The San Francisco 49ers kicked off week three of training camp with a few adjustments to the line ups as a result of the past week’s injuries. The practice was a little shorter than the open practice at Levi’s as I think they wanted to give their audience a good show. They eliminated 1-on-1s drills for the day.
Malcolm Smith has been put on IR but has not yet had surgery. He was in the field during practice wearing a shoulder sling. Joshua Garnett was wearing a compression sleeve on his right leg and walking with a very noticeable limp. Tim Hightower, Jaquiski Tartt, Brock Coyle and Eli Harold did not participate in drills but were completely suited up and working out on “The Hill” seen below.
The Hill.— Jennifer Lee Chan (@jenniferleechan) August 7, 2017
Hightower, Tartt, Coyle and Harold, who did not participate in team drills, got some time in on the beast. pic.twitter.com/295Sz8sVs4
TE George Kittle returned to full participation in practice while Zach Franklin and Adrian Colbert remain out for the time being.
Next man up
With the loss of Malcolm Smith, Reuben Foster stepped in with the 1s. After practice defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said that Ray-Ray Armstrong will be rotating in as well but Foster got the first shot at it.
Zane Beadles took Garnett’s place with the 1s on the offensive line at left guard next to Joe Staley. The rest of the offensive line remained the same with Daniel Kilgore at center, Brandon Fusco at right guard and Trent Brown at right tackle.
In the secondary, Vinnie Sunseri continued to work with the 1’s at free safety on 11-on-11s and Lorenzo Jerome rotated in with the 1s in 7-on7s.
Getting their shot
Kittle returned to practice like he had never sat out. He took reps with the 1s as did Trent Taylor and Matt Breida. It appears that this rookie class is going to get their time to prove they can perform. It will interesting to see how they are used in Friday’s game.
Kick return and punt return duties
Jeremy Kerley is listed on the depth chart as the staring returner and he is always with the group of young players who have been practicing returns. The players who have been returning at practice are Victor Bolden Jr., DeAndre Carter, Raheem Mostert and Trent Taylor.
What’s going to happen at tight end?
Vance McDonald did catch two touchdown passes in 7-on-7s and is listed as the starter in the 49ers unofficial depth chart. Kittle is listed with the 2s and Logan Paulsen with the 3s. That leaves Blake Bell and Garrett Celek as “other” with Cole Hikutini who may be headed to to the practice squad. McDonald didn’t have a very impressive showing at the open practice and this depth chart is unofficial. This will be another interesting position to keep an eye on in Friday’s game.
The defense is still rolling
DeForest Buckner returned to the lineup in team drills and seemed to pick up right where he left off as well. He tipped a ball that ended up being a pick six for Dontae Johnson as well as splitting a sack of Brian Hoyer with Earl Mitchell. There were also standout plays by Quinton Dial (sack), D.J. Jones (sack), and Aaron Lynch (tip, swat).
Players have two more practices (one each on the 8th and 9th) before traveling to Kansas City for Friday’s game.