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Harbaugh sticking with Akers

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POSTED January 10, 2013 6:33 p.m.

SANTA CLARA (AP) — David Akers is keeping his job as San Francisco's starting kicker. For now, anyway.

Jim Harbaugh made the announcement after practice Thursday, two days ahead of the 49ers' NFC divisional playoff game against the Green Bay Packers (12-5) at Candlestick Park.

"Suffice it to say we feel confident in David giving us the best chance to win," Harbaugh said.

The 49ers (11-4-1) signed Billy Cundiff on Jan. 1 to compete with Akers, a 15-year veteran who has struggled this season while making only 29 of 42 field-goal attempts. Akers revealed last week he underwent double hernia surgery last February, then re-aggravated the area when he slipped on the field during practice.

Akers understood why Cundiff was brought in, but made it clear he wants to remain the kicker.

"He responded like a football player does," Harbaugh said. "He competed."

Cundiff, who missed a potential tying 32-yarder that might have kept Baltimore and Harbaugh's big brother, John, from reaching the Super Bowl last season, will remain on the roster.

Harbaugh said he isn't likely to be among the active players Saturday.

"To be determined — most likely not," Harbaugh said. "He's done a nice job. David's done a better job and is more prepared to give us the best chance to win."

Akers received death threats last month via Twitter, and NFL and team security got involved.

He missed overtime kicks twice against the Rams this season, with the 49ers losing at St. Louis and tying at home. Akers had a field goal blocked in a loss at Seattle on Dec. 23 that Richard Sherman returned 90 yards for a touchdown.

He missed two more wide left in a home victory against Arizona in the regular-season finale before bouncing back to make two.

The 38-year-old Akers began the season by making a 63-yarder in a season-opening win at Green Bay in which the ball bounced off the crossbar and through the uprights.

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