© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA — The 49ers will begin training camp Thursday without six players.
They have placed guard Jonathan Cooper (knee), receiver Trent Taylor (back), and linebacker Dekoda Watson (calf) on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which falls under the ‘football-related injuries’ characterization. None of the injuries are considered serious. All three players have cleared the rehab stage, but their conditioning needs to be improved before practicing, general manager John Lynch said.
Taylor did not participate in mini-camp throughout May and June.
“We want him to not have his first contact be on the field, get him pushed around a little on the side,” Lynch said.
The 49ers have three more players on the non-football injury list, most notably linebacker Malcolm Smith. The former Seahawks linebacker missed the entire 2017 season, his first with the Niners, with a torn pectoral. Lynch said Smith recently suffered a lower leg injury that will keep him sidelined for a couple days. The 49ers general manager said he was surprised but unconcerned.
“We feel like the prudent thing is to give him a couple days right at the start to make sure he feels good,” Lynch said.
The additional players on the list are rookies Marcell Harris, who continues to recover from a torn Achilles that kept him out of the 2017 college season with Florida, and Kentavius Street, who suffered a torn ACL about a month before April’s NFL draft. Harris has been cleared through the rehab stage. Similar to the players on the PUP list, the 49ers want to ensure his conditioning is right before he practices.