Richard Sherman has been cleared to practice for the San Francisco 49ers at the start of training camp.
Sherman joined San Francisco after getting released by rival Seattle following season-ending surgery to repair a ruptured Achilles tendon. He was unable to participate in the offseason program but pronounced himself 100 percent when he reported to camp Wednesday and will take part in the team's first practice Thursday.
Sherman earned a $2 million bonus for passing his physical under a contract he negotiated himself following the injury that ended his season last November. Sherman consulted with former Lakers great Kobe Bryant on what it takes to come back from that kind of injury and always believed he would be ready for the start of camp.
"It was a grind [url=http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-bo-scarbrough-jersey]Bo Scarbrough Jersey[/url] ," he said. "But I think it was more like one of those things that you can look at optimistically or pessimistically. You can look at it as, 'Woe is me, why did this happen to me? Why do I have to go through this?' Or you could look at it as, 'I needed another great challenge and I needed another mountain to climb.' That's how I treated it."
Coach Kyle Shanahan said the initial plan for Sherman will be to practice the first two days, take a day off Saturday and then return to the field Sunday. The 49ers will take Monday off and the team will see how Sherman has responded to figure out what's next.
"We trust what he thinks and how he works," Shanahan said. "A lot of it is up to Richard. If he's being too aggressive, it's our job to pull him back. It's a matter of time when he gets back and we want to be smart with that."
Six players will open camp on injured lists, although most are expected back relatively soon. Guard Jonathan Cooper (knee), receiver Trent Taylor (back) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (calf) are on the physically unable to perform list.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith had a lower leg injury while working out on his own recently and will begin camp on the non-football injury list, along with rookies Marcell Harris and Kentavius Street, who were hurt when they were drafted.
But having a healthy Sherman to start camp is a big boost for a team full of optimism after winning the final five games last season under quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to finish 6-10.
The midseason acquisition of Garoppolo from New England turned around a struggling franchise that had lost 24 of 27 games before he took over as starter late last season.
"I don't think anybody is thinking about last year [url=http://www.broncoscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-chad-kelly-jersey]Chad Kelly Jersey[/url] ," Sherman said. "It was a 6-10 team that didn't make the playoffs. The few positives that come from last year, you can appreciate them, but it's still a 6-10 team that was picking in the top 10 in the draft. There's not a lot to celebrate. That's the way to approach it. Guys are hungry, they're excited to go out there and prove this is a great team that can win ballgames."
Sherman talking up the 49ers is an odd change following his years tormenting the franchise when he played for Seattle. He made the deflection that led to an NFC title-clinching interception in January 2014 before trash-talking Michael Crabtree and then memorably celebrated a Thanksgiving night win over the 49ers the following season by eating a turkey leg at midfield at Levi's Stadium.
Now he's mentoring young cornerbacks such as Ahkello Witherspoon, trading tips with Garoppolo, and quickly turning into a locker room leader.
"He's been pretty much the exact opposite of what I thought," veteran left tackle Joe Staley said. "I thought he was going to be annoying like he was annoying to me when he was in a Seahawks uniform but he's been nothing but great."
The 49ers are also hoping Sherman can get back close to his level of play during his prime in Seattle when he was perhaps the game's top shutdown cornerback. He was a first-team All-Pro for three straight seasons starting in 2012, leading the league with eight interceptions in 2013.
Sherman still was one of the better cornerbacks the past three seasons, ranking second in the NFL by allowing just 49.2 percent of passes against him to be caught, according to Pro Football Focus.
He said he feels re-energized after the injury.
"I'm not saying you get complacent, but you get bored [url=http://www.lionscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-da_shawn-hand-jersey]Da'Shawn Hand Jersey[/url] ," he said. "It's a routine. You go out there and play 16 games, play at a high level and do your best and you enjoy it, but sometimes when you throw a wrench in the plans kind of helps you. It wakes you up. It reignites the fire. It takes you back to where you need to be."
