Category Archives: Injury updates
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.
No offense to Scott McKillop, but he will never be mistaken for Patrick Willis, the 49ers’ perennial Pro Bowl linebacker.
That said, this is the NFL, where losing any contributor has a complicated domino effect on the lineup and the roster. When McKillop tore his left ACL and patellar tendon at practice Wednesday, and underwent surgery at Stanford Medical Center today, it created some holes – and some opportunities – within the 49ers.
Notes and observations from this morning’s practice in, believe it or not, Seaside…
• Chilo Rachal, who went face down in practice two days ago and was diagnosed with dehydration, was back in action today as the 49ers practiced on the marine-layered Cal State University Monterey Bay soccer field. (More on the ambience later.) In fact, Rachal seemed to come back with a vengeance. He was very physical today, putting DE Ray McDonald on the ground at one point. TE Nate Byham was back, too, by the way.
• Sitting out practice were C Eric Heitmann (stinger), LG David Baas (concussion), TE Delanie Walker (concussion), ILB Scott McKillop (knee) and G Chris Patrick (shoulder). Rookie Mike Iupati again stood in for Baas, while Tony Wragge replaced Heitmann. Rookie NaVorro Bowman got second-team reps in McKillop’s absence.
Jeff Ferguson, the 49ers’ head trainer, had a surprise for the media today, and he watched with a mischievous grin as we “unwrapped” it. Patrick Willis, the heart of the San Francisco defense, and by now the team’s most recognizable player, was back on the field during team period for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair a bursa sack in his right knee in March.
“There’s nothing like being inside the huddle and actually participate in the practice,” Willis said in the locker room afterward. “It was good just to watch and to get my eyes back right again, but it’s even better to be out there practicing.”
There were few changes on the 49ers’ injury report today. Running back Michael Robinson went from limited practice to full practice. Almost everything else remained the same. Left tackle Joe Staley is not officially “out,” but he will not … Continue reading
Niners offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye speaks with the media every Thursday. Today, he let it be known exactly where he stands as it pertains to the question about the 49ers’ quarterback of the future. Raye has been very impressed … Continue reading