SANTA CLARA – I just saw Michael Crabtree working vigorously on an exercise bike. He was bootless. Earlier in the day, Crabtree was seen smiling, and he told reporters he feels encouraged. Matt Maiocco reports Crabtree should be cleared to practice in two weeks, and although he won’t play in any of the preseason games […]
According to Matt Barrows, Reggie Smith tore the meniscus in one of his knees and he will miss a couple of weeks, but it shouldn’t be a serious, long-term injury. Clearly, this is a big reason the Niners resigned Dashon Goldson. Here are my two questions for you: Question 1: If Smith hadn’t hurt his […]
Matt Barrows, the great reporter from the Sacramento Bee, just reported that Michael Crabtree has a foot injury and he could miss four to six weeks of training camp and the preseason. He’s also reporting the 49ers want to sign a veteran wide receiver. This is the third straight year Crabtree’s feet have failed him […]
The San Francisco 49ers lost more than a game Sunday. They lost a wide receiver. And their kickoff returner. And their punt returner. Ted Ginn, who handles all three duties, suffered an MCL sprain in the Niners’ 31-6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday. Multiple sources reported Tuesday that Ginn will miss a few […]
For the first time since Aug. 11, WR Michael Crabtree and TE Vernon Davis were on the field together during 11-on-11 team period.
Crabtree missed nearly two weeks with a neck strain, and didn’t play against the Raiders on Saturday even though he had practiced in the week leading up to the game. Davis hurt his knee going up for a pass from Alex Smith in the first preseason game at Indianapolis, and hasn’t worked in full team drills since. Until today. Both practiced, though it’s uncertain whether either will face the Chargers on Thursday.
Since the start of preseason games, the 49ers’ offense has been missing more parts than the Camaro permanently stashed in my neighbor’s driveway.
The regular season is just 12 days away, and we don’t really know what Jimmy Raye’s platoon will look like at full strength. RB Brian Westbrook joined the team late and finally saw some action against the Raiders on Saturday. TE Vernon Davis tweaked his knee in the first preseason game, at Indianapolis, and hasn’t practiced or played since. WR Michael Crabtree still has never played in an NFL exhibition game. And RB Frank Gore has touched the ball sparingly this preseason.
Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree should play against the Raiders on Saturday night, according to coach Mike Singletary. Brian Westbrook probably will, too. Vernon Davis will not. Three out of four ain’t bad if you’re Alex Smith and the rest of the 49ers’ offense.
Smith was handicapped against the Vikings last week as many of his top skill-position players sat out the game. This week, we should all get a better picture of where the offense stands at the break of training camp.
Smith and his starting offensive line, by the way, should play the entire first half Saturday, and maybe into the second.
Earlier in the day, Jimmy Raye had this to say when I asked him if David Baas had “locked up” the center position in Eric Heitmann’s absence: “I don’t know that that’s the correct phraseology, but I would say he’s in the lead. He has the lead in the clubhouse. Now the rules official may come and say it was a sand trap and it’s a two-stroke penalty, but I think he’s the leader in the clubhouse and … if the guy bogeys at 18, then he has a chance, he has a real chance.”
Solid golf joke, solid analysis.
Since then, however, the situation has gotten a little more interesting. Baas missed the afternoon practice with a stinger suffered in the morning session – which explained why Tony Wragge had gotten first-team reps toward the end of that practice.
The 49ers have avoided major injuries of late, but training camp is starting to look like a war of attrition as we get into the dog days of summer. Five new players joined the unofficial injury list before today’s practice: CB Shawntae Spencer (sore hamstrings), ILB Matt Wilhelm (headaches), WR Jason Hill (groin), T Barry Sims (oblique muscle) and TE Tony Curtis (quadriceps).
None of the five is described as serious. But some of these players, locked in competition for roster spots, can’t afford to miss much time. Hill could be battling Kyle Williams for the final wide receiver job, for example. Curtis might already be on the outside looking in as the 49ers search for a third tight end. And Sims seems to be locked in a battle with Alex Boone and Adam Snyder for a backup spot on the offensive line.
Alex Smith is starting to get his weapons back. WR Michael Crabtree, who injured his neck on Aug. 11 and had been limited to individual work for about a week, was back on the field for team and 7-on-7 work today. And yes, the hands looked as reliable as ever.
TE Vernon Davis, who injured his knee against the Colts on Aug. 15, did not work with teammates. But Davis caught passes from a Jugs machine after practice, coach Mike Singletary made it sound as though he could resume work any day.
With Ahmad Brooks out for gosh-knows-how-long with a lacerated kidney, and with no clear-cut backups to starting outside linebackers Manny Lawson and Parys Haralson, it would seem that veteran Travis LaBoy has a pretty good shot of making the 49ers’ 53-man roster.
So why does LaBoy sound so resigned?
Thursday I asked the Larkspur native how he saw himself fitting into the 49ers’ plans on defense, and this was his reply: “Honestly, to me, it don’t really matter. I’m gonna do the best I can for the time they give me. Whether they keep me or not in the end, I really don’t worry about that.”
Last week, the 49ers pushed the idea that they were starting David Baas at center because they already knew what they had in Tony Wragge. It looked like an open competition for the temporary spot created by Eric Heitmann’s broken fibula.
Now it seems clear that Wragge won’t get a real shot at the job. While Baas continues to get all the work with the first team, Wragge isn’t even getting most of his snaps at center. He has primarily been working at left guard with the second team as Adam Snyder recovers from a concussion. Getting the No. 2 reps at center the past two days has been Cody Wallace.
They were two of the hottest players in training camp this past week, making numerous plays on either side of the ball. And now they’re both dealing with injuries. WR Kyle Williams sprained his right big toe on a second-quarter punt return, while CB Will James sprained his right ankle with about five minutes to play in the game.
James’ situation looked worse at the time. He stayed on the field for several minutes and eventually left on a cart. Williams exited the game more quietly, but was limping noticeably in the locker room afterward and seemed a bit glum.
No idea yet of the severity of the injury, but the bearer of the pain makes it worth monitoring: WR Michael Crabtree went up for an Alex Smith duck during 7-on-7 this afternoon, and landed hard on his back. He stayed down for a minute, then spent much of practice consulting with a trainer on the sideline. The preliminary diagnosis: a neck strain.
Crabtree eventually headed to the training room for further observation.
It wasn’t like Crab had been a big part of the 49ers’ offense in recent practices. He got “veteran courtesy” – not bad for a guy with 11 career NFL games – Tuesday morning and again Wednesday morning. In between, he sat out a special-teams practice.
The 49ers were in shells rather than full pads this afternoon. But if that took an edge off the excitement, they supplemented with a 2-minute drill to end the final team period. Actually, it was a 1:58 drill, with real NFL officials enhancing the experience.
Beginning at their 20-yard line, Alex Smith and his first-team offense had to convert third- and fourth-down plays to stay alive. The former was a pass across the middle to Michael Crabtree on third-and-5, with OLB Parys Haralson closing on Smith; the latter was another connection with Crabtree on fourth-and-3. The first-down spot may have been generous.
On the next play, Smith found Josh Morgan crossing downfield and he took it for a 42-yard gain. There were 21.2 seconds left. After a brief consultation by the coaches, they decided it was close enough to award a phantom game-winning field goal.