Yesterday Mike Nolan says his toughest opening-day decision might be whether to start Josh Morgan or Bryant Johnson at split end. Today Johnson was back at practice for the first time since Aug. 4. Coincidence? ... Whatever the motivation, Johnson (hamstring) was indeed back on the field today. He took part in individual drills as well as some of the team session. David Baas also was in the lineup, playing left, not right, guard. Is that a signal that Tony Wragge could be the opening-day right guard? It's looking that way ....
In other OL news, Brian de la Puente was back at practice after suffering an arm injury yesterday. Adam Snyder still isn't practicing but he's out of his boot. The hard cast on Jonas Jennings' right hand has been upgraded to a soft cast. Nolan said the hope is for Baas to get 15 to 20 snaps Friday against the Chargers.
- * LB Dontarrious Thomas sprained his shoulder but should be back by tomorrow.
- * If the season started today, Jeff Ulbrich would be the starter at "Ted" linebacker. Takeo Spikes has a little more to learn before he can master the defense.
- * Plans to move Alex Smith during the season? Nolan says there are no plans."We've had zero discussions about Alex not being on the football team," he said.
-- Matt Barrows