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Golden Nuggets: NFL adjusts COVID-19 testing protocols

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for September 1, 2020

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FRANCE-HEALTH-VIRUS-TEST Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images

We’ve reached the end of practice reports for the San Francisco 49ers as reporters are only allowed to film the first 15 minutes of practice, which is usually stretching. The good news is that means we’re getting closer to the regular season.

NFL’s COVID-19 testing protocols adjusted to minimize false positives

But they now can be cleared on the same day if both test results immediately come back negative.

Previously, the individual was required to isolate from the team for at least 24 hours. That time frame drew concern two weeks ago after a BioReference lab in New Jersey returned 77 false-positive results from 11 teams late on a Saturday night. Had that happened during the regular season, none of the players involved would have had enough time to clear isolation before a typical Sunday afternoon kickoff.

Now that 49ers training camp is over, the top 10 things I learned this summer

4. Center is the shakiest spot on the team

That will improve when Ben Garland returns from his ankle injury. His backup, Hroniss Grasu, is a journeyman who was getting shoved around by the 49ers’ talented interior rushers when he first arrived. (Though it should be noted that Grasu has improved in this regard.)

The 49ers brought in another center, Dakoda Shepley, for Sunday’s practice, which immediately had a domino effect. Shepley played center with the second-team group, which allowed Grasu to play with the first-stringers and for Brunskill to see his most snaps at right guard since training camp opened. Brunskill, Tom Compton and perhaps rookie Colton McKivitz are competing for the starting job at right guard.

How 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo has improved in Jaquiski Tartt’s eyes

“As far as this camp goes he’s been doing a better job of just making me not stay true when I should stay true,” Tartt said. “What I mean by that is with his eyes, sometimes he will look one way and I’m thinking he’s for sure throwing the ball to the right side of the field, and he’ll come back late and throw it to the opposite.”

Why Injuries to Wide Receivers are not an Immediate Concern for 49ers

This is not a pass-first offense, it is a run-first-always-and-forever offense. The running game is not an easy one to stop, let alone slow down. A lot of the clock is going to be drained from the heavy usage of the run game. With Trent Williams in the fold, there is no way Kyle Shanahan is not going to line George Kittle up next him and run the ball to the left side. It’s going to be their bread and butter. That is a huge way to keep the necessity of passing the ball to a minimum.

Not to mention that the defense is still a juggernaut. It is not like they are going to be giving up 24+ points a game. That really is the only way to warrant the 49ers being concerned about the lack of wide receivers.

Face It 49ers, Kinlaw Isn’t Ready for the NFL

Kinlaw’s failures aren’t the only reason to be concerned. The successes of other 49ers interior linemen only further highlight Kinlaw’s struggles. The first pick of the Shanahan/Lynch regime, perennial under-achiever Solomon Thomas, is earning praise from the coaching staff for his standout performance in camp. Fellow lineman Kentavius Street has impressed with his strength. 49ers fans already know that DT DJ Jones can be a beast and they may have won a Super Bowl in February if he was on the field to help stop the run. Quite simply the 49ers seem to have the players necessary to fill the gap left by DeForest Buckner. It’s just that none of those players are named Javon Kinlaw. A Super Bowl ready team has to put the best talent on the field, and there is no time for learning on the job. Sorry Javon.

49ers training camp awards: Highs, lows from summer in Santa Clara

Best offensive player

He is big. He is strong. He is nimble. He is everything the 49ers hoped they could find in a left tackle upon Joe Staley’s retirement.

Best defensive player

Middle linebacker Fred Warner brought it to the practice field this summer. He was all over the place, and he played with even more attitude than we’ve seen in the past.

Most encouraging sign

The 49ers remain hopeful wide receiver Deebo Samuel will be ready for the season opener. He appears to be making significant progress after surgery in June to repair a fractured foot.

Samuel definitely is getting antsy. On Sunday, he snuck onto the field when quarterbacks coach Shane Day was holding a teaching session with his group. Samuel, who is on the non-football injury list, managed to catch a couple of soft tosses from Garoppolo before 49ers head athletic trainer Dustin Little noticed and informed the unwitting Samuel that he was prohibited from taking part in any kind of role with his teammates during practice.