49ers keeping Cortez, but who will kick Monday?

Jose Cortez didn't just make it through another day with the 49ers on Tuesday. Now his previously tenuous position on the team appears secure again. The Niners still haven't decided if Cortez or rookie Jeff Chandler will be kicking for them Monday night against the Philadelphia Eagles, but general manager Terry Donahue said Tuesday the team has no plans to release Cortez. "I think we have two players within the organization that can get us to where we need to get in Jose and Jeff," Donahue said.

That's not what a lot of 49ers followers want to hear after Cortez missed a 41-yard field goal in overtime that ultimately cost the team a victory at San Diego on Sunday. After making 13 consecutive field goals, Cortez now is in a slump where he has missed four of eight field goals in the past three games, including a 27-yarder that would have won the game in regulation at Oakland. The Niners eventually won that game in overtime.

Donahue also said the Niners did not play to bring in any other kickers for a look, and will stick with the two kickers they have kept on their roster the entire season.

"We do not plan at this time to conduct any workouts with outside kickers," Donahue said. "Could that change? Yes. But I don't anticipate it will. We have two NFL-quality kickers. There may be a third, fourth or fifth kicker out there on the street now, but the two we have in the organization are the two we want."

That doesn't answer the question of whether Cortez or Chandler will be the team's kicker against the Eagles. Donahue said that decision will be made by coach Steve Mariucci.

Mariucci and Donahue met Tuesday morning to discuss possible changes at the kicking position. It now appears likely the team won't make any decisions until practice resumes for the Eagles game on Thursday.

"Who kicks Monday night ultimately will be Steve's decision," Donahue said. "We have not reached a decision within the organization as to what we're going to do regarding that situation. My feeling is (Mariucci) wants to think about it over the next couple of days and think about it and reflect on the various aspects of this kind of decision."


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