David Akers has won his job back.
A week after the San Francisco 49ers brought in 32-year-old Billy Cundiff to kick against the struggling 38-year-old, coach Jim Harbaugh announced Thursday he’ll stick with Akers in Saturday’s divisional-round playoff matchup with the Packers.
Earlier this week in a conference call with Green Bay media, Harbaugh was tight-lipped about his intentions after Akers finished the regular season with a 69-percent completion percentage, second worst to only Green Bay’s Mason Crosby (63.6 percent) among qualifying kickers.
When asked how the six-time Pro Bowler has reacted to the competition, Harbaugh offered only, “Like a football player.”
Both Crosby and Akers were among the league leaders in points scored a year ago, so the Packers' sixth-year kicker knows firsthand exactly how quickly tides can turn.
“Last year, we obviously both had really good years and this year, watching some of his season and how mine’s gone, some of them just haven’t been going through,” Crosby said. “It’s unfortunate. It happens the longer you play at any position and the longer you kick, season’s like this will come.
“Akers has been doing it for such a long time. He’s an amazing kicker and he has all the resolve in the world. He’s going to bounce back and be just fine the same way that I fought through some stuff this year.”