NOTES: Second-round WR Dante Pettis signed his rookie deal late Wednesday afternoon. ... The 49ers signed OL JP Flynn to a two-year deal and DLs Will Sutton and Cedric Thornton to one-year contracts. DB Don Jones, OL Jamar McGloster and DL Blaine Woodson were waived to make room on the roster.
Wayne Simmonds just had to tap the puck over the blue line but couldn’t. Then Andrew MacDonald fanned on a clearance.
Patrice Bergeron pounced on the extra chances, tying it for the Boston Bruins with 3.8 seconds left and leaving the Philadelphia Flyers stunned.
It took Jakub Voracek’s pep talk and Claude Giroux’s acrobatics to finally give Philadelphia a crucial win.
Giroux scored his second goal with 1:21 left in overtime and the Flyers recovered for a 4-3 victory over Boston on Sunday to inch closer to returning to the playoffs after a year absence.
”The play at the end of the game is a play that can’t happen. We all know that,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said of the stick-handling mishaps. ”Take that puck and just push it out to the neutral zone.”
Dazed ahead of OT, Voracek implored his teammates to stay focused. Voracek then sprung Giroux on a breakaway. The captain faked out goaltender Anton Khudobin by acting like he was going to take the puck through his legs, only to snap a backhander for his career-best 29th goal.
”I just thought I’d try that,” Giroux said, grinning.
Travis Konecny added a dazzling goal and an assist, Nolan Patrick also scored and Petr Mrazek made 36 saves for the Flyers. Philadelphia opened an eight-point lead over idle Florida [url=http://www.cowboyscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-la_el-collins-jersey]La'el Collins Jersey[/url] , the last team that can overtake it for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference – the Flyers have three games left and the Panthers five.
Bergeron helped the ailing Bruins earn a point. With the goaltender pulled, Bergeron got his 30th goal on feed from Brad Marchand after the Flyers’ miscues.
”We didn’t have a ton of control, but we continued to stay on it,” Marchand said. ”Tried to force them to make plays, turn a couple of pucks over and it ended up in the net.”
Noel Acciari and David Pasrnak scored and Khudobin stopped 20 shots for the Bruins, who lost Brandon Carlo and Riley Nash to injuries a day earlier.
The Bruins welcomed Zdeno Chara back from an upper body injury a day after losing fellow defenseman Carlo to a possible serious leg injury, but they couldn’t complete a season sweep of Philadelphia.
”We got the point, but losing (stinks), Khudobin said.
Boston moved two points ahead of Tampa Bay atop the the Atlantic Division. The Lightning played later Sunday against Nashville.
A day after Vegas’ Willam Karlsson’s short-handed, between-the-legs goal was declared by many to be the NHL’s top goal this season, Konecny provided competition. His nifty stick work made it 2-0 just 25 seconds into the second period.
Konecny flicked the puck between two defenders along the boards [url=http://www.billscheapshop.com/cheap-authentic-tremaine-edmunds-jersey]Tremaine Edmunds Jersey[/url] , regained possession in the faceoff circle, went to his backhand to slip past a flailing Bergeron and then quickly switched back to his forehand and beat Khudobin from the slot for his 24th goal.
”I think it was just instinct. I reacted,” Konecny said. ”When it happens, you’re just in the moment.”
But it was Giroux, who has a career-high 95 points, that came up with the final and most important tricky stick work.
”I’ve seen some great highlight-reel goals throughout the year,” Hakstol said, ”but I don’t think I’ve seen a better one than that.”
NOTES: Bruins D Torey Krug said he was hit in the face by Patrick’s high stick just before Patrick’s goal made it 3-1. . Flyers G Alex Lyon was recalled on an emergency basis to back up Mrazek as Michal Neuvirth (lower body) was unavailable. No. 1 G Brian Elliott (abdominal surgery) practiced Saturday and could return this week. . Bruins D Charlie McAvoy (knee) skated before the game and could return Tuesday. . Marchand, who was named the NHL’s second star of March, took a penalty when he cross-checked Andrew MacDonald in the face late in the second period.
Bruins: Tuesday night at Tampa Bay in the second matchup in six days of the East’s top two teams.
Flyers: Tuesday night at the New York Islanders in their final road game of the regular season.
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