49ers Blog and Q&A

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

January 6, 2012
Man down: McDonald rehabilitating hamstring injury

While his teammates began practice Friday, defensive end Ray McDonald was doing the same sort of rehabilitation work on a side field that Patrick Willis spent most of the month of December doing after pulling his hamstring. The severity of McDonald's hamstring strain, which occurred late in the fourth quarter on Sunday, is not known. He no longer is walking with a limp as was the case after Sunday's game.

Also not practicing Friday were veterans Justin Smith (knee), Carlos Rogers (knee) and Chris Culliver (knee). Delanie Walker (jaw) has not been at practice since Dec. 22, and he is not expected to play in the team's playoff opener Jan. 14. Ted Ginn, Kyle Williams and Bruce Miller all were active at the start of Friday's practice.

The accolades continue to roll in for Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers. A league-high five 49ers were voted to the Associated Press' first-team All-Pro squad: Linebackers Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, defensive tackle Justin Smith, kicker David Akers and punter Andy Lee. The team with the second-most players: The Ravens, coached by John Harbaugh, had three players.

To put that in perspective, the 49ers have only had four first-team All Pros (Willis three times, Lee once) since 2003. Left tackle Joe Staley and cornerback Carlos Rogers were named second-team All Pros. There were 16 players from the NFC and 12 from the AFC.

The 49ers' surprise pick -- but only because he didn't make the Pro Bowl, which has more than double as many players as the All Pro team -- is Bowman. The second-year inside linebacker led the 49ers in tackles in his first season starting next to Willis, and he had a particularly good game against Michael Vick and the Eagles in Week 4.

Voting is done by a nationwide panel of 50 media members who regularly cover the NFL. Detroit receiver Calvin Johnson and Minnesota defensive end Jared Allen received all but one vote at their respective positions -- 49. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers was the quarterback, beating New Orleans' Drew Brees, 47½ to 2½.

Both of the All-Pro guards, Jahri Evans and Carl Nicks, play for the Saints. That signals an intriguing strength-vs.-strength matchup with the 49ers defensive line should New Orleans beat the Lions on Saturday.

Notable: Broncos rookie linebacker Von Miller received four votes at outside linebacker while the 49ers' Aldon Smith received no votes at either defensive end or outside linebacker. The Associated Press also votes for defensive rookie of the year.

-- 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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