SANTA CLARA – Thursday’s practice was the last 49ers practice open to the media this season. It was a light practice – the players wore shorts and went about half speed.
Alex Smith mostly played against the scout-team defense, but when he did face the starters he threw two touchdown passes – one to Kyle Williams in the middle of the end zone – right in front of strong safety Donte Whitner – and the other to Vernon Davis deep down the left sideline.
Vernon Davis was the offensive player of the day. He caught six passes – three for touchdowns. On the deep touchdown pass from Alex Smith, Davis was wide open because he completely faked out Patrick Willis – something you rarely see.
Backup quarterback Josh Johnson, who’s fighting for a roster spot, threw four touchdown passes, including one with the scout-team offense against the starting defense. On that play, Johnson tossed a perfect pass to Brian Tyms in the corner of the end zone. Tyms was tightly covered by Tarell Brown, but Johnson threw it up where only Tyms could grab it.
Chris Culliver’s daily highlight play came in a seven-on-seven red zone drill against the offense. Colin Kaepernick tried to fire a pass in the end zone to Randy Moss, but Culliver jumped in front of the wide receiver and knocked the ball to the ground.
Injured Niners Aldon Smith, Perrish Cox and Cam Johnson all made appearances on the practice field, and none of them were limping.