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3 things we learned from 49ers’ practice, August 2

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Only six days till the 49ers play the Cowboys in their preseason opener!

NFL: San Francisco 49ers-Training Camp Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are only six days away from suiting up for the first preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. With each passing day, the goal is to improve and prepare for the opening weekend of the regular season against the Minnesota Vikings.

Here are some highlights, an injury report and three takeaways from the 49ers’ practice on Thursday, August 2.

Highlights

  • One of the stains on QB Jimmy Garoppolo’s resume was his lack of consistent deep-ball accuracy, coming into the offseason. Looks like Garoppolo washed out the stain, as his deep connection with WR Marquise Goodwin was on point Thursday.

During Thursday’s practice, the 49ers’ quarterback hit a home run play, finding Goodwin in stride so that he could take it all the way to the end zone. If the chemistry between these two continues to develop, opposing defenses will always need to shade a safety over the top.

  • The rookie defensive backs have a lot to prove this offseason in order to show they deserve a spot on the roster.

During Wednesday’s practice, it was UDFA CB Tarvarus McFadden that laid out for an interception. The following day it was Tarvarius Moore, who showed off his closing speed, catching up to WR Max McCaffrey and deflecting the pass away.

Injury Report

Below are the new additions to the injury report before Thursday’s practice.

  • LB Fred Warner (Chest) — The rookie linebacker did not participate in any contact drills during Thursday’s practice.
  • LT Joe Staley (Rest)
  • RB Jerick McKinnon (Rest)
  • WR Pierre Garçon (Rest)
  • DL DeForest Buckner (Rest)
  • DL Earl Mitchell (Rest)
  • CB Richard Sherman (Rest)
  • LB Malcolm Smith (Rest)

Takeaways

  • Without LB Reuben Foster for the first two weeks of the season, Robert Saleh will turn to rookie LB Fred Warner in his absence. One of the knocks against Warner coming into the NFL was his lack of physicality.

A short offseason with Foster — one of the most violent hitters — and it seems like Warner has caught on. Even though the ex-BYU defender had a blue non-contact jersey on, Warner went right after FB Kyle Juszczyk, knocking him out on his back.

While Warner wasn’t supposed to hit the 49ers’ fullback, his show of physicality should be applauded.

  • Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch are going to have a very good problem on their hands soon. With six wide receivers set to make the 53-man roster, the 49ers have the first four locked up. WRs Pierre Garcon, Marquise Goodwin, Trent Taylor and Dante Pettis are locks to make the roster.

Yet, the last two spots are currently up for grabs between Victor Bolden Jr., Kendrick Bourne, Richie James and Steven Dunbar Jr. Each pass catcher flashes a different skill each day and by the time preseason is over, it’ll be a tough choice for the 49ers’ brain trust.

During Thursday’s practice, Bolden Jr. and Dunbar Jr. both flashed their route-running abilities, creating separation quickly from the defensive back on numerous occasions.

  • RB Matt Breida should be the perfect counter part to RB Jerick McKinnon. With McKinnon getting the day off, Breida took all the first-team reps and showed off his full array of abilities.

Breida flashed with two long runs and also hauled in a few passes out of the backfield. During the season, Breida pencils in to be the ideal change of pace back to McKinnon.

The undrafted free agent from last season should have a significant impact in the offense and was starting to show signs on Thursday.

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