49ers camp report: On no-contact day, rookie LB Fred Warner makes a big hit


49ers camp report: On no-contact day, rookie LB Fred Warner makes a big hit

SANTA CLARA – Rookie linebacker Fred Warner was nursing a chest injury, so he went out to practice Thursday wearing a blue jersey, signifying he was off-limits for contact.

Yet, it was Warner who supplied the biggest hit of training camp on a day he was supposed to steer clear of his offensive teammates.

“It’s one of those that happened so quick,” 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “There were a lot of plays in there where Fred did avoid contact like he was supposed to. But that one was so quick and so fast that it was almost like he was bracing for contact, so it was completely accidental.”

Warner broke up a Jimmy Garoppolo pass over the middle that was intended for fullback Kyle Juszczyk. Warner separated Juszczyk from the ball, and Juszczyk landed flat on his back with a thud.

Juszczyk remained on the ground for a full minute. After he got to his feet, Warner went over to apologize. Juszczyk returned to practice in the next period. Afterward, Juszczyk said he got the wind knocked out of him.

Warner is competing for a role in the 49ers’ defense. He figures to be a standout on special teams, while factoring into the team’s sub packages due to his coverage skills.

“He’s improving quite a bit,” 49ers tight end Garrett Celek said. “The guy knows how to hit. In practice, he’s hit a couple guys really hard. Some people don’t have that in them. He has it in him. And he’s a smart player as well.”

Offensive Play of the Day

Garoppolo’s ability to connect on the deep ball was a facet of his game that appeared to be lacking during the offseason program and the first couple practices of training camp. But Garoppolo appears to be dialing in with wide receiver Marquise Goodwin. Early in practice, Garoppolo executed a play fake and unloaded a pass that traveled 45 yards down field. Goodwin ran past right cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon to make the catch in stride en route to a 75-yard touchdown. Garoppolo and Goodwin also hooked up on a 40-yard pass later in practice against the coverage of Witherspoon and safety Adrian Colbert.

Defensive Play of the Day

Garoppolo’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage, and rookie Tarvarius Moore tumbled to the ground to make the interception. Moore appears to be getting more comfortable playing cornerback after mostly playing safety during his college career at Southern Mississippi. The 49ers invested a third-round draft pick in Moore, who also broke up a Nick Mullens pass attempt two plays later.

Injury report

There was concern after tight end Cole Wick, who spent most of last season on the practice squad, sustained a right knee injury upon landing awkwardly after jumping for Mullens’ sideline throw. Wick was taken in for further evaluation. The 49ers were already down one tight end, as Cole Hikutini is expected to miss a week with a groin injury.

The other players who remain out of practice are: Defensive lineman Arik Armstead (hamstring), guard Joshua Garnett (knee), linebacker Brock Coyle (hip) and offensive lineman JP Flynn (knee).

This ‘n’ That

The following veterans were given “recovery days” and did not practice: Joe Staley, Pierre Garçon, Jerick McKinnon, DeForest Buckner, Earl Mitchell, Richard Sherman and Malcolm Smith . . . Garnett has missed four consecutive practices. Jonathan Cooper, Mike Person and Erik Magnuson are working at right guard. . . Colbert made an interception of a Garoppolo pass that deflected off the hands of wide receiver Kendrick Bourne. . . Receiver Max McCaffrey and safety Chanceller James both had their hands on a C.J. Beathard pass, but McCaffrey came away with the football after gaining control of it when both players went to the ground.

49ers' Robbie Gould says family will drive his football decisions

49ers' Robbie Gould says family will drive his football decisions

Kicker Robbie Gould and the 49ers remain in a holding pattern, and Gould said the only motivating factor at this stage of his NFL career is his family.

Gould, 36, spent most of the 2018 season away from his wife and three young boys while serving his second season as the 49ers’ kicker. He signed a two-year, $4 million contract with the 49ers on the first day of free agency in 2017.

Gould has deep roots in Chicago, where he spent the first 11 seasons of his NFL career. On Monday, he hosted the Robbie Gould Celebrity Golf Invitational at Medinah Country Club to raise funds for Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago.

“This city’s been incredible,” Gould told NBC Sports Chicago. “No matter where I’ve gone, no matter where I’ve lived, no matter where I’ve played, Chicago has always been home.”

The Bears released Gould just prior to the start of the regular season in 2016. The move came back to haunt them, as Gould made 72 of 75 field-goal attempts the past two seasons with the 49ers.

Gould expected to be a free agent at the end of the season, but the 49ers tagged him as their franchise player. Gould has requested a trade, but the 49ers have stated they will not trade him.

He has yet to sign the one-year, $4.971 million tender, and he remained away from the 49ers during the offseason program.

“It’s a complicated situation,” Gould said. “The way I’ve kind of approached it is, I want to spend time with my family. And I let my agent handle it, and if anything comes up that I have to make a decision or be in the know, he’ll call me and let me know. But right now there’s nothing to really know, and I’m just enjoying being home and being in Chicago.

“I’m at a point in my career where my family is what’s going to dictate the decisions that I make.”

The 49ers have stated they would like to sign Gould to an extension. The sides have until July 15 to work out a new multi-year deal. Gould’s scheduled salary does not begin paying him until Week 1 of the regular season -- in the amount of more than $290,000 per week.

The Bears have a need at kicker after releasing Cody Parkey following his potential game-winning kick in the final seconds was partially blocked in a first-round NFL playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles. Gould was in attendance at Soldier Field that day.

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“You want every kicking friend or every kicker in the National Football League to do well,” Gould said. ‘It’s a fraternity. You obviously want him to make it. As a kicker, you can feel for him, for sure.”

The Bears currently have two kickers under contract: Elliott Fry and Eddy Pineiro. Gould said he is not following the Bears’ situation. Instead, he said he is focusing spending time with his family and going through his daily workouts.

Watch 49ers' Jason Verrett go full speed in change-of-direction drills


Watch 49ers' Jason Verrett go full speed in change-of-direction drills

Cornerback Jason Verrett did not take part in the 49ers’ practices during the offseason program with the plan of being ready to compete for a starting job when training camp opens in July.

After missing all of last season with a torn Achilles sustained in a conditioning test at the opening of Los Angeles Chargers training camp, Verrett appears on pace to be cleared at or near the beginning of camp this summer.

Verrett on Monday posted videos to his Instagram account that show him going near full speed in change-of-direction drills. During the last week of the team’s offseason program, Verrett said he expected to be ready for training camp. The 49ers are scheduled to report to camp on July 27.

"I’m going to be ready,” Verrett said. “That’s my main focus. It’s just worrying about what I can control and I’m excited to be getting ready for training camp. My health is pretty much everything and I’m on track to be exactly where I want to be. The day I get on that football field they are going to like what they see.”

Verrett, who turned 28 last week, has played in just 25 games since breaking into the NFL in 2014 as the 25th overall draft pick of the Chargers.

He was limited to just six games because of a shoulder injury as a rookie. After appearing in 14 games in 2015 and earning a spot on the AFC Pro Bowl team, Verrett sustained a partial tear of his ACL and played in just four games in 2016.

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In the first game of 2017, Verrett reinjured his knee and sat out the remainder of the season. Verrett missed all of last season with the injury he sustained on the first day of training camp.

Ahkello Witherspoon had a strong offseason program as the starting cornerback opposite Richard Sherman. Verrett is expected to compete with Witherspoon for a starting job.