The injury to San Francisco 49ers RB Kendall Hunter was clearly the lowlight of the day, however there were some positives at yesterday’s practice starting with TE Derek Carrier. According to Sacramento Bee’s Matt Barrows, Carrier recorded at least three receptions in 11-on-11 drills. A good sign for Carrier as he tries and takes advantage of the opportunity due to TE Garrett Celek recovering from a back injury, Carrier is slowly making a name for himself as he builds rapport with new backup QB Blaine Gabbert.
Speaking of Gabbert he did a fine job himself as he threw tight spirals with pinpoint accuracy all while looking the part of a former first-round pick. However, he did have some passes that sailed away from receivers so it wasn’t like he was perfect. And if you’re wondering how TE Vernon Davis fared, well he was simply Vernon Davis as he hauled in deep catches from Gabbert.
As for first-round pick DB Jimmie Ward, he struggled on Day two as he had a difficult time in one-on-one drills.
DB Jimmie Ward is looking sluggish in coverage today after an impressive first day yesterday. Growing pains are expected. No biggie — Ryan Sakamoto (@SakamotoRyan) July 25, 2014
Even QB Colin Kaepernick had a so-so day as many balls sailed over receiver’s heads while throwing a “gift wrapped” interception straight to second-year veteran LB Chase Thomas only to see him drop the ball (That’s why he plays defense).
As for DE Justin Smith, he did not practice today due to recovering from a shoulder injury sustained a year ago while DE Ray McDonald was limited, leaving the door open for second-round pick DE Tank Carradine. This guy is big and when I mean big I mean massive. His arms are the size of tree trunks and his lower body is equivalent to a foundation of a house. You get the point, there was a reason the 49ers drafted this animal. A good sign for Carradine as he played on the left side today, it wasn’t without constructive criticism as DL Coach Jim Tomsula was seen coaching him up after a play in which he failed to set the edge.
But who is my top rookie thus far in training camp? It has to be ILB Chris Borland. The guy is doing all the right things while looking like a seasoned veteran. From diagnosing plays pre-snap to excelling in individual drills, Borland continues to shine as he fights ILB Michael Wilhoite for the starting spot.
Notes: T Anthony Davis sat out as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery. Taking his place was T Jonathan Martin. G Joe Looney continues to take first-team reps as G Alex Boone continues to holdout.