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8 Observations of 49ers Minicamp: 6/12

The first half of the San Francisco 49ers mandatory minicamp is in the books. The 49ers are allotted three days for the finale of the offseason program, but Kyle Shanahan has opted to practice just twice this week. He made a similar decision last year as a way to avoid any unnecessary injuries before summer break.

Here are the top happenings from Tuesday’s practice, a session largely dominated by the defense.

1. Richard Sherman made his 49ers practice debut. The corner was cleared to participate in individual drills and is still expected to be full go by the time training camp rolls around at the end of July. It was a good sign of progress for the veteran corner.

2. Malcolm Smith, who missed last week due to a minor injury, practiced in full on Tuesday. Smith split first-team reps with rookie Fred Warner at MIKE linebacker.

3. Jimmie Ward remains out with an ankle injury. Tyvis Powell served as Ward’s primary replacement for the second-straight week. Tarvarius Moore also got into the mix with the first-team defense.

4. The first team period was very sloppy from an offensive perspective. Most passes fell to the ground. The defensive highlights included run stops by Reuben Foster and Jeremiah Attaochu. Robert Saleh ran out to the field to high five Foster after sniffing out a running play to Jerick McKinnon.

5. Some notes from the two-minute drill period:

- Cassius Marsh joined Attaochu on the field given that it was an obvious passing situation. By that train of thought, it could mean that those two are ahead of Eli Harold on the pass-rushing depth chart. Harold is still expected to be the team’s starting SAM linebacker on base downs.

- Jimmy Garoppolo completed back-to-back passes over the middle to George Kittle. The first-team offense’s drive ended with a Robbie Gould 50-yard field goal.

- C.J. Beathard delivered the offensive highlight of the day with a 30-yard completion down the right sideline to Dante Pettis. On the very next play, Beathard found Aaron Burbridge near the back right pylon for a 4-yard touchdown pass.

6. Powell provided the defense’s top highlight. The corner jumped Garoppolo’s pass intended for Burbridge. Garoppolo just didn’t see him in coverage, and Powell made the easy interception. Garoppolo rebounded by hitting Kittle over the middle for a long catch-and-run.

7. Some notes from the final period of practice, a move-the-ball drill:

- Garoppolo’s best throw of the day came on a play-action strike over the middle to Aldrick Robinson. The QB placed the ball just over Warner’s outstretched arm and into Robinson’s hands. Garoppolo followed with a sidearm slinger to Pierre Garçon near the right sideline.

- K’Waun Williams ended the first-team offense’s drive with a third-down sack. Williams came on a corner blitz and made it to Garoppolo untouched. Saleh was again fired up, yelling with a few emphatic fist pumps.

- Pettis concluded his best practice of the offseason program with a sideline catch on a pass from Beathard and a reception on a quick slant from right to left that went for a big gain. Pettis took advantage of extra reps with Marquise Goodwin sidelined due to a minor injury.

8. Dekoda Watson left practice with a calf injury. Shanahan will likely provide an update on the linebacker during Wednesday’s press conference.

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