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11 Observations from 49ers Training Camp: Aug. 9

Posted Aug 9, 2017

Here are the storylines from the final open practice before Friday's preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.


Wednesday marked the final open practice before the San Francisco 49ers preseason opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. The team will have a walkthrough on Thursday morning before flying to KC in the afternoon.

Here are the day's top storylines.

1. Players didn't wear pads on Wednesday which limited the physicality of the session. That meant most of the storylines came away from the practice field. It was announced during practice that the team had released offensive lineman Jeremy Zuttah and signed linebacker Sean Porter. Daniel Kilgore has a hold on the starting center job and San Francisco clearly didn't see Zuttah as an option at guard.

"That was a tough decision," Kyle Shanahan said. "It says a lot about how Kilgore is playing. ... We want to give (Zuttah) a chance to go somewhere else."

2. Tight end George Kittle was held out of practice with a hamstring injury. Shanahan said afterwards that he'd be surprised if Kittle is able to go on Friday. Pierre Garçon didn't practice as he was given another veteran's day off.

3. C.J. Beathard was on the money throughout practice. His first long completion went down the middle of the field to DeAndre Carter. He then threw an absolutely perfect deep ball to Victor Bolden Jr., but Bolden couldn't hang on. Bolden later atoned for his mistake by making an adjustment to an underthrown deep ball.

Beathard proceeded to complete passes to Trent Taylor (deep left on play action) and Kendrick Bourne (play-action roll out to the left). The rookie QB looks to be getting more comfortable.

4. Ahkello Witherspoon had his first interception of camp on Thursday. The rookie hauled in an over-the-shoulder pick in coverage down the right sideline.

5. Solomon Thomas had a sack and a run stop. As Robert Saleh said a few days ago, "Solomon is starting to show up." It will be interesting to see how much playing time he gets on Friday.

6. Aaron Lynch got a sack and showed great burst on one rush around the left edge.

7. Reuben Foster suffered an ankle injury. He got the ankle re-taped and went back into practice for a few reps. Shanahan said he doesn't expect the knock to be anything serious.

8. Robbie Gould drilled field goals from 50- and 55-yards out.

9. Brian Hoyer had several nice throws on the day. His best came over the top of the coverage and into Vance McDonald's hands down the left sideline. McDonald has had highlight-reel plays in each of the last three practices.

10. Not to be left out, Nick Mullens made a similar throw down the left sideline to Taylor.

11. Shanahan told reporters that Joshua Garnett is getting his knee cleaned up on Thursday. "I'm hoping that he has a chance for Week 1, but I know that's going to be a battle," the coach said.