It's looking more and more like Alex Smith will be under center when the 49ers play the Giants on Sunday. Smith hung around headquarters this weekend and on Saturday threw close to 100 passes to tight end Billy Bajema, who was rehabbing an ankle injury. The longest passes the threw, Smith said, were between 50 and 55 yards. Smith said he expects to practice Wednesday, and once he gets an OK from the doctors, he will be cleared to play against the Giants. One of the team doctors visited with Smith on the practice field today and said his separated shoulder looked good. Smith now has a full range of motion, which he demonstrated to the press corps that had assembled in front of his locker. Impressive indeed.
Several readers have been asking about Jason Hill. The rookie looked good in practice today, catching several deep balls including one in which he did a nice job of keeping his toes in bounds. But he said that his hamstring injury, while improving, is not yet healed. Hill, who when healthy is one of the fastest 49ers, remains optimistic that he'll soon get his shot. "My freshman year (at Washington State) I went the whole year without a catch and broke the record my sophomore year," he said.
Like Smith, Vernon Davis seems likely to return against the Giants. Davis took part in individual drills today and says he's ready for full participation Monday. Davis went home to Washington, D.C. this weekend to meet his two-week-old baby boy, Jianni. Will the youngster be a 49ers fan or a Redskins fan? "He'll be a 49ers fan," Davis said. "Wherever his daddy is."
The 49ers filled the open spot on their practice squad with guard Tavares Washington.
-- Matt Barrows