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October 24, 2013
49ers notes: Manningham TD sparks welcome-back celebration

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Welcome back, Mario Manningham.

The 49ers receiver punctuated his comeback from a knee injury this week by catching a long, practice-field touchdown pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick and sparking an impromptu party in the end zone. "(Alex) Boone and everybody else decided it was time to have an eruption," 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said Thursday. "We all had a celebration on the field."

When can Manningham perform similar feats on game days? It's still being determined.

He hasn't played since December when he tore the ACL and PCL ligaments in his left knee during a loss to the Seahawks. He was placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list when the season began and last week joined practice for the first time. From that point the 49ers had a three-week window in which to add him to their 53-man roster.

Asked if Manningham would be back soon, Roman demurred. "It's day to day," he said. "He'll just continue to work day to day and he'll be evaluated day to day."

The 49ers certainly could use help at the position. No wideout other than Anquan Boldin has caught a touchdown for them this season. The team's second-leading pass catcher at the position, Kyle Williams, ranks 103rd in the league among wideouts in receiving yards.

Tight end Vernon Davis revealed Thursday that he's had to pull himself out of the team's Wednesday practice the previous two weeks because of lingering soreness from a hamstring injury he suffered in Week 2.

The injury forced him out of the team's Week 3 loss to the Colts. But in the last three weeks, he's caught 15 passes for 330 yards and three touchdowns. He ranks fourth in the NFL among tight ends in receiving yards behind New Orleans' Jimmy Graham, Cleveland's Jordan Cameron and San Diego's Antonio Gates.

"You have to continue to push through it," Davis said of his injury. "And my team - they need me."

Et cetera - All four of the players who missed Wednesday's practice - receiver Jon Baldwin (illness), defensive ends Justin Smith (shoulder) and Ray McDonald (bicep) and nose tackle Glenn Dorsey (hamstring) - took part in Thursday's practice.

* Fangio said Smith may not practice on Wednesdays for the rest of the season. "I don't know that he'll ever practice full when you get a guy that's 34 years old ... ," he said. "You take care of them during the week so they can be at their best on Sunday."

* The 49ers announced the completion of the first phase of solar panels at their new stadium. The amount of solar energy generated at the stadium and surrounding grounds is expected to offset the power consumed there during the team's games.

Video: English fans embrace return of the 49ers:

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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