49ers

49ers camp report: Richard Sherman leaves practice early

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AP

49ers camp report: Richard Sherman leaves practice early

SANTA CLARA – The dog days of training camp have arrived.

And after cutting practice short on Thursday, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan gathered his team together in the middle of the session to inform everyone they were getting no breaks today.

“I just told them early on I wasn’t going to do that today,” Shanahan said. “We had to lock in. We had to tough through this. I didn’t want to waste a day. I think guys were working, but I want people mindful in everything they do and not going through the motions so we’re getting better out there, not just getting tired.”

The 49ers have experienced the usual number of strains and tight muscles in the first eight practices of camp. Richard Sherman was among a group of players, including Dante Pettis, Cassius Marsh and Jeremy Attaochu  who either did not practice or saw a limited work day as precautions.

Sherman saw action early in practice before spending the rest of the day on the sideline. Co-chair John York approached Sherman on the sideline late in practice and the two spoke at length.

“They told me out there his hammy got tight on him so they took him out,” Shanahan said of Sherman.

The 49ers have a day off from practice on Saturday.

Offensive Play of the Day

The 49ers’ first-team offense made quick work of a move-the-chains period that began at the 25-yard line. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo found tight end George Kittle running down the middle of the field, between safeties Adrian Colbert and Jaquiski Tartt for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Kittle had an active day with six receptions during 11-on-11 drills, five of them coming from Garoppolo.

Defensive Play of the Day

Cornerback Greg Mabin is making a solid bid for a roster spot during training camp. He saw action with the first-team defense with Sherman and Jimmie Ward sidelined with tight hamstrings. Mabin stepped in front of Pierre Garçon to make an interception of a Garoppolo pass.

Injury report

In addition to Attaochu, defensive lineman Arik Armstead (hamstring), guard Joshua Garnett (knee), linebacker Brock Coyle (hip), offensive lineman JP Flynn (knee), tight end Cole Wick (knee) and linebacker Fred Warner (chest) did not practice. Ward was limited.

This ‘n’ That

Nose tackle tackle Sheldon Day had an impressive day, giving the 49ers’ offensive line fits and seemingly living in the offensive backfield. Day threw running back Matt Breida for a 5-yard loss on one play, then recorded a sack of C.J. Beathard on the next snap. . . It was also another strong day for DeForest Buckner, who beat left guard Laken Tomlinson for a sack and powered through Tomlinson to stop Jerick McKinnon for a 2-yard loss on an outside zone run. . . McKinnon had a rough opening to practice. On the first play of 11-on-11 work, Reuben Foster drilled McKinnon, sending him to the ground. . . Rookie receiver Richie James had a good day, including a reception of a Nick Mullens’ pass on a deep crossing pattern. James later saw some action with the first-team offense in a move-the-chains period. “We threw him in the slot today,” Shanahan said. “We’ll throw someone else in another day. He’s a tough player. He can separate and he’s done a good job. We’re going to have some good competition there.” . . . Outside linebacker Pita Taumoepenu had one of his best practices. Two snaps after getting pressure on Beathard, he beat Andrew Lauderdale with a spin move to record the sack. He also deflected a pass at the line of scrimmage . . Undrafted rookie safety Terrell Williams picked off a Mullens pass near the end of practice. . . . Dekoda Watson had back-to-back pressures against rookie right tackle Mike McGlinchey to force Garoppolo incompletions.

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

NFL rumors: League seeks to add seventh playoff team in each conference

The NFL’s playoff structure is expected to change to reportedly include seven teams in both conferences to advance to the postseason.

The current proposal, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, would add one playoff team in each conference and only the top seed in the AFC and NFC would be rewarded with byes in the first round of the playoffs.

The changes to the playoff format would take effect this season when the new collective bargaining agreement is ratified. ESPN reports there is “mounting optimism” the new CBA will be agreed upon within the week.

Through last season, the top six teams in both conferences made the playoffs. If the playoff proposal had been in effect last season, the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers would have advanced to the playoffs as the Nos. 7 seeds.

As the No. 1 seed in the NFC, the 49ers would have still earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. But the Green Bay Packers, the No. 2 seed, would have played in the extra game against the Rams. If the Rams were to have upset the Packers in the wild-card round, the 49ers would have played Los Angeles in the NFC Divisional Playoff instead of the Minnesota Vikings.

But the new proposal would have had an even more major impact in the AFC, where the Kansas City Chiefs would have been forced to win three games in the playoffs just to advance to the Super Bowl.

"That's been agreed to for a long time," one source familiar with the CBA talks told ESPN about the NFL's new playoff structure. "There wasn't a lot of disagreement to that issue."

[RELATED49ers roster analysis: More receiver depth needed around Deebo Samuel]

Players on the top team in each conference will receive postseason pay for the bye weekend, unlike years past, according to the report.

Also, ESPN reported that the sides are also trying to work through a proposal for a 17-game regular season, while the exhibition season is shortened to three games. The earliest that change could occur would be the 2021 season, according to the report.

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Deebo Samuel pleas for 49ers to re-sign Emmanuel Sanders in free agency

Before the 49ers officially had lost Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs, tight end George Kittle was already preaching they would be back next year.

But it didn't stop with him.

49ers players throughout the roster already are thinking of everything they can do to make another run at it, and that includes bringing back free-agent receiver Emmanuel Sanders.

Fellow wideout Deebo Samuel made it clear Wednesday on Twitter that he wants to see the 49ers bring back the 32-year-old veteran.

Sanders showed his appreciation later Wednesday morning.

After coming over from the Denver Broncos via trade in October, Sanders excelled with the 49ers. He caught 36 passes for 502 yards and three touchdowns in the regular season, and added five receptions for 71 yards in the postseason.

But Sanders could have been an even more critical part of 49ers lore, had it not been for Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrown pass with less than two minutes remaining in Super Bowl LIV. But it was not meant to be.

Sanders has been open about his love for the team that had just barely missed the championship and has spoken out about those second-guessing him due to his age. 

The receiver laughed at the fact that he has been "flying past 23-year-olds," and exhorted that he still has plenty of good years left in him.

[RELATED: Sanders offers advice to teammates playing in first Super Bowl]

He also embraced the youth the other wide receivers brought to the team, such as Samuel and Kendrick Bourne. Sanders loved the loose vibes of the 49ers' locker room and assisted the younger players in prepping for the big moments of the Super Bowl. 

Deebo surely noticed that and knows he wants his teammate back for the team's quest to make another Super Bowl run next season.