@mattbarrows When will Manningham come back, and does he steal the #2 job back right away?— Tim Desrosiers (@MonsterGore) August 8, 2013
A: No one has said when exactly Mario Manningham will return. However, he and Kendall Hunter both have been rehabilitating on a side field during practices. Hunter has been doing more -- cutting, pulling heavy chains, sprinting at full speed -- than Manningham, and Hunter still hasn't been cleared for practice. I realize their injuries are different - Hunter tore his Achilles' while Manningham had a torn ACL - and that could account for differences in their rehab routines. But it still seems as if Manningham has a few more steps to go before he can get back on the field.
As for stealing the No. 2 role ... Remember, Manningham never was the no. 2 receiver in New York. He came in on third downs, which was similar to his role with the 49ers last year. I'm not sure the 49ers see him (or Kyle Williams, for that matter) as an every-down type player. They are small guys, and their injuries last year only reinforce the concern that they can't withstand every-down pounding for 16 or more games. It's another reason to expect some sort of rotation at the position during the season.
A: I don't know about this Quentin Patton fellow, but Quinton Patton has been practicing with a blue, non-contact jersey. He's been instructed not to catch the ball due to a broken forefinger on his right hand suffered just before the start of training camp. For example, he ran a route three days ago and then ducked as the ball sailed over his head. (It reminded me of the infamous Brandon Lloyd gif). All of which is to say, no, I don't think Patton would get on the field because I don't think blue, non-contact jerseys are permitted in games.
@mattbarrows what is best way to discern tonite if Okoye and Jenkins are effective and improving besides stats?— David Light (@DlightnHim) August 8, 2013
A: I don't know how much press coverage the Broncos will play, but it will be interesting to see if Jenkins gets off the line of scrimmage cleanly tonight. Okoye definitely has looked better against tall tackles than shorter guards, who have been able to get beneath his shoulder pads and root him off the line of scrimmage. Watch to see whether he gets stood up at the line. If he merely holds his ground, that could be considered a win for a novice like him.
@mattbarrows will justin smith be the same Justin as he was before his injury?— Jose Ocampo (@JoSay07) August 8, 2013
A: Yes, but you may have to wait until Sept. 8 to see for yourself. Smith is unlikely to play against the Broncos due to a middle finger injury. (I'm not sure he would have played even if his middle finger were intact). Demarcus Dobbs would start in his place. But his triceps injury has healed in full. He's bench-pressing more than 400 pounds, which is what he was putting up before the injury.
A: Will Tukuafu. Nickname: Will Power? ... The Tongan Terror ... King Tong-a?
A: Duh? So his offensive teammates can project game film on it.
--- Matt Barrows