Golden Nuggets: LaMichael James, Aldon Smith Back at Practice

Hi people. How's it all going? Can't wait for the season to get under way. Although, unfortunately, living in Australia, I miss most of the games because they're on Monday morning. I can catch the East Coast early starts if I wake up early before work, which I will frequently do, but it's conducive to a bad case of the Mondays. Other than that...it ain't so bad over here.

Enough about me. What about the 49ers? There's been nothing but good news in regards to injuries. I dread the preseason games. The only good to come out of them is that the coaches get to rate the 5th and 6th CBs (OK, so I'm being only slightly sarcastic). The bad can be devastating, and it seemed like we were headed for disaster. But, alas, Aldon Smith and LaMichael James are back at practice and Brandon Jacobs, while on crutches, could be ready for the season opener. It couldn't have turned out better than this. On to the links...

Now here's what I like to hear. Vic Fangio took to the podium and he said that NaVorro Bowman is one of the most improved players. For a man who made All-Pro last season that's a scary thought. There are other notes here from Fangio's session. | NaVorro Bowman is one of the most improved on defense. (SFGate)

During his time with the media, Fangio also mentioned that the backup safety positions were the ones most up for grabs. Are we all assuming that Dashon Goldson won't be around another year? If that's the case, we need backup safeties today, starting safeties tomorrow. | Fangio looks for reserve safety to step up. (Maiocco)

More notes from Vic Fangio's talk. Eric Bakhtiari appears to have the inside track at the no 4 OLB spot. He's played well in the preseason games, shining in game 2 last week with both starters out, and appears to be a keeper. | Fangio waiting for backup safeties to step forward. (Barrows)

Aldon Smith was back at practice. That's great...but it was in a limited capacity and he's still questionable for this weekend's game. I say keep him out until the season. The last thing we need is for our sack master to bump his gimpy hip on a helmet in a meaningless game. | Improving Aldon Smith still iffy for Sunday's game. (Maiocco)

Grant Cohn asked 4 guys from our defense the same question. They were Vic Fangio, Larry Grant, Ricky Jean-Francois, and Chris Culliver. Who's the fastest player on the defense? Find out. | Five questions for the defense. (Cohn)

Chris Culliver and Brandon Jacobs both sat out, while LaMichael James returned to practice. Also, the DBs seemed to get the better of the WRs in the one-on-one drills. | Culliver, James not practicing; James returns. (Inman)

LaMichael James returns to practice. (Maiocco)

Vic Fangio wants backup safeties, Larry Grant wants improvement. (Gin)

49ers look for backups at safety. (CBS Sports)

Ikaika Alama-Francis has two week window to prove himself. (Maiocco)

Niners' starting offense has been clicking so far. (NBC Sports)

Aldon Smith, 3 others return to practice. (Branch)

Harbaugh gets over his officiating headache, may have had NFL's help. (Yahoo! Sports)

Could 49ers be in mix for London 2013 game? (Inman)

Aldon Smith healing fast. (Inman)

Aldon Smith back at practice, in limited capacity. (Branch)

Rock Cartwright getting new chance with 49ers. (Yahoo! Sports)

Larry Grant brings competition to LBs. (49ers.com)

Ricky Jean-Francois builds strength. (49ers.com)

All is good on the injury front for the Niners. (Scout.com)

Everybody loves Demarcus (Dobbs). (49ers.com)

Healthy living a key to 49ers defense. (Branch)

VIDEO: Matt & Mindi: First cuts looming. (CSN Bay Area)

VIDEO: Press Pass: Vic Fangio. (49ers.com)

VIDEO: Press Pass: Larry Grant. (49ers.com)

VIDEO: Press Pass: Ricky Jean-Francois. (49ers.com)

Being a Sheep

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