What the heck is going on here?

Is 49ers coach Mike Nolan being a little heavy-handed in his handling of the Jamie Winborn situation? Who else has fallen out of favor with the new regime? Would it be better in some cases for some 49ers to play in pain rather than have surgery? And is San Francisco's injured reserve list beginning to look like a list of soon-to-be ex-49ers? Here are our inside views of the top news emerging from an illuminating – and perhaps alarming, depending on your perspective – week at 49erland.

News: Mike Nolan decides to ship out linebacker Jamie Winborn.

Views: Let's get this straight: The Niners come to work Wednesday morning after a Tuesday players' day off, Nolan calls the fifth-year linebacker into his office, then tells Winborn to stay away from practice because the team is going to trade him to accommodate his wish to be a starter. And, by the way Jamie, the whole process already is in motion. That's the way it went down Wednesday, and after giving some time for the dust to settle, our educated reaction still is, "Huh?" First of all, Nolan should have worked some subterfuge around this issue for at least a day or so, because Winborn's trade value surely plummeted the minute word spread that Winborn had cleared out his stall in the team locker room. Second, although Nolan was straight-up in delivering the news and the reasons behind it to Winborn's stunned teammates, it's still a startling jolt to a rebuilding team trying to develop chemistry, cohesion and identity. And third, there's this little matter of Julian Peterson being injured and maybe not being able to play Sunday against Arizona during the big southern sojourn to Mexico City. We understand Nolan's reasoning behind not wanting Winborn to get hurt in practice – now, that would really plummet his trade value – but c'mon coach, wasn't it worth that minute risk to keep this in-house a while longer? Now, Winborn probably will be collecting his paycheck this weekend as a 49ers employee while the team plays in Arizona without him. We fully understand the message Nolan is sending here. We just don't know if it's the right one at this time for this team.

News: Nolan says he's doing this all for the good of the team.

Views: Whether or not anybody else believes it, Nolan does, and that should at least count for something. Nolan hasn't backed down at all from his position on this matter – in fact, he talked about it days later like it wasn't any more important than a minor injury or who's going be the backup cornerback or who's going to fill the team's vacant 53rd roster spot this Sunday. "This is something I felt I had to do to get the team right," Nolan said between talking about the team's injury report and the variables of its 3-4 defensive scheme. "Things I do, obviously, are things I want to make it right. (This) might be the first one that grabs everyone's attention. I don't have to have a big confrontation to know where someone stands. I don't need to fight about it. When I kind of see it, however you tell me, I kind of know. I don't need to lose sleep over it and everything. When I see something, that's what I need to do. We're just in the beginning stages of trying to get this thing right. As I structure this thing and get it all right, that's one of the things I felt was necessary to do. But I do like the direction we're going. And that's where I'm at." Got it? Nolan's in a certain place, and if the rest of the 49ers aren't willing to follow procedure to get there with him, they can take a hike.

News: Rashaun Woods placed on injured reserve after thumb surgery.

Views: Nice knowing you, Rashaun. Good luck at your next stop in the NFL – if there is one. If we didn't know better, we'd place Woods' chances of being back with the 49ers next year at about zero percent, but there must be some chance the new regime hasn't given up on the 2004 first-round draft choice, right? Uh, wrong. Woods has shown the new staff absolutely nothing, which isn't a whole lot less than he showed the previous regime last year as a rookie. His thumb surgery earlier this week hardly was a season-ending procedure. If there really was a place for him in the team's plans, he could be back as early as mid-November. But here's what Nolan had to say about keeping Woods on the 53-man roster while he heals: "We don't have time to say, ‘OK, we'll just hold you out.' Our roster is so far down (at receiver) that I can't wait six to eight weeks for a guy that's going to be in a cast, especially at the wide receiver position because it looks silly." But wouldn't injuries to the receiver corps be a good reason to keep Woods on the roster for later use when he's healthy? Yeah, we didn't think so, either.

News: Woods, tight end Eric Johnson and defensive back Mike Rumph all join the IR list within a week of each other.

Views: Well, we at least expect Johnson to be back with the team next season.

News: With the 49ers reeling at the cornerback position, Ahmed Plummer undergoes arthroscopic surgery on his left ankle and will be out up to six weeks.

Views: Have you ever had bone fragments floating around in your ankle? Now, that's gotta hurt. But in the NFL, there are those who will play with that kind of injury. They just shoot it up with pain-killing injections, then deal with the pain once the dope wears off. There's a risk of further injury by taking that approach but, hey, that's why these guys are getting paid the big bucks. And Plummer, after getting an $11 million bonus last year as part of his fat $25 million contract, definitely is making the big bucks. Nolan has not pointed the finger at Plummer, but he exudes the distinct impression he'd rather see his most veteran cornerback toughing it out at least a little longer while the team is having such problems at the cornerback position. Plummer is having none of that, and it's hard to blame him. Isn't it? After all, the guy has his career to think about. "It's my ankle," Plummer said. "That's what I do for a living – I use my ankle to run, cut and do different things. And I don't want to do any more damage than I have (already) done to it. I know my teammates look for me to be out there with them on the field, and that's what makes the decision so hard. Because I have to do the right thing. Giving that part up is a decision that has to be made. I can't risk that. I could go through a whole season shooting it up, doing all those types of things, but I don't feel comfortable with that." And that means, with the way this organization is starting to shape up, that Plummer might not want to start getting too comfortable as a member of it.

News: Fred Beasley – from Pro Bowl fullback to part-time fullback in the space of two years.

Views: Speaking of 49ers veterans who might not want to be getting too comfortable … Well, it's pretty obvious Beasley is being written out of the team's future equation. Is there still time for him to write himself back into it? We're thinking the answer already is no. Beasley hasn't touched the football once in the first three games. He continues to say the right things, but both his patience and pride are being severely tested as he splits time with Chris Hetherington and, in some formations, Steve Bush while becoming more and more an afterthought in the offense. "What they ask me to do, I can't do nothing but accept it and do my best when I'm out there, and try to help the team win whether I like it or not," Beasley said. When asked directly if he felt he had fallen out of favor with the new coaches, Beasley replied with this interesting choice of words: "I don't look at it as favoritism. I just look at it as you put the best 11 men on the field to play. Whether you like a guy or not, if he's the best player to benefit this team and help (it) win, you have them on the field no matter what. If he's a distraction to the team, then that's another thing. But that's the way I look at it. As far as favoritism, I'm not a big fan of favoritism. I might not like this guy, but if this guy helps us win, I'll bend over backward to have him playing next to me, even if I don't like him or not. As far as how they feel about me, I don't know." But he does know. And so does everybody else. It shows up every time the offense takes the field, and Beasley isn't there as part of it.

News: The latest clarification of who's completely in charge here.

Views: Uh, the name's Nolan. Mike Nolan. Does anybody have even the slightest doubt about that after the past five days?

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