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January 16, 2014
49ers notes: Fangio says "we'll see" when it comes to Carlos Rogers' role


Cornerback Carlos Rogers went through his second straight limited practice today, but defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wouldn't commit to giving Rogers his old job back, even if he's fully recovered from his hamstring strain.

"We're hoping that he can get 100 percent healthy," Fangio said today. "And then we'll see exactly what his role will be at that point."

With Rogers out of action the last two games, Tarell Brown and Tramaine Brock have started at cornerback with Perrish Cox filling in as the nickel cornerback. Asked if there might be an inclination to continue with that largely successful arrangement, Fangio said, "All possibilities are on the table."

Rookie tight end Vance McDonald hasn't caught a pass since Nov. 25. In fact, he hasn't been targeted in the passing game since Dec. 23.

But McDonald, who primarily served as a pass catcher at Rice, has improved as a blocker throughout the season, and he even lined up as a fullback on Sunday after Will Tukuafu left the game with a sprained knee.

"Oh, he's getting a lot better without question," offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. "All the little things, the nuances ... all the little tricks of the trade -- he's starting to get a little bit more comfortable with. He's developing nicely into the player that we really felt he would be. He's been a very valuable asset for us this year."

McDonald has played about 50 percent of the 49ers' offensive snaps through the first two playoff games.

Michael Crabtree today was willing to praise the Seattle defensive backs he'll face on Sunday. But only so far.

Asked if Richard Sherman, who led the NFL this year with eight interceptions, was the best cornerback in the league, Crabtree said, "I don't know (anything) about the best cornerbacks in the league. I just know teams, you know. We are playing the Seattle Seahawks and hopefully we come out with a win. We are going hard."

So how does the entire Seattle defense rank, in terms of its secondary? "They move around, they are pretty good, pretty good," Crabtree said. "They are a good football team. We got some good guys too. So it is going to be a good 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.


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