Coach Jim Tomsula said a report that a fight between Aldon Smith and Colin Kaepernick preceded Smith’s arrest Thursday night was unfounded.
“Never,” the 49ers’ coach said Saturday. “I don’t know where that could have even come from. No.”
On Friday, TMZ.com reported that Kaepernick and Smith had to be pulled apart by teammates after they clashed on the practice field. The site initially reported the incident occurred Thursday, the players’ day off, and changed it to Tuesday.
Asked if there was any tension between the two, Tomsula said, “Nothing. I’ve had a couple of skirmishes out there. You’ve seen me – I’m playing traffic cop. I’ve lived in those trenches. … I start hearing the heat, and I go over there with a water hose.”
Never miss a local story.
The 49ers had at least two tussles during the spring, both of which involved center Joe Looney and defensive linemen. But there have been none so far in training camp, at least in the afternoon sessions that are open to media.
Tomsula described himself as a “middle-ground guy” when it comes to practice field scrapes. He said he has been on teams that lost after both hostile and peaceful training camps and has seen every scenario in between.
“Do I realize that there is the potential for something like that in a physical sport when you’re hitting the same guys over and over and over for two weeks straight? Yeah,” Tomsula said. “Does that mean these are terrible guys? No.”
New linebacker – The 49ers filled the roster spot left by Smith’s dismissal with another outside linebacker, Shawn Lemon.
The 6-foot-1, 235-pound Lemon has played in the Arena League and last year excelled with the Calgary Stampeders of the Canadian Football League, making 13 sacks. Pittsburgh signed him this year but recently reached an injury settlement with him because of a strained Achilles’ tendon.
Lemon joins a group that includes Ahmad Brooks, Corey Lemonier, Aaron Lynch, Eli Harold and undrafted rookie Marcus Rush.
Et cetera – Defensive end Tank Carradine (illness), receiver Bruce Ellington (leg strain) and linebacker Philip Wheeler (leg strain) missed practice Saturday.
▪ Defensive end Kaleb Ramsey (shoulder), cornerback Leon McFadden (foot bruise) and receiver Dres Anderson (wear and tear) had their snaps reduced. Receiver Issac Blakeney (leg strain) returned after missing recent sessions.
▪ With Carradine out, first-round pick Arik Armstead and Lawrence Okoye have been getting repetitions at right defensive end with the second-team defense. Armstead seemed to hurt his hand when he got tangled in a pile of players but did not leave practice.