Over the course of minicamp, and really a lot of the San Francisco 49ers practices, there is not a lot of video for us to view. Lately, any video has come primarily via social media, whether it be Vine or Instagram. Cam Inman tweeted out some video of the defensive linemen doing some drills. It doesn't tell us much of anything, but I figured it was worth sharing. Click on it to view the video.
One of the biggest things we learned in the mandatory minicamp is that Tank Carradine appears to be healthy. We need to see what he can do in contact practice, and in preseason, but for this past week, he was a full participant. He seemed to take part in all drills, and there was no indication he was hampered by the knee. He showed some burst flushing the quarterback out of the pocket on occasion. It's not absolutely concrete evidence of anything given the structure of the practices, but it's certainly not a bad thing.
There was some concern that he had to get some scar tissue cleaned up this past January. His return from his 2012 ACL injury did not go perfectly. He started the season on the PUP list, as expected, and was then activated midway through the season. He was never active however, and eventually ended up on injured reserve. It was kind of a waste, but my guess is the team thought he could get going, and it just didn't happen.
A healthy Tank Carradine means a whole lot. First and foremost, it means we might finally get new pictures of him. I've had to use this same picture quite a bit! More importantly though, it means the depth behind Justin Smith and Ray McDonald could be kind of ridiculous. Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs did solid work spelling Smith and McDonald, and suddenly we're looking at a group that much deeper with the addition of Tank and even Quinton Dial. It's kind of crazy.
I'm looking forward to a lot of things in the 49ers four preseason games, but seeing Tank Carradine and Marcus Lattimore get into action is high on the list. It's as much about getting into the physical nature, and the adrenaline that comes with it. A strong preseason won't guarantee a strong regular season, but for two talents like this, it should do a great deal for their confidence.