CINCINNATI -- Safety Donte Whitner left the game in the first quarter with a hip contusion. Running back Frank Gore sustained a right ankle sprain in the second quarter but remained in the game without much success.The 49ers got key contributions Sunday from their backups -- Reggie Smith and Kendall Hunter -- in the team's 13-8 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.It was another rough game for Gore, who gained just 42 yards on 17 carries. His fourth-quarter fumble led to the Bengals kicking a field goal for a 6-3 lead.Hunter, however, replaced Gore for most of the next drive and scored the game's only touchdown on a 7-yard run. Hunter finished with 26 yards on nine carries.
Gore played all but three of the 49ers' first-half offensive plays but saw considerable action on the sideline in the second half with Hunter getting the most action thus far of his rookie season. Coach Jim Harbaugh said Gore was removed because of the injury."I kind of tweaked and I couldn't go the way I wanted to," Gore said. "Yeah, I couldn't be myself. Some of the runs, I couldn't make the cut I wanted to make. Hopefully, I get better this week."When asked if he'd be able to play next week against the Philadelphia Eagles, Gore answered, "I can't tell until tomorrow. See how I'm feeling."Whitner sustained his hip injury when he landed hard while going for a third-down pass on the first drive of the game. He did not return to action."It's just a minor injury that a lot of guys get in this league. I expect to be back next week," Whitner said.When asked if there was a thought about returning to the game, Whitner said, "There was until I couldn't handle the pain. But I'll be ready. It's not that serious."With Whitner on the sideline, Reggie Smith entered at safety in nickel situations. His diving interception with 1:45 remaining all but clinched the 49ers' victory.
On April 27, the 49ers selected Solomon Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick in the NFL Draft.
As of Thursday afternoon, he remains unsigned.
49ers general manager John Lynch addressed the media on Thursday and was asked about the defensive lineman's status.
Thomas missed most of the 49ers' offseason program because NFL rules stipulate that rookies who have not completed their undergraduate degrees are ineligible to join on a full-time basis until after their schools' final classes of the spring semester.
Stanford's late schedule put Thomas a little behind schedule.
“We have our iPads, so I’ll be able to watch film from that,” Thomas said in mid-May. “I talk to Josh (Garnett) quite a bit, and he’ll give me advice on how to go through this process – how to stay in touch, just keep learning along the way and keep progressing along the way.”
UPDATE (12:40pm on Thursday) -- The 49ers posted the following video to Twitter:
Reuben Foster is ready to rock and roll.
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan provided an update on the rookie linebacker on Thursday:
According to Shanahan, no players will be on the PUP or NFI when camp opens.
As NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco wrote in mid-June:
Foster, the No. 31 overall pick in the draft, was the subject of national reports that he would require another surgery and could miss his entire rookie season. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported, citing a “well-placed source,” that Foster’s surgery “didn’t take.”
After the 49ers drafted him, Foster disputed the reports.
“That’s not accurate at all,” Foster said in April. “I’m fine. I’m on schedule.”
Foster sustained the tear of the labrum in his right shoulder during Alabama’s national semifinal game against Washington. He played in the championship game against Clemson with the injury.
He underwent surgery on his rotator cuff that forced him to sit out drills at the NFL scouting combine in February. Foster was sent home from Indianapolis after an argument with a hospital worker while he was waiting to undergo a physical.
The 49ers' first preseason game is in Kansas City on Friday, Aug. 11.