It took a while, but it appears the 49ers are getting healthier.
Of course, this comes at a time when the 49ers know they will not have wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring) and running back Jeff Wilson (ankle) for the team's crucial Week 8 game against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday.
But the 49ers on Thursday saw linebacker Kwon Alexander and safety Jimmie Ward return to limited work on their Santa Clara practice field after a total of seven players were held out from on-field drills a day earlier. Cornerback Jason Verrett returned to full practice after giving a "vet day" on Wednesday.
Also, running back Tevin Coleman, tight end Jordan Reed and nickel back K'Waun Williams were cleared to return to practice this week. Because the players remain on injured reserve, they are not listed on the team's injury report.
Coleman, Reed and Williams have been sidelined with knee injuries, but each could be activated in time to be eligible to play against the Seahawks. Coleman missed the past five games, while Reed has been out four weeks and Williams was sidelined the past three games.
Coach Kyle Shanahan intimated earlier this week that it was possible one or two could play against Seattle, but next Thursday's game against Green Bay seemed to be the more realistic timetable for all three to return to action.
Linebacker Kwon Alexander, who missed the past two games with an ankle sprain, returned to practice and could be in line to return to action against the Seahawks.
Free safety Jimmie Ward was also back on the practice field after missing last week's game and not practicing on Wednesday. Ward sustained a quadriceps injury late in the week during practice and did not travel to New England.
With Ward and Jaquiski Tartt (groin) out of action, backups Tarvarius Moore and Marcell Harris started and played well.
Tartt and wide receiver Richie James (ankle) remained out of practice.
Here is the 49ers' practice-participation report from Thursday:
Did not practice
WR Richie James (ankle), WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring), S Jaquiski Tartt (groin), RB Jeffery Wilson (ankle)
LB Kwon Alexander (ankle), S Jimmie Ward (quadriceps)
CB Jason Verrett (not injury related)