The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up day one of their two days of joint practices with the Denver Broncos. We know that Colin Kaepernick did not throw in team drills, although he did do some side throwing. We also know that some scuffles broke out.
The joint practices give the team a chance to matchup against an entirely new offense and defense. Weeks of training camp against the same offense or defense means each unit gets used to a lot of what they see, even amidst new installation. In facing a different team, they get to try things out against new schemes and philosophies.
The Denver Broncos had significant turnover this offseason, but they are the defending Super Bowl champs and will be rolling out a defense that could be the best in the league when the season ends. According to the practice reports, the 49ers offense struggled on the day, most notably in the passing game. Blaine Gabbert remains uninspiring, while Christian Ponder was in his first full practice and has some catching up to do. There were some positives from the day, but against a great defense like the Broncos, even in practice, it sounds like it was not great.
One positive Matt Barrows noted was that Trent Brown had some successes against Von Miller. Brown won the initial head-to-head encounter, but admitted to losing some of the others. He remains the first team right tackle, so getting a chance to face a guy like Miller is really helpful in his development.
Quinton Patton was back at practice, while Bruce Ellington was out, and spotted doing wind sprints after the session. If Patton practices again on Thursday, it’s safe to say he plays on Saturday. And if Ellington is not a full participant, he likely sits.
Speaking of questionable status, Arik Armstead remains sidelined with his shoulder injury. Chip Kelly said on Sunday that had that Texans game been of the regular season variety, Armstead would have played. We can’t really say that’s a certainty until September gets here, but hopefully it’s just a matter of being cautious with him.