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Joe Staley returns to practice for 49ers

St. Louis Rams v San Francisco 49ers

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - DECEMBER 1: Offensive tackle Anthony Davis #76 of the San Francisco 49ers tends to injured teammate offensive tackle Joe Staley #74 during the first quarter of their game against the St. Louis Rams on December 1, 2013 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. The 49ers defeated the Rams 23-13 (Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images)

Stephen Lam

The 49ers might not have to shuffle their offensive line as much as initially feared, as left tackle Joe Staley returned to the practice field Thursday.

According to Matt Maiocco of, Staley took part in drills and seemed to be moving well during the portion of practice open to the media.

Staley suffered an MCL sprain in Sunday’s win over the Rams, and there was some concern he’d miss this week’s rematch with the Seahawks.

When he left last week’s game, they shifted right guard Alex Boone into play left tackle and brought backup Joe Looney to play Boone’s spot.

Left guard Mike Iupati was still out with a knee injury, as he’s been since the Nov. 17 game against the Saints. Adam Snyder has been playing there.

If Staley can’t play, the 49ers would have to make a transaction, since they’re carrying just eight linemen on their 53-man roster and keep seven active for each game.