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October 21, 2013
49ers notes: Next stop, London; McDonald's bicep bounces back


The 49ers will spend the week in what has become their English country home - The Grove resort in Watford, Hertfordshire, which is north of London. The team spent the week there before beating the Broncos, 24-16, at Wembley Stadium in 2010.

The 49ers left Nashville Sunday night and arrived in London around 1 p.m. local time today (while most of you were still nestled snug in your beds). As was the case in 2010, they have a media event with the Tottenham Hotspur football club where they will meet Tottenham players and hold drills with local children.

From there they will head to The Grove. "We've done it before," left tackle Joe Staley said. "This is our second trip to London, and we also went to Youngstown (Ohio) for a week, too. Everyone here is used to long trips, and I think it's beneficial."

The 49ers have had week-long stay over on Youngstown in each of the last two seasons, and they are 2-0 in the game that follows that trip.

Biceps is better - Defensive end Ray McDonald, who said he struggled with a loss of strength in his right arm last week against Arizona, said the arm felt "a thousand times better" Sunday against the Titans.

McDonald finished the Cardinals game without a tackle. He was credited with a tackle and quarterback hit on Tennessee's Jake Locker.

He tore one of the two bicep tendons that attach the muscle to the shoulder in Week 5 against the Texans, and he's spent a lot of time in the weight room trying to rebuild his strength. "Any time you have an injury, you have to retrain your muscles to fire," he said. "Because it shuts down any time you tear something."

Et cetera - For a short stretch in the second half, the 49ers were without starting safeties Donte Whitner (left knee) and Eric Reid (ankle). Neither is considered long term. Whitner, who was not in the locker room when reporters arrived, said "I'm ok" via Twitter. Reid re-entered the game but was limping afterward.

Both will be monitored this week. If they have to sit out practice and/or the next game, they would be replaced by C.J. Spillman and Craig Dahl. Spillman and Dahl were on the field for Chris Johnson's long catch-and-run touchdown Sunday.

* Rookie defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who was added to the 53-man roster on Tuesday, entered the game in the third quarter as the team's left defensive end. Dial seemed poised to see action at nose tackle, too, but starter Glenn Dorsey's injured hamstring recovered enough during the week to allow him to start against the Titans. Dorsey said that when the week began he thought it was certain he wouldn't play. But the leg steadily improved as the week went on.

* Defensive end Justin Smith entered the game with a half sack. He had two against Tennessee in addition to two quarterback hits.

* Kassim Osgood's fumble recovery in the end zone in the fourth quarter was his first touchdown since a 24-yard touchdown catch on Sept. 12, 2010.

-- 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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