The NFL has granted the 49ers a roster exemption for defensive end Kentwan Balmer, who has missed the last three days of training camp. That exemption allows the team to utilize Balmer's roster spot without releasing him. It also potentially gives the 49ers the right to withhold Balmer's paychecks during the preseason. The 49ers now are allowed to have 81 players on their training camp roster. They currently have 79.
Contacted yesterday evening outside his Santa Clara home, Balmer said he was on his way to meet with coach Mike Singletary and that he hoped to return to the team. "Hopefully the 49ers know that they're in my heart and in my prayers at all times," he said. "But everybody falls on hard times. I just hope they support me. I want to be out there with them. Hopefully this meeting goes well, and, we'll see." That meeting took place, but Balmer is not expected to be at practice today, either. Balmer has been absent since Monday.
The team had a workout scheduled with former Oregon defensive end Will Tukuafu, who presumably was being eyed to take the practice repetitions that normally go to Balmer. That workout, however, was called off, according to Tukuafu's agent, Marc Lillibridge.
**UPDATE** Tukuafu's workout is back on, Lillibridge said. Tukuafu needs to pass a physical before the 49ers can sign him.
-- Matt Barrows