SANTA CLARA, Calif. — The San Francisco 49ers finished their afternoon practice on Tuesday with a minor scare. While standing on the sideline, guard Chilo Rachal collapsed onto the grass and had to be taken away on a cart.
Head coach Mike Singletary confirmed that Rachal was overheated and dehydrated and had to get intravenous (IV) fluids. Rachal never lost consciousness and was able to communicate with head trainer Jeff Ferguson. He will be evaluated tomorrow to see if he would be able to return to practice. Tony Wragge replaced Rachal on the field.
Another notable injury that Singletary spoke of was that of guard David Baas. Baas suffered a mild concussion on Monday and did not participate in Tuesday’s practices. Singletary said that no timetable has been set for his return.
“Whatever that time line is, we’ll probably add a couple of days to it,” he said after practice.
Tuesday’s practice was highlighted by another Nutcracker drill. There weren’t any major pairings that stood out, but it must be noted that the fullbacks handled the inside linebackers very well during the drill. Most notable fullback performances came from Moran Norris, Brit Miller and Jehuu Caulcrick.
On both defense and offense, there were a handful of fill-ins for players getting practice off. Defensive end Justin Smith and linebacker Patrick Willis were given the veteran’s courtesy. Offensive tackle Joe Staley was still feeling ill from earlier in the day, and tight end Nate Byham had a strained ankle.
These absences from the field opened up opportunities for some players. Barry Sims filled in for Staley, Matt Wilhelm replaced Willis, and Smith’s spot was interchanged by a few players.
Despite the changes to the defensive line, they put on a strong performance against the first team offense. Quarterback Alex Smith had two passes knocked down at the line of scrimmage on swing passes to the running back. Defensive end Isaac Sopoaga and linebacker Diyral Briggs read the play and reacted to the development.
Throughout the practice, both offense and defense were interchanging players. Smith did have a decent day throwing the ball aside from the two batted passes. Wide receiver Ted Ginn became the target for another deep ball from Smith. Ginn broke past cornerback Karl Paymah and safety Reggie Smith during the 7-on-7 drill. Wide receiver Dominique Zeigler had a solid day in his opportunities, catching two balls on sharp cuts on the field.
The secondary for the most part played well during the day, preventing many major plays. It should be noted that some of the passes were overthrown and were not catchable.
- Tony Wragge got some work at center during the Nutcracker drill. Tackle Matt Kopa struggled in getting leverage in his battles.
- During the 7-on-7 drills, cornerback Nate Clements started practice by a strong bump and run on wide receiver Josh Morgan, breaking up a timing pattern.
- Rookie Phillip Adams struggled a little at cornerback, giving up back-to-back catches to wide receiver Dominique Zeigler and tight end Vernon Davis.
- Quarterback Nate Davis did not wear gloves during quarterback drills. He later would put them back on for team drills. Davis’ passes have been a little high the past couple practices and a couple of his throws in the afternoon had too much air under.
- During simulated punt returns, there were no drops. There was a stumble, as Ted Ginn lost his footing backpedaling to receive a punt. He got up and caught the next ball without problem.
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