Three straight padded practices have taken their toll on the 49ers' already-cloudy wide receiver competition. During today's session, both A.J. Jenkins and Kassim Osgood walked over to the side field where players rehabilitate from injuries and did not rejoin the practice session.
Jenkins appeared to pull a hamstring; Osgood was working on his hip. The team began the day without Kyle Williams (hamstring) and, of course, Mario Manningham (ACL) and Michael Crabtree (Achilles'), who are on the physically unable to perform list. Meanwhile, fourth-round pick Quinton Patton can't jump into the void because he is dealing with a broken finger and is unable to catch passes.
The first-string wideouts today were Anquan Boldin, who had another prolific outing, and Marlon Moore, who has been perhaps the most consistent of the large group of receivers competing to be the No. 2 wideout opposite Boldin Sept. 8.
On Sunday, Ricardo Lockette appeared to suffer a hip pointer. He toughed it out through the end of that session and was back today. However, the injury seemed to impede his movement. Moore has continued to practice despite a tweaked ankle. With so many receivers out, jack-of-all trades B.J. Daniels was used at the position at times today.
The good news: There were three big plays down field at the end of practice, all courtesy of Colin Kaepernick, who appears to have his deep ball in tip-top form in late July.
Kaepernick first hit Anquan Boldin deep down the left sideline. Boldin had gotten behind C.J. Spillman, who spent his second straight practice as the starting free safety opposite Dante Whitner. Kaepernick connected with Chad Hall on a slightly shallower pass and saved his best for a long and nicely placed, 50-yard touchdown to Vernon Davis, who beat both Patrick Willis and Spillman.
Willis later said he felt he had perfect coverage on the play but that Kaepernick's arm strength and Davis' speed allowed the quarterback to float the pass further to the side and allow the tight end to run beneath it. To hear Willis gush, it may have been the best pass of 49ers' training camp so far.
Here's the tally from 11-on-11 and team drills
Anquan Boldin: eight targets, seven receptions
Vance McDonald: five targets, two receptions, one false start
Chad Hall: four targets, three receptions
Charly Martin: three targets, three receptions
Chuck Jacobs: three targets, two receptions
Marlon Moore: three targets, one reception
Vernon Davis: two targets, two receptions
Garrett Celek: two targets, two receptions
Bruce Miller: two targets, two receptions
MarQueis Gray: two targets, no receptions
Ricardo Lockette: one target, one reception
LaMichael James: one target, one reception
Anthony Dixon: one target, one reception
Quinton Patton: one target, no reception (Patton has been instructed to allow the passes to go past him)
Jason Schepler: one target, no receptions
Starting center Jonathan Goodwin was not on hand today. Daniel Kilgore took over with the first-string offense while Adam Snyder played center with the reserves; ... Inside linebacker NaVorro Bowman did not practice, either. Michael Wilhoite played well next to Willis. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Bowman "had a little something; just being cautious with it."
With Darius Fleming (ACL) out for the season, the team signed undrafted rookie Travis Johnson today. Johnson spent his first practice with the inside linebackers. Fangio said Johnson, a defensive end at San Jose State, also could see some time at outside linebacker.
How did seventh-round pick Daniels fare at receiver? Kaepernick threw him two passes during 7-on-7 drills. The first was knocked down by by Wilhoite. The next throw was a nice touch pass over Aldon Smith, who had dropped into coverage, to Daniels down the sideline.
Rookie Nick Moody dropped a would-be interception on a pass from Colt McCoy during 7-on-7 drills. On the next play, Nnamdi Asomugha nearly picked off another McCoy pass.
- Matt Barrows