Left Guard Adam Snyder had to leave practice today after injuring his ankle. Coach Mike Nolan said he didn't think that Snyder would be able to play in Thursday's preseason game in Chicago but that the ankle would be re-examined before he was ruled out. "Hopefully, it's not any more serious than this game. Right now I'm led to believe it won't be," Nolan said. One solution may be to move right guard Tony Wragge to the left side and put second-round draft pick Chilo Rachal on the right. Rachal has been Wragge's back-up during camp. "You know what, I can't answer that for sure right now," Nolan said when asked who would start at left guard against the Bears.
The 49ers, of course, lost one of their starting guards when David Baas tore a pectoral tendon in April. Baas has been making a steady recovery and there is an outside chance he may see some action in the preseason finale Aug. 29. While he has been recuperating, Wragge has been filling in nicely. In fact, Wragge's looked so good that there has been talk of moving him to the left side -- and pushing Snyder -- when Baas eventually returns. Wragge started two games at left guard in 2006 in place of Larry Allen.
The 49ers had a couple of high-profile observers at practice today. Both John and Jed York were on the sideline through most of the session and were joined by chief contract negotiator Paraag Marathe midway through. The Yorks, of course, have plenty of money invested in two quarterbacks -- Alex Smith and Shaun Hill -- who appear destined to start the regular season on the sideline. After practice, Nolan was asked whether that investment figures into the team's decision on picking a quarterback.
Said Nolan: "This decision's going to be based on who we feel at this point gives us the best chance to win. That's what we'll do. But the other things ...." Later he was asked a similar question about concerns about salary-cap ramifications. "When you get into the long road, yes," he said. "But on the short term -- when you're just taking it one game at a time during the season -- no. But in the long haul, you do."
Now for your daily dose of "Your eyes are deceiving you".... Nolan was asked whether Shaun Hill, who has run the scout team for the last two opponents, had fallen out of the running for the starting job. "There's been no decision made," he said. "All we're doing is keeping the same process we've been doing."
-- Matt Barrows