Harbaugh, 49ers mum on Haralson's apparent left-arm injury

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Harbaugh, 49ers mum on Haralson's apparent left-arm injury

UPDATE: (12:30) -- To make room on the 53-man roster for recent signee Clark Haggans, the 49ers have placed Parys Harlson on Injured Reserve.

Coach Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers feel as if they must hide something when it comes to the status of outside linebacker Parys Haralson.

Haralson has not practiced or played -- or been seen by the media -- since the 49ers' exhibition game Aug. 26 at Denver. When he did not suit up for the 49ers exhibition finale, Harbaugh was asked about Haralson's status.

"He's working through something," Harbaugh said.

The next time Harbaugh spoke to the media, he was asked if he expected Haralson to be available for the Green Bay Packers in Week 1.

"We'll see," Harbaugh answered.

Then, he was asked if defensive linemantight end Demarcus Dobbs might get some reps at outside linebacker.

"That's a possibility," Harbaugh said.

It's not clear what Harbaugh or the 49ers -- or Haralson, in particular -- believe they can gain by having this much uncertainty. It's not as if the Packers are going to spend much time game-planning for the 49ers' backup outside linebacker.

I've been asked by readers whether Haralson is injured or going through a personal crisis. I can't answer for certain, but I suspect he has a left arm (or wrist) injury.

This morning, I went back and re-watched all 29 of Haralson's defensive snaps against the Denver Broncos. His final play looked innocuous enough. He was engaged with Broncos tight end Joel Dressen on a second-quarter play that went another direction.

Immediately after the play, Haralson held his left arm or wrist as if he had been injured. He immediately left the game and did not return.

The 49ers kept only two healthy outside linebackers -- Aldon Smith, who is now at full strength after missing three exhibition games with a right hip bruise, and Ahmad Broocks -- on their initial 53-man roster.

The 49ers finalized a deal Sunday with veteran outside linebacker Clark Haggans. They are expected to make that announcement Monday, at which point the organization must make a corresponding move to clear room on the 53-man roster.

(Haggans might have to serve a league suspension at the start of the season after serving jail time in June stemming from a DUI in April 2011, but that's another story.)

Conceivably, Haralson could be a candidate for the new NFL rule that allows one player from every team to return to play that season from the injured reserve list. But, in order for Haralson to eligible to return, the 49ers would have to place him on injured reserve after Tuesday at 1 p.m. In the past, every player on injured reserve was out for the remainder of the regular season and playoffs.

The new NFL rule states that a player who is eligible to return must be noted as "Designated for Return" at the time the player is placed on injured reserve. The player is ineligible to practice until six weeks have elapsed since the date he was placed on the list, and is not eligible to play until eight weeks have elapsed since the date he was placed on injured reserve.

49ers' top pick Thomas 'can't wait' to play best friend McCaffrey in Week 1

49ers' top pick Thomas 'can't wait' to play best friend McCaffrey in Week 1

SANTA CLARA – The 49ers open the regular season on Sept. 10 against the Carolina Panthers at Levi’s Stadium.

Stanford products Solomon Thomas and Christian McCaffrey will make their NFL debuts in that game across from each other.

Thomas, a defensive lineman, was the No. 3 overall pick of the 49ers. The Carolina Panthers selected McCaffrey with the eighth overall pick.

“I can’t wait to play him,” Thomas said Thursday night on a conference call with Bay Area reporters. “You know, that’s my boy. That’s my best friend. I love him to death. I can’t wait to play him.”

Lynch makes former classmate first draft selection as 49ers' GM

Lynch makes former classmate first draft selection as 49ers' GM

SANTA CLARA – Leading up to Stanford’s bowl game, defensive lineman Solomon Thomas was mostly an under-the-radar draft prospect.

John Lynch had known all about him for a few years. He even called some NFL teams to give them a heads-up to watch No. 90 -- long before he was hired to run the 49ers' personnel department.

After trading back one spot with the Chicago Bears, Lynch made Thomas his first selection as 49ers general manager. The 49ers drafted Thomas with the No. 3 overall pick.

“I want to make it the best draft pick he has,” Thomas said on Thursday.

Thomas first met Lynch during his freshman year at Stanford. Lynch returned to Stanford to finish his degree. They took a class together: Management Science and Engineering.

According to MMQB’s Jenny Vrentas, they even collaborated on a project of whether the NFL’s Washington team should change its mascot name.

“I remember I was star-stuck the first day of class,” Thomas said.

Thomas said they did not talk much in the following years, but Thomas reached out to Lynch for advice before Stanford’s game against North Carolina in the Sun Bowl.

Said Thomas, “In the pre-draft process before the North Carolina game, he told me: ‘Don’t worry about the external stuff going on. Worry about yourself and your team. The best thing you can do is have the best bowl game possible and show you’re unstoppable and unblockable.”

That is exactly what Thomas did in Stanford’s 25-23 victory over Mitchell Trubisky’s team. Thomas recorded seven tackles, two behind the line of scrimmage, and a sack.

A month later, Lynch was hired as 49ers general manager and Thomas first began to think about the possibility of being drafted by his former classmate.

“I thought it was definitely a possibility,” Thomas said. “People really hadn’t watched my film yet, so I didn’t know if I’d go that high.”

Thomas was routinely matched with the 49ers in mock drafts in the weeks leading up to Thursday’s first round. The 49ers swapped their second pick with the Chicago Bears, who moved up to select Trubisky.

All along, Thomas said he wanted the 49ers to draft him.

“In my head I thought, ‘I love that, but I can’t ride the rollercoaster and believe that stuff or I’m going to get my heart broken.’ I kept my mind open and came in blind and tried to be happy for any team to draft me,” Thomas said. “But the best team for me drafted me and the best team I wanted to draft me drafted me.

“I love John Lynch. I love the way he played the mentality that he’s going to bring to the team. Coach (Kyle) Shanahan seems like an amazing man and an amazing coach.”