49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

September 23, 2011
Receiver madness: Harbaugh could face another protege Sunday

A marijuana case involving a Bengals starting receiver could give another Jim Harbaugh protégé a big role Sunday against his old coach. Cincinnati's Jerome Simpson, who has eight catches for 180 yards over two games, missed Thursday's and today's practice in relation to a shipment of pot that arrived at his house earlier this week from Eureka, Ca. Simpson is listed as questionable on Cincinnati's injury report.


Simpson has not been charged, but there is a possibility that Simpson will not play Sunday. If that's the case, it's the third time this season the 49ers have managed to avoid one of their opponent's top receivers. Seattle's Sidney Rice (labrum) missed Week 1 and Dallas' Dez Bryant (thigh) was out Week 2.

If Simpson is missing Sunday, the Bengals starters, according to Joe Reedy of the Cincinnati Enquirer, would be Andre Caldwell, who already was in an elevated role because of an ACL tear to Jordan Shipley.

And if Caldwell starts, that likely would make Ryan Whalen, who played at Stanford, the No. 3 receiver, according to Reedy. Whalen, a sixth-round pick in the draft, has been inactive for the Bengals' first two games but he drew praise from coaches this summer for his route-running ability.

Harbaugh and his staff faced another familiar face in Week 1 in rookie Doug Baldwin, who also played at Stanford last year and who served as Seattle's No. 3 receiver. Baldwin ended up being targeted more than any other Seahawks pass catcher in that game and finished with four catches for 83 yards and a 55-yard touchdown.

For the 49ers, meanwhile, Michael Crabtree (foot) has been limited in practice this week. However, he's been noticeably more spry than he was last week. My sense is that Joshua Morgan and Ted Ginn will start at wideout and that Crabtree and Kyle Williams will be sprinkled in throughout Sunday's game.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


November 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Monthly Archives

Ask a question

Please use the form below to submit your question. Because there is a 100-word limit for questions, a word counter is located directly beneath the box where you enter the your question.


49ers Question:

Your letter contains of 100 words allowed.  Count words

Your IP Address has been recorded as and will be included with this submission.