The 49ers are off to a 1-6 start, but owner John York today said he remains committed to coach Mike Singletary. "Mike is our head coach," York said today at Northumberland Park Community School in north London where some of his players held a coaching clinic alongside players from Tottenham Hotspur of the English football Premier League.
I asked York if Singletary would be the coach through the season. "Yes, he's our coach," he quickly replied. A Comcast Sports report earlier this week cited a source who said that there were grumbles from York and son Jed over Singletary following Sunday's 23-20 loss to Carolina. "I'm not sure why somebody would have said that," John York said. "We were grumbling because we lost the game. I think we grumble any time we lose a game."
Like Singletary, York insisted that the 49ers would snap out of their funk if they managed to stop making mistakes and turning the ball over. "It didn't help for us to have Alex injured," he said. "But we'll deal with that separately." Alex, of course, is starting quarterback Alex Smith, who suffered a sprained AC joint in his left shoulder when he was driven into the ground in Sunday's loss to Carolina.
The 49ers did not offer any more specifics about Smith's prognosis Tuesday, and Smith was not one of the five 49ers at the community event. However, a team spokesman said that Smith's left arm was still in a sling Wednesday just as it was immediately following the game.
Upon arriving in London on Monday morning, Smith had an MRI at a local hospital that confirmed that he had sprained the AC or acromioclavicular joint in his left, non-throwing, shoulder. That likely means that Smith has a separated shoulder, although there are different degrees of that injury. Smith suffered a Grade Three sprain in 2007, an injury normally associated with automobile crashes.
The 49ers' doctors are with the team in London. The 49ers will hold their first practice of the week tomorrow (Wednesday). However, their Wednesday's sessions are only partially open to the media and it will be difficult to assess who is getting the most repetitions. Smith also is scheduled to speak to reporters.
The 49ers who attended the event were guard Mike Iupati, guard Tony Wragge, safety Chris Maragos and practice squadders Kevin Jurovich and Will Tukuafu. Three players from Tottenham Hotspur were on hand, the most prominent of whom was Michael Dawson, who was on England's national team for the World Cup this summer.
-- Matt Barrows