NFC West Blog
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick said wide receiver Michael Crabtree was never fully healthy last season. The sixth-year wideout did make it back from an offseason Achilles tear on Dec. 1 and caught 19 passes for 284 yards in the final five regular-season games. But according to Kaepernick, that wasn't the real Crabtree.
That guy has showed up in training camp this year.
"He's a step or two quicker now," Kaepernick said of Crabtree on Tuesday. "He has a burst out of his routes. He has burst when he catches the ball. (He) looks really good out there."
Marshawn Lynch has racked up $455,000 in fines related to his holdout for a new contract, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter via Twitter. Lynch, unhappy with his current deal that is set to pay him $5.5 million this year, has failed to report to Seahawks camp for the first six days of its duration. Lynch is being fined $30,000 per day of his holdout, plus a $275,500 penalty mandated by the NFL's collective bargaining agreement that was triggered Tuesday. The 28-year-old Lynch lead Seattle in rushing last season, with 301 carries for 1,257 yards.
Ellington sat out Tuesday's practice with a neck injury, according to ESPN's Josh Weinfuss. Little is known about the injury, but it does not appear to be serious. Cardinals RB Stepfan Taylor took reps with the offensive starters in Ellington's absence. Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians has previously spoken about making Ellington a focal point of Arizona's offense, but due to durability concerns, Arizona took a conservative approach with Ellington in the 2013 season.
What does a team gain by exposing a veteran workhorse running back to punishing contact in exhibition games? If you're the VIkings or 49ers, it appears the answer is nothing.
Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport on Monday that he has "nothing to see" from Adrian Peterson in preseason games. He said Peterson may get a carry or two if he really wants them, but the team may just hold him out until September.
Zimmer's statement comes a day after ESPN's Bill Williamson wrote that Frank Gore is unlikely to suit up for San Francisco's preseason action. Given the 49ers' recent injuries at running back with Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James, they don't want to risk one to their leading man.
A string of praise for Cardinals wide receiver John Brown that seemingly started as soon as he was drafted as a third-rounder in May continued Monday.
Cardinals general manager Steve Keim confessed that so far, Arizona's defense hasn't been able to cover the speedy Brown in camp. This comes after Brown was lauded for his performance in rookie mini-camp, and a tweet from Gil Brandt in which he said Brown can be "a special player."
Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin said Friday that's it's been a while since he has been fully healthy. He certainly wasn't at this time last year. In July 2013, Harvin was days away from undergoing hip surgery that would cost him nearly all season.
This year, Harvin is feeling "immensely good," and you get the sense that he is almost giddy about the upcoming season.
"I don't know if any football player can say they're fully healthy playing football, but this is the best I've felt in a long, long time," Harvin said. "I'm just going to keep building, building, building and I'm looking forward to the season."
James was carted off the field during the 49ers practice Sunday, with an apparent left arm injury, according to CSNBayArea.com. James is in line with 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore and 49ers RB Carlos Hyde to serve as Frank Gore's backup and potential successor. The injury is being evaluated further, and details will be forthcoming.
Michael left Seahawks practice with an injured shoulder on Sunday, according to ProFootballTalk. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll downplayed the severity of the injury, telling reporters "[Michael] just banged his shoulder a little bit," and saying he believes Michael will return to practice on Tuesday. With Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch holding out over a contract dispute, Michael has been taking reps with the offensive starters.
The 49ers backfield has not caught any breaks lately. It has been reported that LaMichael James was carted off the practice field earlier today with an apparent arm injury. The injury was later to be confirmed as a dislocated elbow. It is expected that the 49ers running back will miss at least a month.
The results are in from Kendall Hunter's MRI, and they show the worst-case scenario. The 49ers confirmed Saturday that Hunter tore the ACL in his right knee during Friday's practice and will miss the entire season. Hunter was set to compete in camp to remain the team's direct backup behind Frank Gore.