Practice 4: Light workload for 49ers starting CBs

Practice 4: Light workload for 49ers starting CBs
July 27, 2014, 5:45 pm
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Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver definitely are playing at a very high level right out of the chutes.
Jim Harbaugh

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SANTA CLARA – Running back LaMichael James sustained a dislocated left elbow during a blitz pick-up drill, but he was not the only 49ers player to leave practice early on Sunday.

Starting cornerbacks Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver had limited work days with a players day off scheduled for Monday. Brock has a sore ankle. Culliver practiced fully for the first three days of camp after returning from an ACL injury he sustained during camp last year.

Coach Jim Harbaugh said prior to practice that Brock and Culliver have already distinguished themselves during the early practices of training camp.

“Tramaine Brock and Chris Culliver definitely are playing at a very high level right out of the chutes,” Harbaugh said. “They’re off to a very strong start, both of those players.

“Tramaine Brock really looks to have elevated his game. We saw it last season, we saw it in the offseason and he’s off to a very, very strong start. And Chris Culliver’s moving around exceptionally well. There is, right now, a different level with those two.”

In other highlights and notes from Sunday’s practice:

--The 49ers split up their 11-on-11 reps mostly among four quarterbacks. Colin Kaepernick completed six of his 11 attempts. Backup Blaine Gabbert completed six of nine passes. Receiver Anquan Boldin caught five of those passes from Kaepernick and Gabbert.

--Linebacker Patrick Willis demonstrated his athleticism when he went back deep to return a kickoff. He juked running back Carlos Hyde and ran past him along the left sideline en route to the end zone.

--Tackle Jonathan Martin had a better day in one-on-one pass protection, handling Ahmad Brooks and Nick Moody on back-to-back turns.

--Receiver Chuck Jacobs made a one-handed grab of a deep pass from Josh Johnson in one-on-one drills against rookie cornerback Dontae Johnson.

--Dontae Johnson had a solid day, though he did drop what should’ve been an easy interception against Kaepernick while covering Brandon Lloyd. On the next play, Johnson broke up a Kaepernick pass intended for Stevie Johnson in the end zone. Earlier, Johnson broke up a Kaepernick pass for Boldin.

--Linebacker Nick Moody, who played safety in college, showed his cover skills when he broke up a Gabbert pass intended for Devon Wylie in a 7-on-7 drill.

--Safety Antoine Bethea intercepted McLeod Bethel-Thompson on a pass near the sideline intended for Wylie.

--Rookie guard Fouimalo Fonoti missed the past part of practice due to an apparent left knee injury. The extent of his injury was not immediately known.

Participation report
Returned to practice: None.
Did not practice: RB Kendall Hunter (torn right ACL), DL Justin Smith (offseason shoulder surgery), RT Anthony Davis (offseason shoulder surgery), WR Bruce Ellington (ankle), C Marcus Martin (ankle), LB Aaron Lynch (hamstring).
Physically unable to perform: LB NaVorro Bowman (knee), NT Ian Williams (lower leg), TE Garrett Celek (back), Kaleb Ramsey (NA).
Non-football injury: RB Marcus Lattimore (knee/hamstring), FB Trey Millard (knee), CB Keith Reaser (knee) and G Brandon Thomas (knee).
Reserve/did not report: RG Alex Boone (contract holdout).