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WR Johnson Makes his Return


Wide receiver Bryant Johnson returned to practice for the first time since pulling his hamstring back in early August when the 49ers traveled to Napa to work against the Oakland Raiders.

Johnson did all of the individual work on Tuesday, and even got some plays in during the 7-on-7 and team periods. He ended the last team portion with a pair of catches from J.T. O'Sullivan and a downfield block to help Frank Gore get up the sidelines on a pass play.

"It felt real good to be back out there on the field with the guys and to get in there and make a couple of plays," said Johnson. "I didn't feel too rusty, but I was kind of anxious to be back out there and to get in a situation to make plays so that I could test my body out."

The sixth-year NFL veteran said he stayed in his playbook during his rehab and felt at ease back in the lineup when it came to knowing his assignments. There didn't seem to be any miscues between him and the 49ers quarterbacks, most notably starter J.T. O'Sullivan.

"The offense is based on trust. The quarterbacks trust that we are going to be at the right place at the right time and as receivers we have to trust that the quarterback is going to get the ball where it needs to be," said Johnson. "Regardless of who is back there, the trust factor is the same for me. It's just my job to be where I'm supposed to be."

The 49ers have been without rookie sensation Josh Morgan this week due to an illness, but it's otherwise been an upbeat week for a receiving corps that had already welcomed back Arnaz Battle and Ashley Lelie.

"There are definitely a lot of weapons and through training camp, we've done nothing but gotten better," said Johnson. "Guys are getting back this week and coming into this last week, it's just a matter of really tuning in and fixing the last little mistakes so that we are ready for week one. "

Johnson said he hopes to get at least a few plays in this week against the Chargers. Head coach Mike Nolan indicated that Johnson's availability would depend on how he responded to the practice workload.

Offensive lineman David Baas took full part in the padded practice, working over at left guard in place of Adam Snyder. That left Tony Wragge to stay at right guard, where he's worked all of camp.

"I was rusty, especially going from right guard to left guard," said Baas. "I just had to change a few things in my head and the footwork was a little different. It's to be expected, I know I did a few good things, but I just have to keep working on it. With the arm strength coming along, my feet will get better."

Baas said he quickly received a refresher course on the proper technique while working against veteran defensive end Justin Smith.

"Justin Smith blew me up on one play and I was kind of like, 'I need to keep my pads lower,'" said Baas.

Coach Nolan said the plan is to get Baas about 15-20 snaps in the game, starting over at left guard.

Guard Brian de la Puente returned to work after sitting out Monday with an arm injury.

Linebacker Dontarrious Thomas missed practice due to a shoulder sprain.

T Jonas Jennings, RS Allen Rossum, and G Adam Snyder remain out with their injuries, while safety Keith Lewis and Josh Morgan remain out due to illness.

Seen & Overheard

Tight end Vernon Davis found an open area in the 49ers defense, caught the ball, and turned it up field for an explosive gain, but cornerback Nate Clements came through for the D and did one of his signature moves and popped the ball out. Clements and Davis fought over the ball for a few added seconds with Davis eventually sliding and falling on top of it.

One of the officials continued to shout, "Play is over, let it go. Play is over."

It must have been a new official because play being over is something you'll never get the 49ers coaching staff to be okay with. Players are coached to work on their fumble recoveries every chance they get, and secondary coaches Vance Joseph and Johnnie Lynn record "scoops."

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