Jim Harbaugh says he's "hopeful" to see a host of previously injured 49ers return to the practice field for a bonus session Tuesday, including receiver Braylon Edwards. The free-agent signee suffered a meniscus tear on Sept. 18 and has been out since.
Edwards resumed running in recent weeks, and Harbaugh said he saw him work out - including running pass routes - last week. Harbaugh also said he hoped to see fullback Moran Norris (fibula) at the practice. Norris' replacement, rookie Bruce Miller, has played well in recent weeks as the 49ers' running game has found its footing.
Harbaugh said he did not have a policy that protects starters from losing their status because of injury. Instead, he said that moving forward the starting fullback role would be determined by which player, Miller or Norris, practices and plays better.
He said that also would be the case for the No. 3 cornerback position, which was manned by Tramaine Brock before he broke his left hand Sept. 18. More recently, rookie Chris Culliver has been the team's No. 3 cornerback, and he played well in the 49ers' most recent win in Detroit. Brock Tweeted this morning that his cast is due to come off Thursday. His agent said last week that Brock is aiming to return this week or the next.
Harbaugh also is looking for outside linebacker Parys Haralson (hamstring) to take part in Tuesday's practice. He said that Haralson has been "doing a great job" on first and second down, a hint perhaps that there will be no changes, at least immediately, in the starting lineup at the position. "I think he's playing his best football on first and second down," Harbaugh said of Haralson. "... He's someone we're really hopeful is back in the lineup."
Odds & Ends
â€¢ Although he gave his players six days off during the bye, Harbaugh said a number of them stopped by the team facility to work out. It's no surprise that Alex Smith was one of them. Harbaugh said the quarterback was on hand for an "opportunity practice" on Tuesday, returned on Thursday and was at the facility today. All players are due back tomorrow, Tuesday.
â€¢ The 49ers coaching staff returned to work over the weekend to begin preparing for Cleveland. Harbaugh also said he and his staff used the time off to begin looking ahead to November when the 49ers play two east-coast games, including on a short week in Baltimore.
* Harbaugh said he didn't know whether anyone from the 49ers scouting department would be on hand for Terrell Owens' Tuesday workout in Southern California. Owens reportedly suffered an ACL tear earlier this year.
â€¢ Harbaugh's week off included seeing "Disney on Ice" with his kids and taking daughter, Addie, to see, in Harbaugh's words, "The Cat in the Boots" in San Francisco.
â€¢ Harbaugh and some of his assistants -- special teams coordinator Brad Seeley, offensive coordinator Greg Roman, offensive line coach Tim Drevno and quarterbacks coach Geep Chryst -- were on hand for Stanford's game on Saturday.
-- Matt Barrows