Another day, another bit of drama for the 49ers.
Safety Michael Lewis was not at practice this morning due to what Mike Singletary termed “personal reasons.” Lewis’ absence comes four days after the NFL Network reported that Lewis and linebacker Takeo Spikes would be benched for Sunday’s game against the Falcons.
Singletary, who said Wednesday there would be no changes to the starting lineup, said he wasn’t sure if Lewis would make the trip to Atlanta. He didn’t answer directly when asked if Lewis would have been in the starting lineup Sunday.
“I don’t want to get into if he was here and all that stuff,” Singletary
said. “All I know is he’s not here for personal reasons.”
Singletary, speaking about two hours before the departure of the team
flight to Atlanta, had said earlier, “I told him to go ahead and do what he
has to do. As far as if he’s going to make the trip or not, I’m not sure
at this point. It depends on if things get worked out or not. Once
again, personal reasons. That’s on Mike. I don’t talk about that. You’d
have to talk to him about that.”
If Lewis, 30, doesn’t play Sunday, it would mark just the second game
he’s missed – or hasn’t started — in four seasons in San Francisco.
Lewis, who missed one game last year due to a concussion, has started 50
of the Niners’ 51 games since arriving in 2007 as a free agent from
Linebacker Manny Lawson said he wasn’t sure why Lewis was absent today.
“I need to find out what’s going on,” Lawson said. “I think it could be family related. I’m not sure what’s going on with him.”
It’s expected that Reggie Smith would start in Lewis’ place with rookie
safety Taylor Mays, a second-round draft pick, likely seeing his first
action on defense after only playing on special teams in the season’s
first three games.
“If I have to play on Sunday, then I’ll play,” Mays said. “I’ll be ready
to play. I’ve been ready to play so it’s not like it’s any difference.
I’m approaching this the same way. They’ve been preparing for me to play
for when I need to step in and help the team.”