The San Francisco 49ers have released their first official practice participation report of the 2018 season. During training camp, the team would announce the list of players not participating in a given practice, and Kyle Shanahan would offer up responses to injury questions in his daily press conferences. The start of the regular season means the return of official injury reports.
Teams are required to release three practice participation reports and then a final injury report in advance of each game. It provides some useful insight, but it’s primarily meant for the gambling crowd. The NFL will not acknowledge this, but trust me, this is for NFL gamblers.
That being said, there is still some useful information for your average fan to glean from the reports. And as 49ers fans paying close attention to them, it adds a little more context to a given situation.
The 49ers were without offensive lineman Erik Magnuson. He was a DNP as he continues rehabbing his hamstring strain. Meanwhile, Garry Gilliam, Malcolm Smith, and Jimmie Ward were all listed as limited. Gilliam is in the concussion protocol, but is making progress. He was back in contact drills on Wednesday, and if he does not have concussion symptoms on Thursday, he is line to be cleared for Sunday.
Smith and Ward remain question marks with a hamstring and quadricep injury, respectively. Concussion symptoms are not a black and white issue, but the protocol is fairly straight forward. With hamstring and quad strains, it’s a little less clear how long it will take to sort through. The 49ers have practice Thursday and Friday, and if they remain limited, it would not be surprising to see them sidelined for Week 1.
If Smith can’t go on Sunday, Brock Coyle would likely start in his place at the WILL linebacker spot, with Fred Warner manning the MIKE. Elijah Lee would be the sole backup inside linebacker. If Ward can’t go, Greg Mabin is likely the primary backup outside cornerback, with Tarvarius Moore right behind him.
49ers Wednesday practice participation report
DNP: OL Erik Magnuson (hamstring)
Limited: OT Garry Gilliam (concussion), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring), S Jimmie Ward (quadricep)
Vikings Wednesday practice participation report
DNP: CB Mackensie Alexander (ankle), RB Roc Thomas (ankle)
Limited: C Pat Elflein (ankle, shoulder), T Riley Reiff (foot), CB Xavier Rhodes (hamstring), CB Marcus Sherels (hamstring)
Full: WR Stacy Coley (groin)