49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

June 16, 2011
Kaepernick close to cutting loose; Johnson's peculiar passenger

Colin Kaepernick hasn't been given the medical green light to "cut loose" yet, but he's getting close. The 49ers quarterback revealed today that he ran two miles at Stanford Hospital as part of his rehabilitation from a surgical procedure on his left leg. He's also been throwing regularly at the recent workout sessions at San Jose State. Kaepernick had the operation in early May and has been mum on the details.


Kaepernick took only warm-up throws during last week's offensive minicamp. When the actual practices got underway, he yielded to veterans Alex Smith and David Carr. Kaepernick said that was due more to his lack of timing with the offense and the receivers than it was the injury.

Still, he said the sessions were valuable.

"It's been good just to be able to get that mental aspect of it," he said. "Being out there, being able to hear the play calls and see how everything is going to work, going through progressions, things like that. It's a little different when you just see it on a piece of paper versus when you're actually out there."

Kaepernick said the rehabilitation sessions at Stanford are designed to get his length strength back to normal. About the only thing he hasn't been cleared to do are high-impact things like jumping. During the players' bleacher workout on Monday, for instance, Kaepernick worked on abdominal exercises instead.

"I'm a little anxious for the doctors to really cut me loose and say, go ahead," he said. " ... I'm kind of on their time. They're just trying to take every precaution. I feel like I might be able to do more than they think."

You've probably heard that trust is an essential ingredient in the quarterback-receiver relationship. Alex Smith already has established it with rookie wideout Ronald Johnson. Smith, who bought Johnson a plane ticket from Michigan in early May, has gone a step farther this time. He's lent Johnson a car.

And more than that, I'm told it's his wife's car. Smith drives a plain old pickup. The automobile that Johnson has been using is decidedly nicer. (I'm not going to give the make and model, but suffice to say it's a German motor car).

But wait, there's more. When he was pulling out of the parking lot the other day, Johnson had a peculiar passenger next to him. Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press Democrat did a nice job detailing Johnson's interesting - dare we say intimate - relationship with his football, which he sleeps with and which he has labeled: Son. I got to see Son up close - propped up in the passenger seat of Alex Smith's car with a seat belt (lap and shoulder restraints) around it.

After all, you can never be too cautious when it comes to your children.

Congratulations to one-time 49ers public relations intern Dan Beckler, who today was named the team's Coordinator of Public Relations.

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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