49ers Blog and Q&A

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

August 21, 2007
What break? Gore catching balls in practice

Even a broken hand can't keep Frank Gore out of practice. The running back, who is an admitted practice-a-holic, went through individual drills Tuesday as he has from time to time, but also took part in some non-contact work against the defensive backs.

Lining up in the backfield, Gore attempted to catch a swing pass from Alex Smith with his left (unbroken) hand, but it fell to the ground. Later, he was able to gather in an easier five-yard dump-off from Smith. He was wearing a protective cast on his ailing right hand.

The prognosis on Gore's broken hand remains the same: He should be ready for the season opener on Sept. 10 and could even find his way into the preseason finale on Aug. 30.

In other training-camp news ...

Mike Nolan reiterated that he would play his starters for at least a half Saturday in Chicago. As far as individual playing time, he said he and his coaching staff would discuss that tonight. He did say that he thought right tackle Joe Staley could enter the game sooner than the third series, which is when he entered against the Raiders.

Nolan also said that he hoped Walt Harris (calf) and Patrick Estes (ankle) would play. Both practiced on Tuesday with Estes filling in with the first-team unit for Jonas Jennings who is resting a sore back. Darrell Jackson, Arnaz Battle and Hannibal Navies (ankle) also missed practiced. Defensive end Bryant Young (back) practiced some, but Nolan said he didn't expect Young to play against the Bears.

Receiver C.J. Brewer immediately grabbed his right knee and fell to the grass after catching a pass from Shaun Hill. It seemed that the knee buckled when Brewer tried to stop. The 49ers are calling it a sprain, but they will have more information tomorrow after tests are performed. Brewer was carted off the field.

Vickiel Vaughn practiced along-side Keith Lewis at safety with the second-string defense. In fact, it was Vaughn's interception of a wobbly pass from Hill that ended the afternoon practice.

The stork sure was busy this weekend. Just as an exhausted Taylor Jacobs was arriving at Monster Park following the birth of his son, Marques Douglas was heading in the opposite direction. Douglas said he was pulling into his parking space at about 4 p.m. when he got a call from his wife - she was going into labor. Douglas put his truck in reverse and about an hour a half later witnessed the birth of his second child, a 6 lb., 7 oz. baby girl named Cadence. Douglas, of course, missed the game but was back at practice today.

Rookie Dashon Goldson said there is too much swelling in his right elbow for doctors to get an accurate read as far as how long he'll be out of action. Goldson, who was wearing an Ace bandage on the joint Tuesday, said he wanted to return for the team's preseason finale in San Diego. "I'm feeling good already," he said. "I hope I'll be back next week."

Kat Madariaga, the team's persistent publicity manager, wanted me to remind everyone that single-game tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster Saturday at 10 a.m. They start at $59 each (Um, why not $49, Kat?) and fans can get up to six tickets per game. I, of course, get in free of charge (don't hate me) but if I were a paying customer, these are the games that would most tempt me to break open my wallet:

* Sept. 10 vs. Arizona. Monday night. Bill Walsh tribute. Throwback jerseys. I have a feeling Monster Park is going to be a mad house.

* Oct. 7 vs. Baltimore. Nolan faces his old team for the first time. It's also a chance to see the old Ray Lewis and the new Ray Lewis (Patrick Willis) on the same field.

* Oct. 28 vs. New Orleans. The Saints are a Super Bowl favorite right now. Will they still be one in late October?

* Dec. 15 vs. Cincinnati. Ocho-cinco vs. Nate Clements. Need I say more?

-- 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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