San Francisco 49ers

49ers practice report 15: Teams in a fighting mood on last day of camp

A potential trade, an ankle injury and a free agent come into play in 49ers preseason

As the 49ers key up for a preseason game against the Denver Broncos, The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows gives us three players to watch in this week's game.
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As the 49ers key up for a preseason game against the Denver Broncos, The Sacramento Bee's Matt Barrows gives us three players to watch in this week's game.

The 49ers and Broncos had an abbreviated practice in shorts and shoulder pads, but it didn't prevent several scrums from bubbling up during the session. The 49ers said that was to be expected on Day 2 of their joint session, especially after San Francisco appeared to be the aggressors on Day 1.

The most significant occurred on the near practice field after Broncos safety Justin Simmons intercepted a pass over the middle. During the ensuing run-back, Pierre Garcon threw cornerback Aqib Talib to the ground, which cleared the benches. Kyle Shanahan noted that afterward Talib and Garcon were talking and laughing together, so it's not something that promises to flare up in Saturday's game.

One of the most notable aspects of the joint practices was that the 49ers seemed to be the agitators most of the time. That definitely wasn't the case the last two years during practices in Denver in which the superior Broncos pushed around the inexperienced 49ers at times. Perhaps the reversal was because the 49ers were on their home field while the Broncos were not as sure of themselves in a new environment. Or maybe Shanahan's more aggressive, more physical training camp has sunk in. The bottom line is that San Francisco seemed to go toe-to-toe with Denver.

“It’s really important to me to see us compete and have each other’s back and not turn anything down,” Shanahan said afterward. “That’s very important. You want to know about everybody. When you get in some of those situations you can really see how people are and how they respond. I think it’s a very hard thing to be that competitive, that physical, in this sport especially, and to play that aggressive between the whistles and stuff and then when something does happen, not to lose your cool. Because you’ve got to go to a different state to just get to that level to compete in the sport. I think it takes practice and I think it takes a special person to play that violent of a game.”

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As expected, Reuben Foster didn't take part in any of the team sessions. Ray-Ray Armstrong worked alongside NaVorro Bowman at the start of practice, then was working next to Brock Coyle at the end of the session after Bowman also sprained his AC joint. Shanahan said he expected Foster to play Saturday, although no firm decision has been made yet.

The prominent 49ers who are unlikely for the game are: DeForest Buckner (ankle), Aaron Lynch (ankle), Jimmie Ward (hamstring) and Ronald Blair (groin). On offense, Joshua Garnett probably will be out for the next month as he recovers from knee surgery. Zane Beadles will start at left guard until Garnett is ready.

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In pass-blocking drills, Beadles was overpowered by 334-pound defensive lineman Zach Kerr on consecutive snaps. Joe Staley handled Von Miller on one snap and then Kasim Edebali on the next. Trent Brown seemed to be a step slow in preventing Miller from going inside after faking an outside rush. On the next snap, however, he rode Vontarrius Dora well out of the play.

Hoyer wasn't as sharp Thursday as he was the day before, including on Talib's interception. He also was nearly picked off by safety Darian Stewart on a pass to Garcon later in the period. Hoyer did make an outstanding throw deep down the sideline to Victor Bolden, who caught the ball between Simmons and cornerback Chris Harris.

Tight end Vance McDonald, whom John Lynch said is having a strong training camp, made a high-degree-of-concentration snag along the sideline after Hoyer's pass was tipped by a defender.

Talib came away impressed by Shanahan's offense and by Hoyer. "They get the ball out fast," the 10-year player said. "They move you left and right. It takes a polished quarterback to run that offense. He's doing a great job."

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The 49ers’ on-again, off-again relationship with Shayne Skov is on again. The team signed him to address their dwindling depth at inside linebacker. He was cut May 2, so he has some familiarity with the team’s defense. ... Thursday’s was the last practice of training camp. The 49ers are now to vacate their training-camp home, the Marriott in Santa Clara. That’s also where the Broncos are staying.

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at sacbee.com/sf49ers.

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