SANTA CLARA -– Tight end Derek Carrier made an impression on his teammates during the offseason program.
And he flashed his skills Friday on the 49ers practice field.
“To say he’s pretty athletic would be an understatement,” 49ers safety Eric Reid said of Carrier. “He’s a heck of an athlete. I think when he gets his opportunity, he’ll take full advantage of it, whether it’s on this team or another team.”
With Garrett Celek on the physically unable to perform list with a back injury, Carrier appears to be in the lead for the No. 3 job. He’ll have to earn the job with his blocking when the 49ers begin padded practices on Saturday. Carrier spent seven weeks on the 49ers' 53-man roster last season, appearing in five games.
On Friday, he showed his athleticism with a nice leaping catch down the field on a pass from quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Here are some other notes from Friday’s practice:
--Running back Kendall Hunter went down early in practice with an apparent right knee injury. Frank Gore got a lot of reps in practice, including a 7-on-7 play when he was the only player on the field who was not wearing a helmet.
--Kaepernick did not complete a high percentage, but his best throw was a 20-yard laser in 7-on-7 drills that he completed to Michael Crabtree at the goal line between the coverage of safeties Craig Dahl and C.J. Spilllman.
--Receiver Quinton Patton dropped a deep slant from McLeod Bethel-Thompson with Darryl Morris in coverage.
--Slot receiver Devon Wylie had a good day with several receptions. Wylie also has return skills.
--Receiver Stevie Johnson and safety Jimmie Ward got their feet tangled on a Josh Johnson pass that fell incomplete. Both players immediately got up.
--Outside linebacker Chase Thomas dropped a would-be interception on a pass that Kaepernick tried to fit into tight end Vance McDonald over the middle.
--With the young players on the field at the end of practice, linebacker Shayne Skov broke up a Kory Faulker pass by tumbling over Carrier, the intended target.
--The 49ers activated wide receiver Bruce Ellington from the non-football injury list, but he did not participate in practice.
--Running back Marcus Lattimore worked out on a side field and looks to be close to being cleared to practice.
--Defensive lineman Quinton Dial, who missed most of his rookie season with a toe injury, had an impressive day. He beat right tackle Jonathan Martin and forced Blaine Gabbert out of the pocket. Then, he demonstrated his strength when he tossed guard Fouimalo Fonoti to the ground on a run play.
Returned to practice: None.
Did not practice: DL Justin Smith (offseason shoulder surgery), RT Anthony Davis (offseason shoulder surgery), WR Bruce Ellington (ankle).
Physically unable to perform: LB NaVorro Bowman (knee), NT Ian Williams (lower leg), TE Garrett Celek (back), LB Aaron Lynch (hamstring), Kaleb Ramsey (NA).
Non-football injury: RB Marcus Lattimore (knee/hamstring), C Marcus Martin (ankle), FB Trey Millard (knee), CB Keith Reaser (knee) and G Brandon Thomas (knee).
Reserve/did not report: RG Alex Boone (contract holdout).