The San Francisco 49ers reported to training camp on Wednesday, holding medical evaluations, a conditioning test, and their first team meeting. After the players went through their physicals, the team formally announced the six players who would open training camp on the PUP and NFI lists.
One player not on the lists is corner back Richard Sherman. Sherman tore his Achilles last November, and has been rehabbing ever since. He did not take part in most of the on-field team activities during the spring workout program, but did take part in some team drills during mandatory minicamp. Over the summer, he was spotted walking with a limp after a full workout, but he later told Jennifer Chan that was overblown.
Sherman passed his physical on Wednesday, and Kyle Shanahan said he has been cleared to practice when the team takes the field on Thursday. Shanahan said Sherman will take part in the first two practices, and then have the third day off. It is notable that the first two practices are without pads, and the third practice is when the pads go on. Sherman will then take part in the fourth practice, also a padded practice. The 49ers then have that fifth day of camp off from practice, at which point the team is going to evaluate how his body is holding up.
Sherman was plenty confident about getting back into action, but the team is going to play it safe with him. Shanahan said the plan is to see him get comfortable, and they are less concerned about what he has to show them in camp.
“Richard is one of our few guys who has done it for a longer time. We’ve all played against him, we know what Richard is and Richard is also a guy who I think we trust how he thinks, how he works. We know it’s important for him to get out there as anyone in this world. He’s someone we’re going to communicate to a lot. A lot of it is up to Richard. Now, we’ve got to make sure if Richard is being a little too aggressive, it’s our job to pull him back a little bit. But, we’ve got to communicate the right way because really, all I really care about Richard is him getting himself back to being Richard by Week 1 and if he can’t do it by then, then just be honest with us because it’s a matter of time when he gets back and we just want to make sure we’re smart with that and don’t have a setback.”
The team wants to make sure he’s in football shape, but I doubt we see a lot of him this preseason. I imagine he plays in games two and three, but we’ll have to wait and see how his fifth day evaluation goes before figuring out if he will get into the first preseason game. I would bet a lot of money he will be one of the many veterans held out of the preseason finale.