Last night, the San Francisco 49ers held their final practice that will be open to the media before Thursday's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos. The 49ers will have a practice on Wednesday, but it will be a mock game and closed to the media. A mock game involves practicing various procedures throughout the game, including things like making sure the right substitutions are going in or out.
Tuesday's practice was a non-padded practice, marking the first such practice since the first week of training. Based on the practice reports linked below, Ricardo Lockette was the star of the day, catching six passes, including several deep balls. He's the strongest pure speed guy on the roster, having run a 4.34 Combine 40, and reportedly clocked elsewhere at 4.26. Some have described him as more of a pure athlete than a football player. When the 49ers step on the field this Thursday, he will be a guy to watch to see how he handles dis-engaging from defensive backs and generally getting past the physicality.
A.J. Jenkins had five or six receptions (depending on the report), but also had what sound like two relatively bad drops. He'll need to clean up his consistency in order to become a trusted target for Colin Kaepernick. As it currently stands, Boldin and Davis seem like Kap's most trusted receivers, with everybody else a distant third.
In the running back competition, Anthony Dixon was taking a lot of the goal line carries. He, D.J. Harper and Jewel Hampton are competing for opportunities. On Thursday, Frank Gore is likely to see very limited work, and Kendall Hunter remains on the PUP list. That means carries will mostly be split between Harper, Dixon, Hampton and LaMichael James.
Justin Smith was back at practice, having missed time with a finger issue. It was a mostly non-contact practice, and he probably will still sit out Thursday's game.
Mike Iupati sat out practice, and was replaced in the starting lineup by Adam Snyder. It seems like Snyder is working all along the line, which could bode well for his roster chances. Iupati reportedly banged up his knee last week. He has been practicing since, but the team decided to rest him today.