On day 9 of training camp, the San Francisco 49ers returned to practice after a day off with several wide receivers back in the lineup. Receivers A.J. Jenkins, Kyle Williams, Ricardo Lockette, and Kassim Osgood rejoined practice after missing time due to injuries. Also back at practice were linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Aldon Smith. In addition, Mike Iupati and Tarell Brown practiced. However, Joe Staley, who had not missed a day of practice yet, did not practice. Also absent were Jonathan Goodwin, Patrick Willis, and Justin Smith.
The offense featured many solid performances on this day. Jenkins made a few good catches, despite dealing with a hamstring strain in previous days, including a 50-yard touchdown pass. Receivers Austin Collie and Lavelle Hawkins ran extra routes while special teams practiced. Quarterback BJ Daniels again practiced at multiple positions. Tight end Vernon Davis made a one-handed catch from Colin Kaepernick on a fade route. Davis sat out the last part of practice with a foot injury. Receiver Marlon Moore had 3 catches for 30 yards. Receiver Kyle Williams made a 20-yard td reception on his return from injury.
The defense also featured several notable performances. Day nine offered Eric Reid’s turn to practice with the first-team at free safety, after the team had rotated Craig Dahl, C.J. Spillman, and Trenton Robinson. Linebacker Aldon Smith had 3 sacks. Bowman also sacked both Kaepernick and Daniels. Cornerback Tramaine Brock intercepted a McCoy pass to Moore and returned it for a touchdown. Linebacker Michael Wilhoite intercepted Kaepernick. Perrish Cox also had a good day.
A few weak spots showed at this practice as well. Guard Adam Snyder, practicing in place of Staley, allowed a sack by linebacker Cam Johnson. Tight end Vance McDonald dropped 3 passes, and earned a false start penalty. Kaepernick also seemed to struggle, throwing one pick and failing to score a touchdown in 3 attempts from the 8-yard line.
After practice, head coach Jim Harbaugh, cornerback Carlos Rogers, and running back LaMichael James spoke to the media. Harbaugh praised the work that James has put in at camp, especially as a punt returner. James himself feels that he has a better understanding of the game and his role in it. He could well be the 49ers punt returner when the season starts. Rogers talked about the impact of losing Chris Culliver for the season. He relies on having a certain comfort level with the other defensive backs, like he had with Culliver. Perhaps Rogers can work on improving that comfort level with the other defensive backs in the 49ers first preseason game this Thursday, August 8 versus the Denver Broncos. Linebacker Patrick Willis is not expected to play in this game but A. J. Jenkins should see a good amount of playing time.