SANTA CLARA – Here’s what stood out to me during the 49ers’ 11th day of training camp, a joint practice with the Houston Texans.
THE NOT SO GOOD
1. Colin Kaepernick. Didn’t throw a pass for the second practice in a row. Took only a few reps during team drills and either handed off the ball or ran with it. Didn’t even throw a single pass during warmups. His throwing shoulder clearly bothers him. After practice, Kaepernick told the media he’s been feeling “tightness” in his shoulder. Click here to read the full transcript of his press conference.
2. WR Quinton Patton. Made two catches early during team drills before he seemed to injure himself. Then he watched the rest of practice from the sideline.
3. WR DeAndre Smelter. Made zero catches during team drills. May not have even participated – I have no idea. Never saw the guy. Smelter is the invisible man. I predict he spends the season on the Injured Reserve list.
4. WR Devon Cajuste. Dropped two passes during team drills. Turned his head around late on the second drop and almost got hit with the ball. “Eyes!” quarterback Blaine Gabbert shouted at Cajuste.
5. DE Arik Armstead. Missed another practice due to a shoulder injury. Seemed to be favoring the shoulder during practice. This injury could be more serious than the team is letting on.
6. CB Rashard Robinson. Gave up a deep touchdown catch to Jaelen Strong during 1-on-1s.
7. CB Jimmie Ward. Broke up a deep pass intended for rookie wide receiver Will Fuller during 7-on-7s, then gave up two deep catches to Fuller during 11-on-11s. Ward is a highly aggressive, highly athletic, highly undisciplined corner who seems to get burned deep every practice.
8. CB Tramaine Brock. Gave up five catches and broke up none. Gave up a short touchdown catch to DeAndre Hopkins during a red-zone drill and a long catch to Hopkins on a back-shoulder fade route.
1. WR DeAndre Hopkins. The best player on the field. The Niners could use a guy like him.
2. WR Jerome Simpson. Made the catch of the day for the Niners – a long catch down the sideline. Simpson beat Texans corner A.J. Bouye with a stop-and-go double move on the play. Simpson has been one of the best receivers on the team during training camp. He may take Smelter’s roster spot.
3. WR Bruce Ellington. Led the offense in catches for the second practice in a row. Beat Texans’ No. 1 cornerback Kareem Jackson five times – once during 1-on-1s, and four times during team drills. Jackson simply could not cover him.
4. S Jaquiski Tartt. Intercepted a pass for the second practice in a row.
5. QB Jeff Driskel. Made the best pass of the day for the second practice in a row. This one was a deep throw to slot receiver Bryce Treggs who caught the ball over his shoulder just before he ran out of bounds.
6. QB Blaine Gabbert. Took every first-string rep and completed 19-of-26 passes (three passes were dropped) during 7-on-7s and 11-on-11s. Gabbert seems to play much better when he doesn’t have to compete with Kaepernick.
Here are my practice notes: