The 49ers' afternoon practice had more pep, more crispness and more jazz - more on that below - than the morning session, but it was still missing something: a number of key players. One of those was former first-round draft pick Kentwan Balmer, who isn't injured but who did not attend practice.
Asked about that absence, Mike Singletary cited "personal reasons," adding that he and Balmer "have to talk and we have to figure some things out." He didn't offer any more than that. Balmer had surgery to repair a torn labrum (shoulder) in the offseason and returned to practice as OTAs ended in June. He has been a backup at both left and right defensive end so far in camp.
After a languid, injury-filled morning practice, the afternoon session was done without pads and finished in about 90 minutes, making it the shortest double-day session so far. A number of players were given so-called veteran courtesies, others were injured.
Veteran courtesy: Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Michael Lewis and Takeo Spikes.
Injured: NaVorro Bowman (shoulder; Singletary said he'd be back tomorrow), CB Phillip Adams (hamstring), Eric Heitmann (broken fibula), OLB Martail Burnett (knee sprain), Ahmad Brooks (lacerated kidney), Brandon Jones (hamstring), Travis LaBoy (concussion). Joe Staley was back at practice after suffering a neck sprain. Receiver Josh Morgan didn't miss any time with his own stiff neck and had a strong practice.
One of the ways Singletary tried to lift the mood of his players: By piping jazz music during practice. I'm not sure how many 20-somethings get pumped by the bee bop of Louis Armstrong, but it definitely was a change of pace.
Earlier today, Adam Caplan of FoxSports reported that the 49ers agreed to terms with OLB Bruce Davis. The 49ers would not confirm that report, but it may be because Davis, a UCLA product, has not yet signed his deal. It makes sense: With Brooks, LaBoy and Burnett down, the 49ers are low on OLBs. Davis is listed as 6-3, 252. He was a third-round pick for the Steelers in 2008 but was cut before the season began that year. He's also been waived by the Patriots and Broncos. (Gee, that 2008 draft was rough; see first item).
-- Matt Barrows