49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

August 6, 2007
Franklin injures knee in practice

Some injury news from 49ers training camp this morning. Nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin, one of the team's key acquisitions this offseason, went down with a knee in jury and was carted off the field. The injury occurred on a fake handoff during which the offensive line goes one way and quarterback Alex Smith breaks it back the other.

"It's like the whole line collapsed and he got caught under the pile," fellow defensive lineman Ronnie Fields said.

The official word is that Franklin has a sprained knee. However, teams typically downplay injuries early on. Last week, for example, the official word was that Frank Gore had gotten "nicked" in practice. In fact, he had broken his hand.

If Franklin is out for an extended time, Isaac Sopoaga will take over at nose tackle in the team's 3-4 defense with Fields and rookie Joe Cohen rotating as the back-ups. Cohen has looked so-so so far in camp, but Mike Nolan said he is beginning to see improvement in the rookie. There has been no indication that the 49ers would return to a 4-3 without Franklin.

In other news, Vernon Davis said that he has made nice with guard Larry Allen and that their scuffle on Saturday is now a distant memory. He also had a very interesting response when asked whether he would take a comparison to former 49er Terrell Owens as a compliment.

"No. No. As far as the ability to play the game - that would be a compliment, but other than that ... personality, and things off the field, things like that, I would say, no, I'm not like that."

"I'm going to do my thing, show off when I catch the ball and things like that," he said. "But when it comes down to team, I need these guys. I need these guys the most. That's how I'm getting open and running my routes - because I've got guys like Bryan Gilmore and Ashley Lelie beside me running their routes and doing their jobs."

Suffice to say, Davis' words drew a collective sigh of relief from 49ers headquarters.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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