The San Francisco 49ers had their first day off of training camp on Thursday, following five practices. They return for six in the next seven days, after which they travel to Houston for their preseason opener.
Now that we are through this first chunk of training camp, I want to take a look at where things stand on a variety of fronts. We'll take a look at position competitions, but first up, let's assess the injury report. We'll start with the official injury lists.
C Daniel Kilgore (leg): We learned earlier in camp that Kilgore had a second surgery on his leg following minicamp. Trent Baalke met with the media earlier this week, and had this to say about Kilgore's rehab:
#49ers GM Trent Baalke on G/C Daniel Kilgore's possible return: "I think a lot has to do with how the next few weeks go."— Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) August 5, 2015
Kilgore could improve quickly in the coming weeks, but given this mention of "next few weeks", it would not surprise me if the earliest we saw Kilgore activated is for the final preseason game. In reality, we could be looking at a regular season stint on the PUP list. But as Baalke said, we'll see what the next few weeks bring. In the meantime, Joe Looney is handling starting center work, and Marcus Martin is handling right guard work.
ILB Michael Wilhoite (muscle strain): Given his inclusion on the NFI list instead of the PUP list, this would seem to have been something in the six weeks between minicamp and training camp. Baalke had this to say about the injury, which bodes well for Nick Moody as he handles first team ILB work:
"It's not a long-term injury," Baalke said. "How quickly he's ready, we're going to make sure he's obviously ready to go before we put him out there and risk. What he's dealing with could become a nagging injury."
WR DeAndre Smelter (ACL): There is no rush on getting Smelter back from his 2014 ACL injury. We are hearing a lot of positives about the undrafted rookies, so that could make this decision even easier for the 49ers. If DeAndrew White or Dres Anderson looks ready for a roster spot, I think we see Smelter spend the whole year on the NFI list.
LB Nick Bellore (illness): The 49ers.com roster page does not include Bellore on the NFI list, but Jim Tomsula said he was included on it. I am not entirely sure what that means, but he has not practiced thus far. Tomsula said he was dealing with some kind of illness, but there is no word on what it is.
OL Ben Gottschalk (foot): The 49ers made the move on Thursday following a foot injury earlier in the week. If Gottschalk clears waivers on Friday, he would revert to injured reserve, barring a decision to work out an injury settlement.
WR Issac Blakeney: He is dealing with a leg strain, and has missed the last four practices.
RB Reggie Bush: He takes part in individual drills, but is not involved in team drills. Jim Tomsula said after Bush's conditioning test he looked a little tight. Bush said he was good, but Tomsula said they were not going to push it. Tomsula said Bush was effectively getting the Justin Smith treatment as far as getting time to prepare his body and they generally know what he can do already.
WR Bruce Ellington: He suffered a leg strain, although it is not the leg that had the hamstring issue during the offseason workout program. He has sat out the last three practices.
RB Kendall Hunter: He is recovering from his torn ACL. He was reportedly a full participant in OTAs and minicamp, but in training camp he is primarily focusing on individual work. Tomsula has said he is on a rep count, but has not clarified what those reps entail.
OLB Aaron Lynch: A hamstring injury cost him the offseason workout program, and now it sounds like he is working to get in sufficient football shape following that down time. Tomsula said they were "on a monitor deal the whole way through". He has been working with the training staff, but it remains to be seen if he'll be back on the field in time for next week's preseason opener. Lynch missed the first few practices of last year's training camp while on the NFI list, so hopefully it is similar this year.
DB Jimmie Ward: He missed the offseason workout program rehabbing his foot injury. Tomsula said, "I just want him monitored and let's keep it going, let's keep progressing and do everything we can possibly do from our end to prevent any setbacks." They seem to be playing it especially safe with Ward's foot given that he had the setback last season.
ILB Philip Wheeler: He's dealing with a muscle strain that cost him Wednesday's practice. The team returns to practice at 4:15 p.m. on Friday, at which point we'll find out if it was a one-day issue or longer. Considering the team signed a wide receiver and not a linebacker after releasing Chris Cook would hopefully bode well for Wheeler. Of course, the team also has a roster spot free following the decision to waive/injured Ben Gottschalk. Waivers runs this afternoon, at which point the roster spot opens up.
S Antoine Bethea: Garrett Celek stepped on his foot on Wednesday and left Bethea briefly limping.
RB Mike Davis: He slipped on a divot in the field and came up limping. The team says he is fine.