Harbaugh: Baldwin will play
Jon Baldwin is a near-lock to make the 49ers' 53-man roster with a guaranteed contract of over $1 million. (AP)
SANTA CLARA -- Wide receiver Jon Baldwin, acquired Monday in a trade for A.J. Jenkins, is expected to play Sunday in the 49ers' exhibition game against the Minnesota Vikings, coach Jim Harbaugh said.
Baldwin practiced Tuesday for the first time since joining his new team after spending his first two NFL seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
"Just one day, but good so far," Harbaugh said on Wednesday.
Baldwin is considered a near-lock to make the 49ers' 53-man roster because of his first-round talent and a guaranteed contract of over $1 million. Harbaugh said the 49ers will have to project how Baldwin fits with a limited time to evaluate him.
Harbaugh described Baldwin as a "somebody great athletic ability. He already has a resume."
Harbaugh also re-addressed his comments from a year ago when he described critics of Jenkins as "clueless."
"I know a lot of people made sport of A.J. and Jonathan and my comments and that type of thing," Harbaugh said. "And I really feel the same as I did a year ago when I made those comments. I don't think it's fair to bully or label a young player. I fully understand people are entitled to their opinion and their perspective, however, I refer the criticism -- or appreciate -- if the criticism is directed toward me. I'm responsible and I certainly accept it."
When asked for what he's responsible, Harbaugh answered, "I'm responsible for helping pick the draft picks and fully responsible for coaching the players up. So I willingly accept those responsibilities."
Now, the 49ers have the responsibility of coaching Baldwin, who is behind Kyle Williams and Marlon Moore for the 49ers other starting wide receiver spot opposite of Anquan Boldwin.
Boldin, Baldwin, Moore, Williams and rookie Quinton Patton appear to be on solid footing for roster spots. Moore has risen up the depth chart at wide receiver, as well as being projected as a special-teams standout.
"There's the physical and the mentality," Harbaugh said. "You need both. He's definitely a talented player physically and also tough mentally and tough physically. Those things are good combination."
In other news . . .
--Harbaugh said running back Kendall Hunter will make his exhibition season debut against the Vikings on Sunday. Hunter sat out the game Friday at Kansas City, a week after being activated from the physically-unable-to-perform list. Hunter was out 8 1/2 months after sustaining a torn Achilles.
--Rookie tight end Vance McDonald is also slated to return to action.
--Colt McCoy will be the No. 2 quarterback in Sunday's game. B.J. Daniels, who is playing quarterback exclusively on offense, and Scott Tolzien are also expected to see action. Harbaugh did not specify in which order they will enter the game.