49ers Blog and Q&A

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

December 31, 2011
Joe Hastings gets a promotion


The 49ers finally revealed the week's worst-kept secret. The team filled Braylon Edwards' spot on the 53-man roster with rookie receiver Joe Hastings, who spent the previous 16 weeks on the practice squad. Hastings is a smart and plucky wideout from Washburn University who has won over both the coaching staff and his teammates this season.

Earlier in the year, the 49ers held a competition to replace Joshua Morgan, who broke his leg Oct. 9 and was lost for the season. The group included well-known players like T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Chambers and Brian Finneran. The job went to Brett Swain - in part because he could fill in on special teams and in part because of his work ethic. Both he and Hastings distinguished themselves in that workout, and Hastings actually edged Swain - and the three other veterans - in a race at the end of the session.

The 49ers usually activate only four wide receivers on game days. Against the Rams Sunday, two of those spots will go to healthy wideouts Swain and Michael Crabtree. The other two will be determined by the health of Ted Ginn (ankle) and Kyle Williams (concussion).

As of Friday afternoon, Ginn appeared more likely to play than Williams, who, according to a source, is unlikely to play Sunday. That would mean that Ginn, Crabtree, Swain and Hastings are active while Williams and Delanie Walker (jaw) are among the seven inactive 49ers. Linebacker Patrick Willis (hamstring) is likely to start his first game since Dec. 4.

-- 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.


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