Injury report: 49ers have fewer concerns than Giants


Injury report: 49ers have fewer concerns than Giants

SANTA CLARA -- Every player on the 49ers' 53-man roster will be available Sunday to face the New York Giants at Candlestick Park.Whether the 49ers plan to suit up veteran running back Brandon Jacobs, however, remains to be seen. He has not played since sustaining a left knee sprain Aug. 18 in the 49ers' second exhibition game. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against his former team.Coach Jim Harbaugh declined to say whether Jacobs will suit up for Sunday's game. The 49ers will make that announcement 90 minutes prior to kickoff."He had a good week of practice," Harbaugh said. "I think it's been pretty consistently good. He was better last week than two weeks ago. He was better this week than the week before that. He's working hard and he's taking reps and doing the things that he can control."REWIND: Jacobs, Harbaugh meet, iron out differences
Quarterback Alex Smith's availability is not a question, as he went through a full week of practice with a mild sprain of the middle finger on his throwing hand.For the Giants, receiver Hakeem Nicks, who has missed the past three games with a knee injury, is listed as questionable. He'll be a game-time decision for coach Tom Coughlin.No. 2 running back Andre Brown, who has rushed for 198 yards and a team-leading three touchdowns, will not suit up after sustaining a concussion last week. Safety Kenny Phillips (knee) will be out for the second straight game.49ERS
Questionable RB Brandon Jacobs (knee)
Probable: QB Alex Smith (finger), P Andy Lee (thumb)GIANTS
Out: DT Rocky Bernard (quad), RB Andre Brown (concussion), S Kenny Phillips (knee)
Questionable: WR Hakeem Nicks (knee), CB Corey Webster (hamstringhand), T David Diehl (knee)
Probable: TE Martellus Bennett (knee), CB Jayron Hosley (hamstring), LB Chase Blackburn (hip), LB Keith Rivers (hamstring), LB Michael Boley (hip), WR Ramses Barden (concussion), S Antrel Rolle (knee)

Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’


Von Miller calls 49ers’ Trent Brown 'the best right tackle in the NFL’

Von Miller has 73.5 sacks to his name over six seasons in the NFL. He's a five-time Prow Bowl linebacker, three-time All-Pro, Super Bowl champion, and Super Bowl MVP. 

Trent Brown has played 21 games in two NFL seasons for the 49ers, 18 of them as starts. Despite his little time in the NFL and lack of honors, the Broncos' defensive star sees San Francisco's young offensive lineman as the best in the game at his position.

“He’s the best right tackle in the National Football League,” Miller said to the San Francisco Chronicle Wednesday after the first of two joint practices with the 49ers. “And he may even be a top-five tackle, period, in the National Football League. There’s not another tackle who’s that tall, that big and can move he way he moves.”

Brown, at 24 years old and standing 6-foot-8 while weighing 355 pounds, was the only offensive lineman invited to Miller's "Pass Rush Summit" at Stanford in June. Miller says he invited Brown so he could gain more knowledge, but also added, "from my point of view, we could get it (more knowledge) from a premier-offensive-tackle point of view.”

The two went up against each other in the trenches Wednesday in Santa Clara. After Brown held his own, Miller poured on the praise, but he made it clear how the young offensive lineman's future is all up to himself. Brown holds the keys to his potential. 

"He’ll be as good as he wants to be," Miller said. "When he’s on, there’s not another tackle in the National Football League that’s as good as him."

Miller also made a bold prediction. "He’s going to have one of the biggest (contracts) for an offensive lineman."

Brown's rookie deal ends after the 2018 season. 

Practice report: 49ers' offense closes the gap against Broncos


Practice report: 49ers' offense closes the gap against Broncos

SANTA CLARA – It was clear during the past two summers that the Denver Broncos’ defense was far ahead of the 49ers’ offense. That should not come as a big surprise.

On Wednesday, it was a much closer match when the units practiced against each other on the 49ers' practice field.

The Broncos’ pass rush still gave some problems to the 49ers’ offensive line, but the 49ers connected on a lot more plays than it has in the past in their head-to-head meetings.

The biggest issue with the 49ers continues to be the play at the guard positions. The 49ers are set at offensive tackle with Joe Staley and Trent Brown. Daniel Kilgore appears settled in at center. But the 49ers might not be completely sold on Zane Beadles and Brandon Fusco at the guard positions.

However, starting quarterback Brian Hoyer said he believes the entire unit is doing a good job.

“I think those guys are doing a great job,” Hoyer said. “I think the scheme helps out those guys, too. For me, to evaluate the guard, you evaluate the whole offensive line because they work as a unit. It’s five guys working as one. Throughout this training camp, I think they’ve all done a great job.”

Still, it’s no coincidence that the best the 49ers’ offense looked on Wednesday was during a 7-on-7 passing drill that does not include offensive linemen.

Matt Barkley hit consecutive touchdown passes of 15, 10 and 5 yards with Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor and Bourne, again, on the receiving ends. Then, Hoyer hit Tim Hightower and Pierre Garçon on touchdowns, giving the 49ers five touchdowns during a six-play stretch.


--Hoyer was especially sharp, completing better than 80 percent of his pass attempts during the 11-on-11 periods. Hoyer had five completions to Marquise Goodwin and four more to Garçon.

Goodwin, who has never caught more than 29 passes in a season, has put himself in position to have a breakout season as a starter.

“I really enjoy working with him,” Hoyer said. “You talk about a hard-worker. I was just out there with my family for 30 minutes and he’s still catching balls on the (machine), running up the hill. When you see guys who are really talented and willing to work that hard, they obviously have a chance to be something special.”

--Rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard and receiver DeAndre Smelter teamed up for a picturesque 10-yard touchdown during a 7-on-7 drill with a well-thrown pass and leaping catch in the back left corner of the end zone.