SANTA CLARA The 49ers, who will face one of three opponents next Saturday, spent Friday preparing for one in particular.
When practice began, one of their practice squad receivers, Chad Hall, was in a No. 18 jersey while the other, Ricardo Lockette, was wearing No. 87. And tight end Garrett Celek was dressed in a No. 88 jersey.
The logical conclusion: The 49ers are getting a head start preparing for the Green Bay Packers and Randall Cobb, Jordy Nelson and Jermichael Finley, who wear those numbers.
The 49ers will host either the No. 3 seed Packers, the No. 4 Redskins or No. 5 Seahawks on Jan. 12.
Cornerback Tarell Brown said the 49ers spent most of Thursday looking at Washington, the only team of the three that San Francisco hasn't played this season. Friday was dedicated to the Packers, whom the 49ers faced in Week 1. The 49ers played Seattle twice, including a 42-13 loss Dec. 23.
Brown said the 49ers have not done in-depth work on any of their possible opponents yet.
"We just went over the basics, the vanilla watched their game against us," Brown said of the Packers. "But they're playing a lot better. Their defense is getting a lot of turnovers. Offense is scoring points, as usual. So it will be exciting this weekend to see who comes out with that victory."
The Packers host No. 6 seed Minnesota today, and the Redskins play the Seahawks on Sunday.
Free for all Wide receiver Michael Crabtree threw a ball into the Candlestick Park stands after both of his touchdowns against Arizona on Sunday. The freebies came with a price.
The league fined Crabtree $10,500. Frank Gore also was fined $10,500 for launching a ball into the stands after his fourth-quarter touchdown.
Handing or gently tossing balls to fans is permitted. But the league worries that throwing a ball into the crowd could be a safety issue if fans start leaping over each other and fighting for the balls. Coach Jim Harbaugh said that when he played the fine was $500 for such a throw.
"They should have given me a warning, man," Gore said.
Et cetera Defensive lineman Justin Smith was on the practice field for the second straight day. He still was wearing a brace on his left arm, which presumably prevents him from extending his elbow all the way and stretching his partially torn triceps tendon.
Harbaugh was intently watching his kickers during warmups again. David Akers and Billy Cundiff both were accurate, but Cundiff seemed to have a little more pop. His kickoffs reportedly were impressive when he tried out earlier this week.
Linebacker Aldon Smith was not fined for the block he threw on Arizona guard and former 49er Adam Snyder following a fourth-quarter interception by Brown on Sunday. Snyder had to be helped off the field, and Smith was penalized for unnecessary roughness.