Quick Links

49ers' Harbaugh back to work after heart procedure

49ers' Harbaugh back to work after heart procedure

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jim Harbaugh practically galloped through the locker room, lively as ever, offering a wave and a smile to long snapper Brian Jennings before putting his arm around right guard Alex Boone.

The San Francisco 49ers coach was back at work Friday and fired up to be there a day after undergoing a minor procedure for an irregular heartbeat that kept him away for all of half a day.

``I'm fine, I'm fine,'' Harbaugh said. ``No limits. Going about everything as normal. Had a little irregular heartbeat. I've had that before. Now that I have the procedure, a cardiovert, it's amazing. It gets the heart rate back to normal. Atrial flutter is something I've had for a while, most of my life.''

The reigning NFL Coach of the Year returned to the field to lead San Francisco through a morning walk-through session, with a full practice scheduled for the afternoon. He did stop by for the final hour of Thursday's practice for a ``little bit'' of coaching but ``more standing.''

``It was pretty cool to see him,'' safety Donte Whitner said. ``We knew it was a minor heart thing, but a heart thing no matter if it's minor, it's serious. It felt a little different without him. Hopefully, he doesn't have to go through it again.''

Harbaugh, who turns 49 on Dec. 23, was away from the team Thursday for his procedure at Stanford Hospital after undergoing tests Wednesday night. Several players said Friday they were initially scared for their coach, who acknowledged Friday that he underwent a similar procedure called an ``ablation'' 13 years ago while still playing during a 15-year NFL career at quarterback.

``He's an intense person,'' fullback Bruce Miller said. ``It's definitely a serious issue already with his heart. He's not going to slow down. We're glad he's back.''

Doctors talked to Harbaugh about improving his diet and cutting down on caffeine. He said he also will take aspirin and other medication. Whether he could need a follow-up procedure down the road, Harbaugh doesn't know.

``They'll evaluate it as it goes,'' he said.

His father, Jack, and older brother, Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh, both encouraged him to ``listen to the doctors and eat right.''

Does he consider himself coachable when it comes to his health?

``Sure, absolutely,'' said Harbaugh, whose NFC West-leading Niners (6-2-1) host the Chicago Bears (7-2) in a key NFC showdown on Monday Night Football. ``You're not going to be stubborn like a mule.''

His players had some fun with Harbaugh once they knew he was OK.

``He gets fined $500,'' linebacker NaVorro Bowman said with a grin. ``He missed meetings.''

Earlier this fall, Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker missed 11 games late in the regular season, hospitalized because of a mini-stroke and irregular heartbeat. He returned to manage the Reds in the playoffs, a five-game division series loss to the eventual World Series champion San Francisco Giants.

Harbaugh said he isn't worried about burning out with the rigorous year-round schedule and pressures on an NFL coach.

``I don't foresee that, no,'' he said. ``I'm just glad to be back at work, glad to be preparing for this ballgame.''

Concern for Harbaugh's health reached his old Stanford campus, too.

``Pretty scary stuff, but it sounds like he's doing OK now,'' Cardinal coach David Shaw said. ``And if I know Jim Harbaugh, it's going to take a lot more than that to stop Captain Comeback.''

Running back Frank Gore certainly doesn't expect the excitable Harbaugh, who regularly becomes red-faced and angry at officials, to stray from his approach.

``He's going to be him,'' Gore said. ``Coach is a tough guy.''

And Harbaugh didn't seem to mind a little bit of good-natured razzing from his guys.

``We had to,'' defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois said. ``He's the guy you never think is going to get sick. He's good. We got him out there joking and laughing. He's in good spirits. It's good for him to be back on the field.''

Notes: Harbaugh said QB Alex Smith's status for Monday is still unknown as he works back from a concussion, and he will be evaluated again by a neurologist. Backup Colin Kaepernick is getting a ``little bit more work than normal,'' Harbaugh said. ``Alex seems like things are progressing as it does.'' Smith practiced in a non-contact black jersey for the third straight day. ... RB Brandon Jacobs said his series of Twitter posts Thursday in which he referenced never working ``in a place where you hate your boss so much, you should always be happy at work'' were not directed at Harbaugh but rather toward the unstable work environment of his big brother, Michael. ``I don't look at him as my boss. He's our coach and leader,'' Jacobs said. ``I look at (GM) Trent Baalke as the boss.'' Jacobs - who hasn't played all season - also revealed he has long had an irregular heartbeat, and that the 49ers are aware of it. ... The NFL fined DT Ray McDonald $21,000 for a third-quarter hit on Rams QB Sam Bradford in Sunday's 24-24 tie.

---

AP Sports Writer Antonio Gonzalez contributed to this story from Stanford.

---

Online:http://pro32.ap.org/poll andhttp://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Quick Links

Steelers ink Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell on same day

Steelers ink Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell on same day

Antonio Brown will remain a Pittsburgh Steeler for a long time. On Monday, the team announced that Antonio Brown signed a contract extension for four years that is worth $68 million. 

The deal makes Brown the highest paid NFL wide receiver and will keep him on the Steelers roster until 2021.

It also included a signing bonus of $19 million according to ESPN. The new deal does not effect the 28-year-old's salary for the 2017 season which is scheduled to be $4.7 million.

In 2014, Brown lead the league with 1,698 yards and receptions with 129. Surpassing both marks in 2015 with 1,834 yards in 136 receptions, the seven-year veteran quickly became regarded as the best wide receiver in the league. He is also a five time Pro Bowl and was named an All-Pro three times, including last season.

Teammate Le'Veon Bell will stay with the team at least for one more season. Earlier on Monday, the Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell which is expected to earn him over $12 million based on last season's numbers.

At 25-years-old, Bell has had a career tattered with injuries since he came into the league in 2013. As a dual-threat player from the backfield and as a receiver, he has averaged over 1,500 yards from scrimmage each year.

Bell is coming off a Pro-Bowl season with 1,884 scrimmage yards and nine touchdowns in only 12 games. 

RELATED: Adidas to give away an island if prospect breaks record at NFL Combine

Quick Links

Adidas promises a private island to NFL prospects with one catch

Adidas promises a private island to NFL prospects with one catch

Don’t be alarmed if you see numerous NFL prospects running around the field with cheetah print adidas cleats. No its not for charity or a charitable cause, but rather a chance for the athlete to make some waves before even joining an NFL squad.

Those NFL prospects are vying for a private island.

That’s right. With one tweet, adidas announced the ultimate incentive for any athlete willing to wear their special edition adizero 5-star 40 cleats during the 40-yard dash event at the 2017 NFL Combine.

But, there's one other requirement that makes this private island a distant dream. The prospect must beat Chris Johnson’s 2015 record of 4.24 seconds.

The cleats are designed specifically for this popular event, weighing in at a whopping 4.8 ounces and now can provide soaking up the sun and catching the waves to one lucky prospect.


Adidas will be the kings of the jungle with this fun marketing tactic while one prospect could be crowned the king of the 40-yard dash.