Friday, February 23, 2018
Sports

Struggling Akers to remain 49ers kicker

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — David Akers is keeping his job as San Francisco's kicker, for now.

Akers will start ahead of recently signed Billy Cundiff on Saturday against the Packers, coach Jim Harbaugh said Thursday. "Suffice it to say, we feel confident in David giving us the best chance to win," he said.

Akers, 38, a 15-year veteran, is 29-of-42 on field goal tries this season. In two overtime games against the Rams, he missed once in each extra session, and the 49ers tied and lost. He said last week he had double hernia surgery in February.

Cundiff, who last season missed a 32-yard field goal try for Baltimore that would have tied the AFC title game with the Patriots in the final minute, will stay on the roster but likely be inactive.

"Everybody has respect for what Dave is about," 49ers QB Alex Smith said. "He's … gone through a rough patch. Happy to see him win the competition. I hope it gets him back on track."

More 49ers: DE Justin Smith, out since partially tearing his left triceps Dec. 16, practiced for the second straight day and remained on track to play.

Packers: WR Jordy Nelson and WR Randall Cobb returned to practice. Nelson has a recurring knee injury, but coach Mike McCarthy said he "looked pretty good." Cobb has the flu. He was limited but was expected to play. … WR Jarrett Boykin will miss his second straight game because of an ankle injury sustained during the regular-season finale against the Vikings.

Falcons: TE Tony Gonzalez has no intention of pulling a Ray Lewis before retirement. He won't line up with the offense for the final play. He won't do anything resembling the retiring Baltimore linebacker's dance. "You don't want to see me dance," Gonzalez said, chuckling. "That's not a pretty thing. Trust me." Gonzalez, 36, said he remains 95 percent certain this will be his last season and last shot at a Super Bowl title. The Falcons face the Seahawks on Sunday. "There is no tomorrow," he said. "There is no saying, 'We'll get 'em next year.' It's about going out there and trying to finish on the right note."

Seahawks: Cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner combined for 11 interceptions in the regular season and helped shut down the Redskins and QB Robert Griffin III in a wild-card game last weekend. But they know they have a tougher task Sunday in Atlanta receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White. "They're probably the top tandem out there," Sherman said. "Roddy is more crafty of a route runner. He uses different tricks and things. You can see he's a veteran when he's route running. Julio runs hard routes and plays the game more physical. He's stronger in his routes. He uses his body more."

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