and still have some version of brotherhood.”

For others, such as defensive lineman Kerry Hyder Jr., the move is to lay back and watch a movie — though, as Shanahan notes, there are no new movies on the hotel pay channel, so choices are limited to streaming services. Free safety Jimmie Ward seeks out the best food he can find and watches film. Others have brought musical instruments.

SF 49ers: Getting out from under Dee Ford contract won’t be easy

This is one of those contracts that I thought at the time of signing was a reasonable one. The 49ers didn’t get duped into the $20M a year contract range for a pass rusher and snuck in their usual per game bonuses and advantageous vesting dates but Ford was always an injury risk and he basically never plays football. In two years the 49ers have paid Ford nearly $35M for 12 games, 12 solo tackles and 6 sacks. Nobody forced the 49ers to restructure this contract in 2020 but they converted $12.7M to a bonus to deal with cap issues leaving them with a pretty big number to cut next year but its better than the alternative of paying him to miss football games.