49ers notes: Harbaugh takes note of Seattle suspensions

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 2C
Last Modified: Wednesday, Jun. 12, 2013 - 6:49 am

SANTA CLARA – The rash of performance-enhancing drug suspensions in Seattle hasn't escaped the notice of 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh, who said Tuesday his message to his own team is "play by the rules."

"It has no place in an athlete's body," Harbaugh said. "Play by the rules, and you always want to be above reproach, especially when you're good. Because you don't want people to come back and say, 'Oh, they're winning because they're cheating.' That's always going to be a knee-jerk reaction by people in my experience ever since I was a little kid.

"So we want to be above reproach in everything. … Because if you cheat to win, then you've already lost, according to Bo Schembechler (Harbaugh's coach at Michigan). And Bo Schembechler is about as close to the word of God as you can get in my mind. It's not the word of God, but it's close."

Five Seahawks have been suspended for PED use since 2011, most recently 2012 first-round draft pick Bruce Irvin. Adderall, a stimulant prescribed mainly for attention deficit disorder, has been linked to the Seattle suspensions, though Harbaugh said no one could be sure.

"You don't know what it is," he said. "Even when people say what it is, you don't know that that's what it is. I've heard this thrown out or that, but that's usually the agent or the players themselves saying it's, for example, Adderall.

"But the NFL doesn't release what it actually is, so you have no idea. You're taking somebody at their word that I don't know if you can take them at their word, understanding the circumstances."

Manningham's return – Asked if wide receiver Mario Manningham, who suffered ACL and PCL tears in December, would be ready for the regular season, Harbaugh said, "At some point."

That sounds as if Manningham could go onto an injury list, perhaps the physically unable to perform list, to start the season.

Manningham has been able to do light exercise at the start of practice but isn't close to rejoining team sessions.

Et cetera – The only two players not at Tuesday's mandatory minicamp practice were wide receiver Michael Crabtree, recovering from an Achilles' tear, and nose tackle Lamar Divens. Harbaugh said Divens' absence was an excused one.

• Second-year linebacker Darius Fleming, who injured his left knee last week, was on his feet but did not practice. Fleming suffered an ACL tear in the same knee last year.

• With Carlos Rogers rehabilitating from a minor injury, the 49ers' first-string cornerbacks were Tarell Brown and Nnamdi Asomugha.

Read Matthew Barrows' blogs and archives at www.sacbee.com/sf49ers and listen for his reports Tuesdays on ESPN Radio 1320. Follow him on Twitter @mattbarrows.

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