SANTA CLARA -- 49ers fans watching Sunday's NFC Championship Game may have done a double-take on Colin Kaepernick's third-quarter pass to No. 14 -- wondering who No. 14 was. That was Chad Hall, the wideout activated from the practice squad Saturday to fill the roster spot created when the 49ers waived kicker Billy Cundiff. Kaepernick targeted Hall on a 3rd and 5 play with 5:55 left in the third but the pass fell incomplete.
Rookie wideout A.J. Jenkins, meanwhile, was one of two active 49ers players to not get into the game (quarterback Alex Smith was the other). Jenkins, the 30th overall pick in the last draft, does not have a catch in his rookie season. But head coach Jim Harbaugh said today that doesn't mean Hall, who has previous game experience with the Eagles, leap-frogged Jenkins on the 49ers' receiver depth chart.
"We had a specific play that we felt Chad would be very good at," Harbaugh said. "And that play got called in the game."
Harbaugh added: "A.J. was ahead of Chad on the depth chart had something happened to Michael (Crabtree) or Randy (Moss)."
* Harbaugh stood by his challenge of a fourth-quarter completion from Matt Ryan on Harry Douglas, on which he argued the ball hit the ground before Douglas secured the catch. Douglas stumbled before making the catch on a 3rd and 2 play from midfield that gained 22 yards. Harbaugh challenged the play and was livid when officials upheld the ruling, jumping in disbelief and knocking off his own headset.
The 49ers ultimately held the Falcons on 4th and 4 from the San Francisco 10 to preserve the win. Still, after comparing the replay with the explanation he received from officials during the game, Harbaugh said, "Definitely think it was a worthy challenge."
* One more note: Harbaugh was asked whether he ever dreamed of coaching in the Super Bowl, especially in light of his father Jack's long coaching resume that included stops at Michigan under Bo Schembechler and as a successful head coach at Western Kentucky.
"No, don't think I had that dream," Harbaugh said. "But I will share this with you: Just the way Colin Kaepernick runs, the gracefulness of his stride, the ground that he covers, it reminds me of me when I run. And then I wake up."
-- Matt Kawahara