49ers camp summary (812): Walker's injury provides scare

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49ers camp summary (812): Walker's injury provides scare

Summary: The 49ers' only open practice of training camp began on an ominous note when tight end Delanie Walker went down during the first 11-on-11 period with a right knee injury while in pass protection.Walker, with some assistance, eventually made it to the 49ers' bench at Candlestick Park. He watched the remainder of practice sitting down with his right leg elevated. He had ice on his right knee, and later wore a brace."We'll wait until we get some further results from the doctors, but I think we'll dodge another bullet there," Harbaugh said, indicating Walker is not expected to be out for a significant period.RELATED: Delanie Walker career stats 2011 game logs
The 49ers announced 32,000 fans attended the daylong Fan Fest event, which concluded with a 2 12-hour practice and half-hour autograph session. Harbaugh was the final person signing autographs.

The final period of practice was an 11-on-11 session in which the offense was given the ball at the opposition's 8-yard line with 4:54 remaining on the clock.

Alex Smith led the offense down the field on a 17-play drive that was capped by his 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Konrad Reuland against the coverage of Patrick Willis. On the drive, Smith completed 10 of 11 passes for 79 yards on the drive. He ran two quarterback sneaks to pick up first downs on third-and-1 situations. The big offensive play was an 18-yard pass to Kendall Hunter. The defense's best play was Demarcus Dobbs sack (with just a touch) after center Jonathan Goodwin's bad snap to Smith in the shotgun formation.After the offense won the drill, that unit was rewarded with four windsprints. That's right, the winner ran -- not the losers. And the reasoning behind that?
"The winners get to get better," Harbaugh said. "They get that opportunity."Cornerback Carlos Rogers jumped in and ran sprints with the offensive players.Injury report: Outside linebacker Aldon Smith is expected to miss more than a week with a right hip bruise, Harbaugh said. Smith sustained the injury in the first quarter of the 49ers' exhibition opener against the Minnesota Vikings. Smith might not play again in the exhibition season, but he is expected to be ready for the opening of the regular season on Sept. 9 at the Green Bay Packers. . . . Rookie outside linebacker Cam Johnson, who did not suit up for Friday's game, did not practice due to an undisclosed injury. Johnson has not looked up to speed during camp after undergoing arthroscopic surgery before camp. . . Receiver Joe Hastings (right leg) rehabbed and appears to be close to returning to practice after missing more than a week. Tight end Nate Byham and offensive lineman Garrett Chisolm also did not participate in practice. . . Running back Jewel Hampton (foot) is on the non-football injury list, while outside linebacker Darius Fleming (knee) is on the physically-unable-to-perform list.Returning to work: Running back Frank Gore, receiver Mario Manningham, and defensive linemen Justin Smith and Will Tukuafu practiced Sunday after being held out of Friday's game.Offensive play of the day: During a red-zone drill, quarterback Scott Tolzien drilled a 6-yard pass into the back left corner of the end zone to Manningham, who went up to catch the pass before cornerback Tramaine Brock could turn around to make a play.Defensive play of the day: Earlier in the practice, Tolzien attempted a pass to Moss (or rookie A.J. Jenkins), and Rogers was in the right spot to intercept the pass. The only other interception during 11-on-11 work was courtesy of Cory Nelms, who picked off Josh Johnson's pass after it deflected off Reuland's hands.
Eye on the stands: First, receiver Randy Moss played whipped the fans behind the 49ers' bench into a frenzy during a down period devoted to special teams. Moss threw the ball into the stands, asked for the ball back and threw it to someone else. He did that for several minutes. He autographed at least one ball thrown to him and tossed it back.During practice, a scruffy-looking, shirtless fan ran onto the field and approached Harbaugh, he seemed none-too-amused with the intruder. "I didn't say anything," Harbaugh said. "I'm glad he was clothed. I'm glad he wasn't naked." The trespasser left the playing field, but was taken down by security and handcuffed.
Notable: Tight end Vernon Davis wore No. 87, instead of his familiar No. 85 during practice. So was he paying homage to Dwight Clark, whose number has been retired? Not exactly."I'm sorry, Dwight," Davis said. "We were in a rush, me and some of the other guys, and we forget our jerseys. This is the only one they had for me. . . . This jersey. This is history right here. It feels good to wear No. 87."Transaction report: On Saturday, the 49ers signed outside linebacker Kenny Rowe and released safety Mark LeGree. Rowe will not be allowed to wear pads and go through team drills until Tuesday while he goes through a mandatory period to get acclimated to camp.
Quotable: "I didn't expect so many people to be here. In the past, it hasn't been this many people. But for them to come out, it shows how much effort they give to support us. We greatly appreciate that" -- Vernon Davis.Next practice: The 49ers return to practice Monday from 2:30 to 5:10 p.m. The 49ers will break camp after practice on Friday.

