10 Locker Room Observations: Dec. 16

The San Francisco 49ers opened their Levi's® Stadium locker room doors on Tuesday afternoon.*

Observations

  1. Defensive tackle Garrett Celek, who registered the first two sacks of his career in Week 15, said that he has gained 35 pounds, up to 298 overall, since coming to San Francisco last year.

2. Cornerback Jimmie Ward, who was placed on Injured Reserve on Nov. 15, was a welcomed sight in the locker room. He explained his injury status (video below) and said that he would be off crutches in one week and "more than ready to go" for the team's offseason program.

  1. When Ward was asked about the competition he faced in the NFL this season, he said only: "Brandon Marshall. I'll leave it at that." Marshall, of course, bested Ward for three touchdown catches in Week 2.
  1. Inside linebacker Nick Moody, who made his season debut on defense last week, is in line to start on Sunday against the San Diego Chargers; the second-year pro said he is looking forward to facing tight end Antonio Gates in coverage (story here).
  1. Moody will likely be backed up by veteran Desmond Bishop, who stepped into the locker room for the first time on Tuesday. A Cal product, Bishop rattled off the names of his favorite 49ers alumni, a group that comprises William Floyd, Lee Woodall and more (video below).
  1. Bishop will wear number 44, and his fellow Tuesday addition, tight end Xavier Grimble, will sport 83.
  1. Safety Antoine Bethea gave all due respect to Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers: "One of the top five, top 10 quarterbacks in the league, and he's been doing it for a while."
  1. Teammates expressed doubt when rehabbing nose tackle Ian Williams claimed that he once had a 30-inch vertical leap.

9. After *Sports Illustrated *writer Austin Murphy's visit last week, the locker room hosted *New York Times *Pulitzer Prize winner John Branch on Tuesday.

  1. Left guard Mike Iupati walked out to the team's 2:15 p.m. practice with a black brace on his right elbow.

--Reporting from Andrew Pentis and Nick Burton*

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