San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke met with the media on Friday, and the event provided a chance for him to discuss a whole lot of topics. Cam Inman has the full set of transcripts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4).
Baalke was asked plenty of questions about the 49ers recent off-the-field issues, but he also had a chance to discuss some more pertinent on-field issues. Specifically, he was asked about NaVorro Bowman and Mike Iupati's injuries and their recovery. We know plenty about Bowman's knee injury, but Iupati's fractured fibula has sort of fallen off the radar. Here's Baalke's comments:
Is NaVorro Bowman's rehab going well?
"Yeah. You're always a little guarded in these situations. He looks good, he's working hard, he's motivated to get back on the field, and he's got the heart of a champion. If anyone can come back from it, NaVorro will be back."
What about Iupati?
"The same. Very well. Mike's of a similar mindset to NaVorro. They're both tough. They're both highly competitive. It's important to both to get back on the field as soon as they can. They're both making good progress to getting there."
What's the timeline for Iupati?
"That's still up in the air. He'll be back at some point. How soon? That'll be up for the medical staff to clear. He's out of the boot. He's walking. He's doing well."
It's a plus that Iupati is out of the walking boot, but we don't really know how far along he is. All indications are that he will be ready for the start of the regular season, but I suspect we won't see a lot of him during the offseason workout program. He can do the classroom work as he rehabs his leg, and get himself to 100 percent for the start of the season. Iupati dealt with multiple injuries in 2013, including missing several games with a sprained MCL.
Until he gets back to 100 percent, the 49ers will be able to give guys like Joe Looney, Ryan Seymour and Al Netter some time at guard during the various drills. It could also mean Jonathan Martin gets some work inside. He was drafted as an offensive tackle, but at this point in his career, he'll want to show some versatility to get his career extended out further.
The 49ers enter week 2 of the offseason workout program on Monday. It will be more strength, conditioning and rehab work. After that the team will get into more instructional work. At that point, we'll start to get a better idea of who is going to be able to get some opportunities during the rest of the offseason.