The 49ers could face one of three opponents next Saturday. But today they were preparing for one in particular.
When practice began today, practice squad receiver Chad Hall was in a No. 18 jersey while wideout Ricardo Lockette was wearing No. 87. Tight end Garrett Celek, meanwhile, was dressed in a No. 88 jersey. The logical conclusion: The 49ers are getting a head start on preparing for the Green Bay Packers and their offensive weapons Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley.
The 49ers could host the No. 3 seed Packers, the No. 5 Seahawks or the No. 4 Redskins on Jan. 12. Cornerback Tarell Brown said the 49ers spent most of Thursday looking at Washington, the only team of the three San Francisco hasn't played this season. Friday was dedicated to the Packers, whom the 49ers faced in Week 1. The 49ers played the Seahawks twice this year, including on Dec. 23.
Brown said the 49ers haven't done any in-depth work on any of their possible opponents yet. "We just went over the basics, the vanilla - watched their game against us," Brown said of the Packers. "But they're playing a lot better. Their defense is getting a lot of turnovers. Offense is scoring points, as usual. So it will be exciting this weekend to see who comes out with that victory."
The Packers host the No. 6 seed, the Vikings on Saturday.
* Justin Smith was on the field for the second straight day. He's still wearing a brace on his left arm. The brace presumably prevents him from bending his elbow all the way and stretching his partially torn triceps tendon.
* Jim Harbaugh once again was intently watching his kickers during warm-ups. Both David Akers and Billy Cundiff were accurate, but Cundiff seemed to have a little more pop. His kickoffs reportedly were impressive when he tried out earlier this week.
-- Matt Barrows