Running back Trent Richardson only will have two full practices this week with his new team, the Colts, but the 49ers are expecting to see a lot of the big tailback on Sunday.
"A lot of times when you get a trade like this during the season, it's when a guy was holding out or something, and he's really not ready to go," defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said today of the Wednesday deal that sent Richardson from Cleveland to Indianapolis. "This guy's ready to go. I expect him to play a bunch on Sunday."
Fangio and the 49ers said they wouldn't alter their game plan. But they had to account for the fact that, at 225 pounds, Richardson is bigger and is a more aggressive runner than the Colts previous starter, Vick Ballard and his understudies, Ahmad Bradshaw and Donald Brown. Ballard tore his ACL on Sunday and is out for the season.
The 49ers learned of the trade during their Wednesday afternoon practice. Linebacker Patrick Willis said the defense watched some film of Richardson after that session and studied him a bit more on Thursday. "He's a good running back," Willis said. "You don't know why Cleveland would let go of a guy like that, but for whatever reason that is, he's a Colt now and that's what we'll have to get ready for."
Safety Eric Reid played against Richardson, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2012 draft, twice when he was at LSU and Richardson at Alabama.
"He's an SEC running back," Reid said. "He definitely looks the part, as you can tell. He runs just like it. You've got to gang tackle him. ... I don't think we necessarily change the game plan. You just recognize it might take a little but more oomph to get him on the ground."
Reid, who suffered a concussion on Sunday, said he's passed all of his post-concussion tests this week and had a successful visit to the neurologist Wednesday. The last step in that protocol is simulated contact, which will occur at the end of the week.
Reid said he was surprised by the concussion because he didn't have any while at LSU and because the hit, on Seahawks receiver Sidney Rice, was not helmet-to-helmet. Reid led with his shoulder and seemed to take the brunt of the impact with the shoulder.
He said he felt fine shortly after being helped off the field. "I wanted to go back in but they hid my helmet somewhere," he said.
Fangio, meanwhile, said he expected all of his injured starters, including Reid, defensive end Ray McDonald (ankles) and Justin Smith (shoulder) would be on hand for the Colts game. "I think we'll be fine by game day," he said.
Another injured starter, tight end Vernon Davis, was seen in the locker room with a bandage around his left hamstring. Like McDonald and Smith, Davis did not practice Wednesday. Asked about Davis' availability, offensive coordinator Greg Roman said, " I don't know what kind of blood he has going through his body, but it heals really well."
-- Matt Barrows