SANTA CLARA Long snapper Brian Jennings confirmed Wednesday what a few photos taken at Candlestick Park earlier this week seemed to suggest: The playing surface for Saturday's game looks a bit bedraggled.
"The footing's good, but the grass is a little thin," said Jennings, who was there Monday to help new kicker Billy Cundiff acclimate to the stadium. Cundiff had not set foot inside Candlestick until the Monday session with Jennings and holder Andy Lee.
As was the case last season, the 49ers resurfaced the field late in the year. According to Jennings, the team already has played two games on the new grass against Miami (Dec. 9) and Arizona (Dec. 30). Jennings noted there was a lot of rain during December and that tarps on the field may have thinned out the grass.
Said coach Jim Harbaugh of the field conditions: "I thought it was OK, yeah. It's not like it is in September. Most grass fields tend not to be as lush in the winter months."
Still, he said general manager Trent Baalke, who presumably watched Cundiff kick Monday, told him the field should not be an issue Saturday night in the NFC divisional playoff game against Green Bay.
The forecast calls for mostly cloudy skies and temperatures around 50 degrees but little chance of rain.
The conditions at Candlestick came under scrutiny after pictures of Cundiff's kicking session Monday appeared on social media and showed more dirt than blades of grass.
In Sunday's Washington-Seattle game, poor field conditions at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., are believed to have claimed at least one victim: Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons, who suffered an ACL tear and was placed on injured reserve.
As far as the team's kicking competition, Harbaugh said he wasn't ready to announce who will kick against the Packers, Cundiff or David Akers. He said it's possible the team won't reveal its choice until 90 minutes before kickoff, when the inactive lists are announced.
Asked specifically about Akers, Harbaugh said, "So far, so good. He's had a very good week this week and last week."
Shouldering the load Seven players were listed as limited on the 49ers' practice participation report.
Five of them have shoulder injuries: cornerback Tarell Brown, safety Dashon Goldson, fullback Bruce Miller and linebacker Aldon Smith, all starters; and backup linebacker Clark Haggans.
Defensive linemen Justin Smith (triceps) and Will Tukuafu (neck) also were limited.
Justin Smith continues to practice with an elbow brace similar to the one Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis, who also suffered a triceps tendon injury this year, wore in the Ravens' win over Indianapolis on Sunday.
"God willing and the creek don't rise, he's going to play," Harbaugh said of Smith's availability.
For the Packers, two prominent wide receivers, Randall Cobb (illness) and Jordy Nelson (ankle), missed practice Wednesday. Both are expected to play Saturday.