Aubrayo Franklin may not be in game shape, but he sounds ready to go 15 rounds.
Franklin, the 49ers’ 30-year-old nose tackle who held out through Friday’s final day of training camp, passed a physical and signed a one-year, $7.003 million franchise tender Saturday before San Francisco played the Raiders.
Franklin won’t play against Oakland, but is expected to see time in the final preseason game Thursday night against visiting San Diego.
During a six-minute media session about two hours before kickoff, Franklin said he stayed in great shape despite missing the training-camp grind.
Franklin said he’s lowered his body fat and maintained last year’s playing weight of 317 pounds. He attributed his fitness to a training program heavy on boxing.
Working out in Atlanta with a personal trainer, Franklin pounded on a speed bag during sessions meant to replicate a Sunday afternoon in the trenches.
One minute of punching. Forty-five seconds off. Rinse and repeat 64 times, about the number of plays in an NFL game.
Franklin, who worked out with NFL players that included the Jets’ Calvin Pace and the Ravens’ Ed Reed and Willis McGahee, is eager to get a little game action before the season opener at Seattle on Sept. 13.
“It’s different from going out practicing, going against live competition,” he said.
Franklin’s timing, of course, appears impeccable. But he insisted his post-training-camp arrival was not premeditated.
“We just came to a decision that it was time for me to come back,” he said.
– Eric Branch