Goodwin, back from personal issue, excited to play once again
SANTA CLARA >> Marquise Goodwin reserved comment Friday on what personal issue kept him out the past two games, but he’s happy to return for the 49ers’ game Sunday when the Denver Broncos visit, and one aspect that excites him is teaming up with red-hot receiver Dante Pettis.
“I’m very excited for the opportunity to be on the same field at the same time with him,” Goodwin said. “We’ve dealt with a lot of injuries, a lot of mishaps.”
Pettis accounted for all three of the 49ers’ touchdowns in losses at Tampa Bay and Seattle the past two games, while Goodwin was excused to deal with a personal matter he’s not ready to explain.
Said Goodwin: “Out of respect for my family, if they give me the OK, I’ll be willing to talk about it. Until then, I’ll keep it between us.”
Goodwin overcame the loss of his still-
born son last season to lead the 49ers to their first win, a November triumph over the New York Giants. As for his recent issue, Goodwin said rejoining teammates this week has been “great for my morale. Hopefully it adds a different element on game day for the whole team.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan said Goodwin’s spirits seemed to improve daily, and he hasn’t missed anything all week.
“We all know that he’s dealing with some things, and hopefully for him it gave him the chance to just get away from some of that stuff and to come in and be around his teammates and just play football to get his mind off of some things,” Shanahan said.
Pierre Garçon (knee) is out for the fourth time in five games, and with Goodwin back at split end, Pettis could see time at Garçon’s flanker spot, as could Kendrick Bourne. Trent Taylor and Richie James are also expected to be active as options at slot receivers.
• Running back Matt Breida (ankle) will be inactive for the first time in his two-year career, so Jeff Wilson Jr. will make his first career start, Shanahan Rookie tackle Mike McGlinchey faces his toughest test Sunday when Denver’s Von Miller lines up opposite him.
With Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder) out, the 49ers will have their eighth different combination of safeties in 13 games, likely with Marcell Harris at strong safety and either D.J. Reed or Antone Exum at free safety. Reed is also the backup to nickel back K’Waun Williams, who is questionable with a knee issue that has limited him this week.
Former 49ers cornerback Tramaine Brock (ribs) was ruled out by the Broncos, along with cornerback Chris Harris (broken fibula) and linebacker Shaquil Barrett (hip). Linebacker Brandon Marshall (knee) is questionable.
• The biggest test of right
tackle Mike McGlinchey’s impressive rookie season is coming in the form of Von Miller, who has 12 ½ sacks.
“He’s crazy athletic and has one of the best first steps you’ve seen,” McGlinchey said. “It’s a huge opportunity for me to play against a guy like that, a once-in-a-generation type of player.”
Right tackle Joe Staley said of McGlinchey, his protégé: “He has the right mindset and that’s the way you have to go into it. … His game’s improved all season and I’m excited for that challenge. I’m excited for all of us. It’s another opportunity to play football.”
Staley likely will match up on some snaps against
Miller, but also rookie Bradley Chubb, who has 10 sacks and was dubbed by Staley as “Von-esque, as far as the leverage he plays off his speed.”
• How does Shanahan size up whether Nick Mullens (1-3) or C.J. Beathard (0-5) should back up Jimmy Garoppolo next season after this year’s efforts?
“Nick came in and played well, and there hasn’t been a reason to put C.J. back in yet, based off of Nick. So, they’re dead even to me,” Shanahan said. “I know C.J. really wants another opportunity before this year ends. I can’t guarantee that for him. We’ll see how these games play out. But, I see them having a pretty good competition going into next year.”
• Staley is an Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award finalist for the fourth straight season. Other finalists are former 49er Vernon Davis (Washington), Stanford product Andrew Luck (Colts), Drew Brees (Saints), Calais Campbell (Jaguars), Antonio Gates (Chargers), Eric Weddle (Ravens) and Tramon Williams (Packers).
The Rooney Award will be voted upon by players and announced at NFL Honors on Feb. 2.
Kicker Robbie Gould is the 49ers’ nominee for the Walter Payton NFL Man of The Year Award, which
also will be unveiled at NFL Honors. Fans can vote for nominees on Twitter using unique hashtags (Gould’s is #WPMOYCHALLENGEGOULD) for a chance to win $25,000 toward that player’s charity.
• Punter Bradley Pinion is unfazed even though his fourth season is winding down with uncertainty. Not only is his contract expiring, he’ll finish this season with a new long snapper, after Kyle Nelson drew a 10-game suspension for violating the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy.
“We’ll miss Nelly. He was a really good long snapper,” Pinion said of Nelson, who was with the 49ers since 2014.
Pinion now will field snaps from Colin Holba.
“When you get to this level, they’re all good,” Pinion said. “It’s all about rhythm, and we’ve done a good job with it this week so I’m excited going into the game.”
There’s no word on if a contract extension awaits him. “I’m not focused on that now,” Pinion said. “If I don’t play good, we won’t talk about one at all, anyhow. I’m at peace with it.”
Pinion’s net average is a career-low 38.6 yards per punt, a reflection more of the coverage unit allowing long returns earlier in the season.
A personal family issue kept Marquise Goodwin out of the 49ers’ past two games.