NFL: 49ers release kicker Billy Cundiff
The San Francisco 49ers have released Billy Cundiff, making David Akers the only kicker on the roster heading into Sunday's NFC championship at Atlanta.
The move came hours before the 49ers boarded a flight to Atlanta on Friday. San Francisco signed Cundiff on Jan. 1 to compete with the struggling Akers, a 15-year veteran who made 29 of 42 field-goal attempts in the regular season. Cundiff was inactive for San Francisco's 45-31 win over Green Bay in the divisional playoff. Akers made a 36-yard field goal in his lone attempt in the game.
Cundiff had hoped for a chance at redemption in these playoffs. He missed a potential tying 32-yarder that might have kept Baltimore and 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh's big brother, John, from reaching the Super Bowl last season.
Also Friday, police in San Francisco said they're investigating a sexual assault allegation involving 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree. Police said in a statement released Friday night that the alleged assault occurred in a city hotel room early Sunday.
The statement says Crabtree has been interviewed with his attorney present and has cooperated with the probe. The receiver hasn't been detained or arrested.
Atlanta's Abraham expects to start
The Falcons plan on having defensive end John Abraham ready to lead their pass rush on Sunday. Abraham was limited in practice Friday for the third straight day with a sore left foot, but he expects to start when the Falcons host San Francisco.
Defensive tackle Jonathan Babineaux (shoulder) and Abraham are listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
Around the league
Panthers • Carolina named quarterbacks coach Mike Shula as its offensive coordinator. Shula takes over for Rob Chudzinski, who left to become Cleveland's head coach.
Browns • Cleveland named Ray Horton its new defensive coordinator. Horton spent the past two seasons with Arizona. Horton replaces Dick Jauron, who was not retained by Chudzinski.
Jets • New York hired Seattle Seahawks executive John Idzik to be its general manager, ending a search that included 10 candidates and lasted nearly three weeks. The Jets also hired Marty Mornhinweg as their offensive coordinator, replacing the fired Tony Sparano. Mornhinweg spent the past 10 years as an assistant with Philadelphia, including the past seven as the team's offensive coordinator.
Colts • Stanford offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has accepted the same position with Indianapolis, where he will be reunited with quarterback Andrew Luck. Hamilton will replace Bruce Arians, who was hired as the Arizona Cardinals' head coach.
• San Francisco at Atlanta, 1 p.m., Ch. 13
• Baltimore at New England, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 2