San Francisco 49ers left guard Mike Iupati was unable to play on Sunday Night Football this week, but according to Matt Maiocco, he has made some measure of progress in the concussion protocol. According to Maiocco, Iupati was cleared to participate in non-contact football work at some point before Sunday's game.
The NFL's concussion protocol is a fairly clear multi-step process. A player has to exhibit no symptoms before returning to practice. The player must be asymptomatic at rest, and then asymptomatic after exertion. The protocol wraps with a basic contact drill.
In Iupati's case, he did not participate in any of the three practice sessions. The 49ers will not return to practice until next Monday. That gives him a week of rest to get even further past the concussion. If he does not show any symptoms, I would expect to see Iupati listed as limited when the 49ers submit their first official practice report a week from Wednesday. If he makes it through that practice session and is asymptomatic, he will have two more practice sessions, and then the contact drill. If all goes well, he could be back on the field by Week 9 vs. the St. Louis Rams.
Concussions are a tricky injury so none of this can be assumed as a certainty. However, having the bye week is a significant plus in his recovery process. The 49ers will be without center Daniel Kilgore moving forward, but getting Iupati back, and working some of the rust off Anthony Davis could be a boon for this offensive line. They will be facing a Rams defensive line that struggled out of the gates, but got significant pressure this past week against the Seahawks. Getting Iupati back, and Davis even closer to 100 percent, will be helpful.