49ers

The Mercury News - - Sports -

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.

con­firmed.

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.

RANDY VAZQUEZ — STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

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