Michael Crabtree practiced and spoke with the media following the latest practice session of 49ers Training Camp presented by HP. San Francisco’s leading receiver said a calf injury suffered day one of camp prevented him from practicing for the first week.
Crabtree was a full-participant in all but two-minute drills during Tuesday’s practice.
“It’s part of football,” Crabtree said of the minor setback. “It’s a physical game. I just know how to deal with it.”
Crabtree caught a few passes during 7-on-7 and team periods, but the most notable receiver on the day was first-round pick A.J. Jenkins, who made a handful of receptions during team period, including a high-reaching grab on a post pattern despite Donte Whitner’s blanket coverage.
“Every day he gets better,” Crabtree said. “A.J.’s looking good; all the rookies are looking good. Those guys are out there working.”
The media attention has been placed on Crabtree due to his history of dealing with preseason injuries. The fourth-year wideout has yet to play in a preseason game and said his status for Friday night’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings remains to be determined. Crabtree said he’ll stick to the orders of the 49ers training staff.
“Whatever the trainer’s got for me,” he said. “I can go. I think I got a lot of reps today, the only thing I didn’t do was two-minute… I’m healthy. I’m good, good enough to run without pain or anything like that.
“It was just my calf, I had to stay off of it, didn’t want to do anything serious. That was all the training staff and the coaches.”
Let’s take a look at the top highlights from the afternoon session.
-Former 49ers linebacker Dan Bunz attended practice.
-Blitz pickup drills saw Anthony Dixon, line up as a fullback, and do a nice job of picking up Ahmad Brooks at the line of scrimmage. Brooks got the best of Dixon on the rematch.
-In the first team period of the day, Kendall Hunter raced out to a 15-yard run around the left edge thanks to the athletic downfield blocking of Pro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley. In the same period, the second-team offense victimized the first-team unit when quarterback Scott Tolzien hooked up with undrafted wideout Brian Tyms on a 40-yard touchdown down the left sideline. Tyms out-jumped Tarell Brown to make the impressive leaping catch. On the same play, Dixon lined up at fullback and picked up Brooks’ inside pass stunt to allow Tolzien’s downfield throw.
-In a later team period at midfield, rookie guard Joe Looney showed great athleticism and tenacity when getting to the second level of the defense to block undrafted cornerback Anthony Mosley. Hunter, once again, was sprung for a big run thanks to his linemen’s downfield efforts.
-In the first 7-on-7 red zone team period where the first-teamers and second-teamers squared off, Tyms was back at it again with another impressive reception, this time catching a rocket pass from Josh Johnson that was nearly intercepted by cornerback Tramaine Brock. Both Brock and Tyms appeared to have possession initially, but Tyms held on to the ball as both players hit the end zone’s turf. Meanwhile, the first-team scored on an Alex Smith slant pass to Brett Swain. Safety Dashon Goldson held back from delivering a ball-jarring hit. Nice restraint by the Pro Bowler. Tolzien later completed a touchdown to undrafted wideout Nathan Palmer on a post pattern against Deante’ Purvis’ coverage.
-In another red zone 7-on-7 period, Colin Kaepernick fired a laser to Vernon Davis in the back of the end zone despite Patrick Willis’ tight coverage. Crabtree made his first reception of the day on a pass from Smith during the period.
-In a red zone team period that pitted the first-team offense and defense against one another, Smith threw a beautiful touchdown to Moss, who tapped both feet in the back of the end zone just as he made an over-the-shoulder catch. It was clearly the duo’s best passing play of camp and the play of the day.
-In a two-minute period, Smith engineered a nine-play scoring drive that culminated with him plunging into the end zone from 5-yards out on fourth-and-goal. As a result, the defense had to run post-practice sprints. In the same scenario, Johnson led the second-team offense into the red zone but could not find an open receiver with three plays from the 10-yard line. Johnson, however, completed three passes to Jenkins on the drive, two of which went for first downs.
-In the final team period, the defense recorded the only takeaways of the day. Donte Whitner picked off a low Johnson pass and Pro Bowl cornerback Carlos Rogers picked off a Johnson pass initially tipped by Dashon Goldson. Following a couple of tough catches by tight end Konrad Reuland, Jenkins rose up high to catch Tolzien’s pass over Donte Whitner and Perrish Cox. The 25-yard gain was the top reception of Jenkins’ camp to this point.
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