The San Francisco 49ers are just about set to close out their offseason workout program. The team will start their mandatory minicamp on Tuesday, which is the final three days of the program. After that, everyone goes their separate ways for the next seven weeks, and we get to wait for the start of training camp.
We'll re-assess the depth chart and position battles when minicamp ends, but in the meantime, I thought we'd take a look at the storylines that are in play heading into minicamp. The 49ers won't get any final answers in minicamp, but instead will continue setting up the position competitions that will be determined throughout training camp.
We could get into the nitty-gritty a bit more, but with the team not practicing in full pads yet, I figured it is best to approach this more of a high level.
Will Colin Kaepernick be medically cleared this week?
The 49ers quarterback has been rehabbing his various injuries throughout the offseason workout program. He was throwing with the trainers, and recently started throwing in practice warmups. The question now is if he will be cleared to return to practice this week. There's no contact with the quarterback, but the team could elect to play it safe for three more days to get to training camp.
How will the depth chart develop over three open days of practice?
The 49ers have not announced the media schedule this week, but if it is like last year, all three days will be open to the media. The three weeks of OTAs had three days open total, so this will be the longest continuous stretch the media gets to observe practice. The team has rotated some players in the depth chart, and three days in a row of practice could give us some more insight into the various roster permutations we are seeing. We could focus on specific positions, but given that position competitions won't be completed until training camp, it's more just about the general depth chart for now.
Joshua Garnett returns
Stanford wraps up final exams this Wednesday. Garnett is allowed to join the 49ers practices at that point. Given the coming seven week layoff, I would be shocked if Garnett was not at the facility on Thursday. The team might get him some reps with the third unit, but at the very least he would have time to work with the coaches in the classroom. He has a lot of catching up to do, so the coaches will want to prepare him to take full advantage of his time away from the team.
Aside from just wanting to make sure everybody stays healthy, we'll see who might potentially be back on the field. Ahmad Brooks has been dealing with an injury that has not been specified. Additionally, Dontae Johnson suffered a leg injury late in last week's open practice. He was able to get up but needed some help walking off the field. I don't expect Chip Kelly to provide specifics on his status, so we'll see if any other updates show up.
What will Chip Kelly have to say?
We are likely getting three days of media availability. Last year, that meant three days of Jim Tomsula. Three days of Chip Kelly will be infinitely more interesting. Even though Kelly has plenty of cliches and will not give up a whole lot of much, he is still better at the press conference side of things than Tomsula, and it's not even close. We'll hopefully have three days of transcripts to parse through. It won't give us two months of content, but it'll keep us busy for at least a little bit!