Another prominent member of the 49ers went down with an injury in practice today. Chris Culliver, the team's No. 3 cornerback, was running down the field on a one-on-one punt coverage drill with rookie Marcus Cooper blocking him when he fell to the ground and clutched his left knee. Culliver immediately summoned a trainer and eventually was carted into the the team's training room, his head in his hands.
Jim Harbaugh looked in on Culliver while he was down, and general manager Trent Baalke put his arm around him before he was carted away.
Culliver did not start last year, but he had a large role as the team's third-best cornerback, entering games on the outside when opponents used three wide receivers. He played 63 percent of the 49ers' defensive snaps last season.
With Culliver out today, more snaps will go to newcomer Nnamdi Asomugha, who on Wednesday had perhaps his best practice since joining the 49ers. Perrish Cox, Tramaine Brock, Cooper and undrafted rookies Darryl Morris and Lowell Rose also will see more action. The team also would not rule out signing free-agent cornerback Eric Wright, who did not pass a physical with the team last month.
Meanwhile, linebacker Patrick Willis is out of practice with a black cast on his fractured right hand. Fellow starters NaVorro Bowman (groin), Aldon Smith and Jonathan Goodwin also are not practicing. Neither are receivers Kyle Williams, Kassim Osgood and A.J. Jenkins.
Culliver appeared to hurt his shoulder late in Wednesday's practice; he was on hand for the start of today's session.
-- Matt Barrows