It's good news, bad news when it comes to the 49ers' ever-changing situation at outside linebacker.
First the bad: Parys Haralson, who has started the last two preseason games, was absent for the start of practice as was Eric Bakhtiari, who took a knee to the side of the helmet on Sunday and left the game. It's not known what prevented Haralson from attending.
The good news is that Aldon Smith (hip) is moving a lot better than he was last week and that rookie Cam Johnson (knee) was back at practice for the first time since Aug. 8. Johnson said he planned to play Thursday; Jim Harbaugh said that Smith would play.
The other players at the position are starter Ahmad Brooks, Kenny Rowe and Ikaika Alama-Francis. Rookie Kourtnei Brown was cut Monday.
The other practice absentees were Ted Ginn (ankle), Brandon Jacobs (knee), Demarcus Dobbs (leg) and Mario Manningham (death in the family).
LaMichael James, who missed Sunday's game, was seen fielding punts and showed no ill effects of the sprained ankle he suffered Aug. 18. NaVorro Bowman (knee) and Chris Culliver (knee) also were back.
-- Matt Barrows