And then there was one. After giving tryouts to three kickers this morning, the 49ers have settled on Shane Andrus, who kicked for the team in last year's finale in St. Louis and who spent the offseason with the team. Swayze Waters and Garrett Lindholm also worked out this morning with holder Andy Lee and longsnapper Brian Jennings. The 49ers cut WR Jason Hill yesterday to make room for another kicker.
Andrus did not attempt a field goal against the Rams last year and was 4-4 on point-after attempts. During this past preseason, he was 4-4 on PATs and 4-4 on field goals with a long of 44 yards. Fittingly, Andrus also played for the Buccaneers in 2009.
Andrus joined the 49ers for the 2009 finale after another kicker, Ricky Schmitt, suffered a groin strain. Schmitt was filling in for Joe Nedney, who was dealing with a hamstring strain. This time Nedney has a strain and bone bruise on his right -- plant leg -- knee. The injury is not expected to be long term, but Mike Singletary today said that Nedney definitely would miss Sunday's game.
Five of the 49ers' nine games this season have been decided by a field goal or less. The Buccaneers also tend to play close games. (Four of their contests have been decided by three points or less). And that tends to point to a nip-and-tuck game on Sunday.
Andrus kicks with his right foot while Nedney uses his left. But Lee didn't anticipate any issues as far as holding for Andrus. After all, he said, he held for a right-footed kicker in college and was able to go back and forth this summer when Andrus and Nedney both were kicking in training camp. It also wasn't a problem during the tryouts Wednesday morning. Said Lee: "We took three warm-up snaps and then started kicking."
The kicker mystery is solved. But who will start at left tackle for Joe Staley? Singletary is remaining mum on the topic. The smart money is on Barry Sims, who played very well at the position last season. Adam Snyder, another candidate, is expected to practice today depite an ailing shoulder, Singletary said.
-- Matt Barrows