© Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
SANTA CLARA – There are six days until the 49ers play their second preseason game against the Denver Broncos and the injury list, at least on Monday, stayed fairly even numbers-wise, despite a few new players finding the sidelines, and some returners.
Injuries and roll call
Returners: Jimmie Ward was involved in practice for the first time after being activated from the PUP list on July 30, wearing a blue jersey. He did not wear pads, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said after Saturday’s 17-9 preseason win over the Dallas Cowboys that Ward would receive (and has received) another round of X-rays to see if he could start working back into practice. His timeline to get into pads isn’t yet clear. Also returning were Arik Armstead, who was previously dealing with a calf issue, along with Malcolm Smith (hamstring tightness) and Jeff Wilson Jr. who had a calf injury sustained very early in camp.
New knocks: Both C.J. Beathard and George Kittle saw the sidelines on Monday, with Beathard dealing with thumb soreness from his last snap of Saturday’s game, when he took a hit in the hand, and Kittle with calf tightness.
Also out: The pair of Deebo Samuel (personal reasons) and Levine Toilolo (reason currently unknown) were not involved in Monday’s practice.
Working back: Along with Jimmie Ward, Kwon Alexander is still being eased back from his ACL tear, with limited reps. It’s unclear whether he’ll play in any preseason games as of yet.
Still out (long term):
- Joey Bosa and Jason Verrett remain on the same timeline with their ankle sprains, to be re-evaluated at the conclusion of the preseason and target a Week 1 start.
- Trent Taylor is still expected back early in the season with a Jones fracture in his pinky toe
- D.J. Jones has a knee sprain and will be out for one-to-two weeks
- Ronald Blair III is still dealing with a groin injury and has been sidelined for the last few practices
- Dee Ford remains dealing with knee tendinitis (unlikely to play in the preseason, although that has not been stated explicitly)
- Joshua Garnett is still recovering from finger surgery and will be out for likely next week following an initial three-week timeline for recovery
- Jerick McKinnon received a plasma-rich platelet injection after severe soreness developed following returning to practice after a “flare-up” in his knee; he’s a candidate for injured reserve as it would create a roster spot and he’s not absolutely necessary at this point, nor has he been able to get healthy
- K’Waun Williams who won’t play in the preseason after having his knee scoped
- Weston Richburg and Garrett Celek remain on PUP with Richburg recovering from thigh and quad surgery, and Celek recovering from back surgery
Practice Report: A whole lot of shovel passes and the first game clock situation
The biggest takeaway from Monday’s practice was the absence of C.J. Beathard and the few snaps which Wilton Speight took in his absence. Beathard cannot really afford to miss many more practices at this point, with Nick Mullens looking like the clear No. 2 thus far. Mullens has had a knack for running successful drives and Monday was no different in the first game clock situation.
Starting from inside his own half (it looked to be at about the 25-yard line), Mullens completed a deep pass to Jalen Hurd following a pair of runs from Kevin Walter and Matt Breida, after an incompletion to Kaden Smith.
After another run play, Mullens hit Hurd again with D.J. Reed Jr. in coverage, then connected with Richie James Jr. against Tim Harris Jr. Following a false start, Walter secured a touchdown run.
As for Jimmy Garoppolo, he did not run a touchdown drive and had a hefty dose of shovels and pitches to Tevin Coleman, with varying degrees of (mostly decent) success. His first completion of that drive was on a deep comeback to Dante Pettis followed by a play action and completion to Marquise Goodwin. Following a huge hit from LaRoy Reynolds on an unsuccessful Matt Breida carry and a short, slightly more successful Breida carry, Garopplo completed a short pass to Coleman.
Reynolds had another stop on the next play, a pitch to Coleman, followed by another Coleman run which was downed at the 1-yard line. On 4th-and-1, Garoppolo rolled right and pump faked a couple of times before throwing an incomplete pass in the end zone to a well-covered Kaden Smith. It was tipped a few times and nearly scooped off the ground for an interception.
Along with Reynolds, Fred Warner stood out for the defense, and James Jr. made a few nice plays along with a red zone TD, as did Kevin Walter. Ross Dwelley also made a nice catch, which is becoming a habit, and Matt Breida had a key block on Garoppolo’s big completion to Pettis. Kentavius Street also created some pressure, along with DeForest Buckner, and both had would-be sacks, and Hurd caught another touchdown, this time from Speight, in a red zone situation. Other than that, and the 3-for-3 with 2 TDs in the red zone which Speight had, it was one of the least eventful practices thus far.