McDonald toasts Shanahan for communication of trade talks

McDonald toasts Shanahan for communication of trade talks

SANTA CLARA -- Tight end Vance McDonald became aware of a report the 49ers had engaged in trade talks involving him at his brother’s wedding in Austin, Texas.

But McDonald said he did not give it much thought because he had another immediate priority.

“I still had my best man’s speech to do,” McDonald said.

Later that evening during last month's draft, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan called McDonald to keep him in the loop. There was no trade, and McDonald returned to Santa Clara on Monday to continue participation in the 49ers’ offseason program.

“The first thing I told him was, ‘Man, there aren’t a lot of coaches that would do this,’” McDonald said of his talk with Shanahan. “He just wanted to fill me in.”

Nearly four weeks later, it is as if nothing ever happened.

“The only trade discussions we had was when another team asked us about Vance on draft day,” Shanahan said this week. “And after a team asked us about Vance then we asked other teams if they’d be interested in that same thing.”

McDonald said he completely understood why the 49ers would check with other teams around the league to see what they could acquire in a trade.

“Basically, it’s just like any other team in the NFL would do,” McDonald said. “If you’re a 2-14 team, obviously, there are a lot of things you can improve on, a lot of spots that need to be filled. There are a lot of things you need to improve upon in the offseason. So if teams are going to call and inquire about you, then obviously the next step is to … call around to every other team.

“So that’s exactly what happened to me. It isn’t like they don’t want me here. There was never a lack of communication on any level.”

Even before he knew his immediate future with the 49ers, McDonald said he tried to maintain the proper state of mind.

“I had the mindset this isn’t going to change anything,” McDonald said. “I’m going to end up where I end up and I’m just going to continue doing what I’m doing, which is do everything to be a better football player.”

McDonald enters the fifth year of his NFL career after signing a new deal in December that amounts to a three-year, $19.7 million extension. Three days later, the 49ers placed McDonald on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

McDonald was on pace for his best season as a pass-catcher. In 11 games, he had 24 receptions for 391 yards and four touchdowns.

Now, he is competition for a spot in the 49ers’ offense, along with fifth-round draft pick George Kittle, undrafted rookie Cole Hikutini, and veterans Logan Paulsen, Garrett Celek and Blake Bell.

McDonald said he likes what Shanahan has brought to the 49ers, including added responsibilities of the tight end position.

“Last year, all we talked about was how fast our pace was,” McDonald said. “With Kyle, it’s insanely quick. He’s a very detailed guy. It’s interesting to hear him present information. You try to apply it and play with the same mindset that he has. It’s a task that we all enjoy doing.

“We (tight ends) are the end of the line. There’s communication with us and the wide receivers and running backs. We’re also in command with receiving corps. There are a lot of things on our plate. Hopefully, this doesn’t get back to the wide receivers, but we’re supposed to be smarter than them. It’s a fun job to have. We don’t try to rub it in too much.”

Chip Kelly returns to college football -- as analyst

Chip Kelly returns to college football -- as analyst

Chip Kelly is back in college football.

The former Oregon coach, who served as 49ers head coach last season, signed a multiyear deal as an ESPN analyst, the network announced Friday morning. He will work predominantly on pre-games, halftimes and in studio wraps each Saturday on ESPN2.

“Over the last 30 years, I have experienced football from one perspective – as a coach,” Kelly said in a statement. “Working in television will allow me to see the game from a different angle; simultaneously, I‘ll provide viewers an insight to the mindset of a coach and team while offering alternative views of various situations.

“Once I decided to make the move to TV, my familiarity with ESPN, combined with their high-quality production and vital role in college football, it was easily the best network suited for me.”

Kelly, 53, was fired on the evening of the 49ers’ season finale. The 49ers went 2-14 under Kelly and set the franchise record with 13 consecutive losses. Their only victories came against the Los Angeles Rams. Kelly also auditioned with FOX for the analyst job vacated when John Lynch became 49ers general manager, sources told NBC Sports Bay Area.

Kelly served as Oregon’s head coach from 2009 to ’12. His teams compiled a record of 46-7. Under Kelly, the Ducks advanced to the 2011 national championship game, losing to Auburn 22-19.

Kelly won the AP College Football Coach of the Year. He twice won the Pac-10 coach of the year. He left Oregon to become head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles in 2013. After his first two NFL teams went 10-6, Kelly was fired in 2015 with one game remaining in the season. The Eagles were 6-9 at the time of Kelly's firing.

“Chip is one of the most innovative football minds of our generation,” ESPN senior coordinating producer Lee Fitting said. “As a coach, he saw the game from a unique perspective, never afraid to take an unconventional approach. We want him to bring that mentality to our college football coverage each week, offering fans a varying viewpoint outside of the conventional thought process.”