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. Singletary said he wasn’t yet sure whether David Carr or Nate Davis would follow Smith out of the bullpen. Bobby Guillory will get some punt/kickoff returns. Kevin Jurovich should get one or two, and maybe Phillip Adams as well.
“The guys that we know what they can do, we’re not gonna expose ‘em as much. The guys that we don’t know, we gotta put ‘em on the field and find out what they’re about,” Singletary said. “That’s kind of what it comes down to.”
Other notes and observations from the final real practice of 2010 training camp…
• Camp was supposed to end Friday with two practices. Instead, the 49ers will walk through a walk-through, with no media availability. In effect, they will be dead to us until game time Saturday.
Camp Singletary went in like a lion and out like a lamb. The closer we got to the finish line, the less violence and intensity we witnessed. No surprise there. You want to enter the regular season with as few damaged players as possible. But practices like today’s non-padded clash were slightly more exciting than the Westminster Kennel Club competitions.
It was plenty of first-team offense vs. third-team defense and first-team defense vs. third-team offense this afternoon, mostly with predictable results.
• CB Shawntae Spencer (hamstrings), C David Baas (stinger) and T Alex Boone (dehydration) returned to practice. WR Jason Hill (groin) took part in position drills but not team period. That left Vernon Davis (knee), ILB Matt Wilhelm (headaches), T Barry Sims (oblique), TE Tony Curtis (quad) and OLB Brandon Long (knee) among the wounded.
• Baas was back at center, making it likely he will start against the Raiders and beyond as Eric Heitmann rehabs his broken fibula.
• Practicing goal-line plays, the 49ers brought in Adam Snyder as an extra tackle, lined up TEs Delanie Walker and Nate Byham, and stacked Frank Gore behind Moran Norris in the backfield. Anthony Dixon also got some short-yardage snaps at HB.
• CB Karl Paymah intercepted a Nate Davis pass after batting it at the line, and S Michael Lewis picked fourth QB Jarrett Brown. Lewis should have victimized Brown a second time, but couldn’t hang onto his deep pass into the end zone.
• OLB Manny Lawson knocked down one of Davis’ throws.
• It wasn’t all bad news for the underdogs. Brown completed a pass to Jurovich between the coverage of CB Nate Clements and S Dashon Goldson.