The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their second week of training camp a little worse for the wear. Head Coach Kyle Shanahan indicated in his press conference that the injuries to Malcolm Smith and Joshua Garnett might be long term and a few hours after practice there was confirmation that Smith would be out for the season with a torn pectoral. Joshua Garnett will likely miss about a month with a knee injury.
The list has gotten a bit longer but at least a few on the list have made progress. DeForest Buckner (ankle), J.P. Flynn (knee) and George Kittle (hamstring) dressed for practice and participated in individual drills.
Eli Harold (concussion), Jaquiski Tartt (rib) and Brock Coyle (rib) are all out.
Tim Hightower’s injury is more a mystery than all of them. He left practice early on the 3rd with a lower body injury, had a ‘veterans’ day off on the 4th and then did not participate in team drills at the open practice.
Rashard Robinson left practice early with “some tightness.”
Next man up
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman spoke to the media after practice and was complimentary of both Ray-Ray Armstrong and Reuben Foster who may be asked to step up with the loss of Smith. He said both are very smart and talented football players.
Carlos Hyde took the majority of the snaps with the first team but with Hightower’s absence in team drills, Kapri Bibbs took the secondary carries.
Zane Beadles filled in at left guard in Garnett’s place.
Vinnie Sunseri continued his role at free safety in place of Jimmie Ward
There’s a competition at quarterback
Brian Hoyer is the clear starter and has been having a great camp with consistent production. Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard are battling it out for the back up spot. At this point in camp neither has stood out from the other. Both have had great plays and some not great plays. Shanahan commented on the two QBs:
Yeah, they’ve been competing. I think they’ve had even reps. I think it’s a good battle for us. We’ve been looking at it every day and they’re going to make it tough on us.
“Toe Tap” Taylor
Aldrick Robinson informed the media that his nickname for rookie wide receiver Trent Taylor is “Toe Tap Taylor.” Taylor continues to impress with his sideline catches as well as his elusiveness in coverages.
Matt Breida is not just fast
The rookie running back had the best run of the day as well as one of the best catches. He made a diving catch on a C.J. Beathard pass under tight coverage from Pita Taumoepenu. His best run was partly because the offensive line opened up the A gap into a bus lane and partly because his feet churn at an incredibly fast rate.
Competition in unexpected positions
It’s been a long time since the 49ers have had too many wide receivers. This season the team is going to have to make some difficult decisions. Pierre Garçon and Marquise Goodwin are your top two receivers but after that, it’s a little more murky. Aldrick Robinson and Jeremy Kerley have consistently made great plays, but so have rookies Taylor, Victor Bolden and Kendrick Bourne. Aaron Burbridge had a few dynamic catches at the open practice and DeAndre Carter and DeAndre Smelter have been working consistently in practice. New addition Tim Patrick (6’4) adds size at the position.
The players have Sunday off and return Monday with practice starting at 10:15 a.m.