SANTA CLARA — Although Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers offense flashed in red-zone drills, injuries were the main story of the day out of 49ers camp.
The defensive line is running a little thin with several players being held out of practice due to injury. No. 2 draft pick Nick Bosa added to that total, leaving practice early and later getting an MRI on his right ankle.
Bosa’s injury adds to the list of lineman already sitting out of practice, which includes Dee Ford (knee), Arik Armstead (calf) and Ronald Blair (groin).
Cornerback Jason Verrett also left practice early and will be having an MRI performed on his ankle as well.
One of the challenges for the 49ers offense in the 2018 season was their performance in the red zone. During team drills Wednesday, Garoppolo showed that they have the potential to improve, completing four straight passes for touchdowns, two to tight end George Kittle and two to receiver Trent Taylor.
49ers cornerback Richard Sherman was so upset with the defense’s performance that he gathered the group for a pep talk. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh summarized his motivational message.
“Sherm is an outstanding leader,” Saleh said. “His message was, ‘We’re getting to a point in camp where it’s easy to feel sorry for yourself. But if you want to be a champion, champions rise to every occasion.’ He wanted to see the team finish strong.”
Offensive play of the day
During red-zone drills, Garoppolo rolled out and found Taylor at the back of the end zone, who was covered by Tarvarius Moore and Fred Warner. The QB put the ball where only Taylor could grab it while still keeping both feet in bounds.
Defensive play of the day
Practice ended with a Garoppolo pass intended for George Kittle. But linebacker Fred Warner got his hands on the ball, which sent it right into the hands of Sherman for the interception.
Players are showing the wear and tear of training camp. Along with the above-listed injures on the defensive line, the following players remain out: DL Jamel Garcia (concussion protocol), OL Joshua Garnett (finger), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring tightness), DB K’Waun Williams (knee), RB Jeff Wilson (calf).
RB Jerick McKinnon continues to work out in non-contact and individual drills.
This 'n' That
Honorable mention for a top offensive play was a 15-yard dart to Dante Pettis, who was closely covered by Greg Mabin. Pettis was able to get a good amount of yards after contact until he was finally pushed out of bounds by linebacker David Mayo ...
Ahkello Witherspoon showed that he is not afraid to show his physicality, as he delivered a hit on Tevin Coleman that made the fans take notice ...
The best series during “move the ball” two-minute drills was lead by backup QB Nick Mullens, who completed five of seven passes. Four of those completions were to tight end Ross Dwelley who continues to make a case to be the back up for Kittle ...
One of those passes was with Dwelley in triple coverage in the middle of the field. Mullens placed the ball in the right spot and Dwelley showed no fear of defenders nearby, hauling in the pass to move the chains.
The 49ers have their final open practice on Thursday at 10:15 am PT before a walkthrough that’s closed to media and the public on Friday.