The San Francisco 49ers return to full practice this afternoon, and the 49ers will be able to get some work from safety Eric Reid and tight end Vernon Davis. According to head coach Jim Harbaugh, the two players visited with neurologists on Tuesday, and were asymptomatic today. They have been cleared for non-contact work in practice.
The two players suffered concussions against the Carolina Panthers, with it being Davis' second in the last 11 or so months, and Reid's second this season. On Tuesday, Davis met with the media and told them he was feeling pretty good, and felt the concussion was not as bad as the one he suffered against the Seahawks last season. He said he spent Tuesday riding an exercise bike, lifting some weights and attending meetings.
The players will continue through the NFL's concussion protocol, and will need to remain symptom-free through the coming days. They will go through a light contact drill to see if it generates any symptoms. At that point, if they remain symptom free, they can be cleared to play.
Harbaugh was asked about his comfort level with bringing Reid back if he is cleared. Harbaugh gave as good an answer as you could hope to hear from an NFL coach. Basically, he said he would leave it up to the doctors. He mentioned how back in his day it was basically a matter of "how many fingers am I holding up". Harbaugh said things have improved quite a bit since then, and it was best left to the doctors and out of his hands entirely. Given the concerns about concussions and the return to play, that's really all we can ask for.
For now, we'll need to wait and see if Reid is cleared. Everybody feels the affects of concussions differently, and that is part of the process in figuring out what's going on. While science is learning more and more every day, there is still so much to learn that it is hard to make any proclamations about anything at this point.