The 49ers could face one of three opponents next Saturday. But they appear to be playing the percentages and preparing for one in particular.
When practice began today, practice squad receiver Chad Hall was in a No. 18 jersey while wideout Ricardo Lockette was wearing No. 87. Tight end Garrett Celek, meanwhile, was dressed in a No. 88 jersey. The logical conclusion: The 49ers are getting a head start on preparing for the Green Bay Packers and their offensive weapons Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley.
The 49ers could play the No. 3 seed Packers, the No. 5 Seahawks or the No. 4 Redskins, and players on Thursday said they're spending a little extra time in the classroom this week on Washington, the only one of those squads the 49ers haven't already faced. But on the practice field, the 49ers seem to be playing the odds and looking at the Packers, who face the lowest seed of the group, the No. 6 Vikings.
Justin Smith was on the field for the second straight day. He's still wearing a brace on his left arm. The brace presumably prevents him from bending his elbow all the way and stretching his partially torn triceps tendon.
Jim Harbaugh once again was intently watching his kickers during warm-ups. Both David Akers and Billy Cundiff were accurate, but Cundiff seemed to have a little more pop. His kickoffs reportedly were impressive when he tried out earlier this week.