SANTA CLARA – Kendrick Bourne led all 49ers wide receivers in receptions last season.
Entering his third NFL season, Bourne is getting better with more experience. But there are no guarantees he will be on the 53-man roster when the season begins. Bourne said his goal is to string together good days of practice.
And that is exactly what he has done over the past three days. He is trying not to think too much about where he stands in the competition during 49ers camp.
“Everybody’s good. Everybody’s doing good, so I really don’t get too much into it,” Bourne said of trying to figure out which receivers will make the team. “I mean, I put myself in there all the time.”
Bourne’s practice on Saturday got off to a good start with an impressive rep during a one-on-one drill in the red zone, making a diving touchdown catch on a Nick Mullens pass. He later worked free for another reception in the end zone on a pass from C.J. Beathard.
Bourne was the 49ers’ second-leading receiver behind George Kittle last season with 42 receptions for 487 yards and four touchdowns. This season, he finds himself in a battle for a roster spot.
The 49ers figure to keep six receivers on their 53-man roster. The group in camp includes Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Jalen Hurd and Jordan Matthews, as well as slot receivers Trent Taylor and Richie James.
Bourne said he believes this is a make-or-break year for a lot of receivers on the team, himself included.
“I don’t really know what’s going to happen, so I just come in and go hard and prove the same stuff I’ve already proven,” he said. “It’s the consistency with it. I just feel if the ball comes my way, I’m pretty confident in myself.”
Offensive Play of the Day
Kittle made his best play of training camp when he climbed the ladder to haul in a 20-yard touchdown catch from Jimmy Garoppolo over the tight coverage of linebacker Malcolm Smith at the back line of the end zone.
Defensive Plays of the Day
Through seven practices, the defense has recorded just three interceptions. It looked as if strong safety Jaquiski Tartt would come up with No. 4. He had good coverage and made a move to cut in front of Samuel. He made a good play to break on Garoppolo’s pass. Now, he has to hold onto it. He dropped the would-be interception.
Defensive linemen DeForest Buckner and Dee Ford sat out practice for the second day in a row. Buckner was seen working out on the field the past two days with a mild toe sprain. Ford is nursing a case of tendinitis in his knee.
“He says it happens about every camp and then usually goes away,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said of Ford’s condition.
Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon (glute), running back Jeffrey Wilson (calf) and guard Joshua Garnett (finger) remain out. Tackle Joe Staley and cornerback Richard Sherman were given the days off. Staley is on a two-days on, one-day-off schedule in camp.
Comings and goings
The 49ers signed former New York Giants defensive lineman Jay Bromley and former Houston Texans wide receiver Chris Thompson. Both players face uphill climbs to win spots on the team this season.
The 49ers made those moves to take the spots of Kapron Lewis-Moore, who was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury, and wide receiver Max McCaffrey, whom the 49ers waived.
This ‘n’ That
Beathard made his best throw of camp with a 15-yard strike in the back right corner of the end zone for a touchdown to Samuel against the coverage of rookie Tim Harris. ...
Cornerback Jason Verrett worked with the first-team defense with Sherman and Witherspoon unavailable. Verrett is being worked back into the mix slowly after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles.
“He looks really sharp,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “He had a really nice play yesterday, showed great patience on Marquise Goodwin, which is very hard to do when he’s screaming up the field.
“His foot quickness and speed and all that is right there, so I like the progress he’s going into or he’s showing. He just needs to continue to get better. He’ll get more of a load as we go and keep gaining confidence that he’s healthy and that he’s going to make it through this year, 16 games. That’s the mindset.”
Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa, who ended the final two 1s vs. 1s possessions Friday with third-down “sacks” against Mike McGlinchey and Joe Staley, opened practice with a win against swing tackle Shon Coleman. Staley was given the day off ...
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead and unblocked nickel back K’Waun Williams arrived at the same time on a “sack” of Garoppolo ...
Prospect High football coach Rob Mendez, a lifelong 49ers fan, attended practice and spoke at length afterward with passing game coordinator Mike LaFleur, as well as Bosa, Pettis, Kittle and others. Mendez, who was born without arms and legs, recently was named the winner of the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the ESPY Awards. ...
The field-goal unit had their first live snaps of camp, and Robbie Gould made all three of his attempts in the 35-yard range. ...
Malcolm Smith had tight coverage on back-to-back plays against running backs 20 yards down the field. On the first pass, Mullens completed a back-shoulder pass to Raheem Mostert. On the next play, Smith forced an incompletion on a Mullens throw intended for Austin Walter.
The 49ers return to practice Sunday at 10 a.m.