Defensive coordinator Greg Manusky’s father passed away this week in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and Manusky was in that area today with his family. Coach Mike Nolan said that Manusky would be back tonight but that he might have to return to Pennsylvania for the funeral. It might lead to a situation where Nolan, not Manusky, calls the defensive plays in Sunday’s game against Minnesota. Nolan, of course, has plenty of practice in this area. Not only is he a long-time defensive coordinator but he was the team’s de facto coordinator for much of last season even though Billy Davis had the title. Davis was released at the end of the season and is now the Cardinals’ linebackers coach.
The obituary in the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader said that Frank Manusky passed away Tuesday at a local hospital at age 72. He will be buried Saturday in Wilkes-Barre. Manusky’s funeral, of course, will be one of several attended by members of the 49ers this year. Running back Frank Gore has attended two – his mother’s and friend Sean Taylor’s – while Nolan buried his own father last month.
Nolan was bombarded with questions about his quarterback situation for next year. He said over and over that he couldn’t comment on the pecking order because he didn’t know if Alex Smith was going to be healthy. The closest he came to committing to Smith was this quote: “If everyone’s at the top of their game, he’s our guy.” Smith has not yet thrown any passes. He is scheduled to go through a light workout at 2 p.m., his first throws since Nov. 18. He also has planned to get another MRI to see whether the ligaments that attach his shoulder to his collarbone have begun to scar over and reattach the two areas.
Arnaz Battle will not practice today on the sprained ankle he injured on one of the first plays of Sunday’s game. Battle, however, was walking without a limp and said he expected to be on the field against the Vikings.
The Dolphins put Zach Thomas on IR this week and were in need of an inside linebacker. Where did they look? The 49ers' practice squad where they snagged Mark Washington. It's a shame. Washington was miscast as a nose tackle at Texas State. He looked good in training camp and he had a chance to make some noise at inside linebacker next year.
-- Matt Barrows