The San Francisco 49ers were given a much-needed day of rest on Monday after eight days of training camp. The team returned on Tuesday for what will be the first of three practices before Friday’s walk-thru and Saturday’s preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. Turnovers were the biggest takeaway from the 49ers’ ninth practice, the team’s wide receivers earning some criticism from coach Kyle Shanahan after practice.
Here’s our stock report after Day 9 of the 49ers training camp:
Stock up: CB Ahkello Witherspoon
Witherspoon returned to practice on Tuesday after missing some time due to a glute injury. The third-year cornerback, after an impressive camp so far, didn’t waste time picking up where he left off. Witherspoon was successful during 1-on-1s, winning three of his four reps. During team drills, Witherspoon was in the right place at the right time to pick off Jimmy Garoppolo’s pass intended for Kendrick Bourne. It’s Witherspoon’s third interception of camp. He’s competing against cornerback Jason Verrett for the starting spot opposite Richard Sherman.
Stock down: WR Dante Pettis
Pettis has had an up-and-down training camp so far. Tuesday was a down day for the 49ers’ second-year receiver. During 11-on-11s, Pettis was targeted by quarterback CJ Beathard over the middle. Pettis reeled in the pass with cornerback Greg Mabin close behind. As Pettis turned upfield, Mabin gained ground, grabbed the ball and ripped it from Pettis’ grasp. Mabin fell, got up, and added some yards after the catch. Pettis gave the ball up in a similar fashion during last year’s training camp.
Stock up: LT Joe Staley
Much was made of the veteran losing some reps to rookie defensive lineman Nick Bosa at the start of training camp. Staley would be the first to tell you he’s been impressed with the 49ers’ No. 2 pick through the first two weeks. Since then though, Staley’s gotten the better of his matchups with Bosa, especially during 1-on-1s. The last four times the pair have battled resulted in Staley stonewalling Bosa after giving little ground. Their matchups have been among the highlights of training camp so far. If you were worried about Staley, don’t be.
Stock down: WR Kendrick Bourne
Bourne’s had a strong training camp so far in 2019. His development earned praise from Shanahan after practice. During 1-on-1s, Bourne made an impressive touchdown reception at the corner of the endzone with cornerback Emmanuel Moseley in coverage. Unfortunately for the third-year wideout, his solid start to practice was quickly forgotten when he found himself attributing to Garoppolo’s first turnover. The pass hit Bourne in the hands, the only thing necessary for a receiver to make the catch, as they would all tell you. Witherspoon was waiting for the ball, scooped it up in the air and darted upfield.
Stock up: RB Jerick McKinnon
The 49ers’ backfield got better on Tuesday. McKinnon made his return to the practice field just a little over 11 months since he tore his ACL. He was only allowed to participate in individual drills, but McKinnon’s presence is a positive boost for the offense among an already loaded room of running backs. McKinnon didn’t wear a brace during his limited work and said after practice that he hasn’t needed one for two months. It’s a positive sign for the possibility of McKinnon’s return to full participation before the start of the regular season.