It looks like any concerns about back D’Andre Swift’s availability for Sunday’s game vs. San Francisco are long gone. Swift, who missed most of coaching camp with a groin injury, has been back at practice full-go for the last couple of weeks now, and he was a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday. “I think Swift has been wealthy in practice. He’s been doing good,” running backs coach Duce Staley said Thursday. “Happy to urge him back out there and see that juice which energy and he’s been showing in the last couple of days.”
Staley said there’s not currently an idea to travel into Sunday with a rep calculate Swift. “I do not know the way to do this,” Staley said. “I’m very bad at counting reps. If he’s out there being productive … I do not have the skills to require him off. I buy trapped within the game. He’s getting to get trapped within the game. Every good back that I do know anyway, once he starts feeling it, you do not want to tug him off. We count reps Monday.” In 13 games as a rookie, Swift rushed for 521 yards (4.6 average) with eight touchdowns. He also caught 46 balls for an additional 357 yards and two scores.
The 49ers have a really good defensive front and defense overall, and it’s expected Swift will play heavily into Detroit’s counterattack on offense. Taylor Decker missed practice Thursday, leaving the Lions with an issue mark at left tackle before Sunday’s season opener. Decker appeared on the practice report Wednesday as a limited participant with a finger injury. He didn’t practice Thursday. The team signed offensive tackle Will Holden to the practice squad Thursday morning. If Decker cannot play, could the Lions shift rookie Penei Sewell from right to left tackle? Sewell has played exclusively on the proper side since joining the Lions but was a left tackle during his two seasons at Oregon. The 49ers are very strong up front along with their defensive position with Nick Bosa, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, and veterans Arik Armstead, Dee Ford, et al..
Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai has experience at right tackle, and swing tackle Matt Nelson can play both spots. “It’s next man up,” end T.J. Hockenson said Thursday when asked about the potential of not having Decker Sunday. “Matt Nelson may be a real good player. He’s been in it with us the last couple years. He’s ready for the challenge. Football is one among those games where it’s next man up.” There are tons of great matchups Sunday, but football fans should be especially excited for the end matchup during this one between Hockenson and San Francisco All-Pro George Kittle.
Both Iowa grads, Hockenson and Kittle are best friends off the sector and both are looking forward to the matchup all offseason. “It’s quite cool we get to play our first game,” Hockenson said Thursday. “It’s just fun to possess that on the calendar the primary game,” Hockenson said there’s a wager between the 2 friends on Sunday, but wouldn’t disclose what that was. Hockenson earned his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, while Kittle missed half the year thanks to injury. Hockenson and Kittle compute regularly within the offseason together. Hockenson was named “Heavyweight Champion” because the best player at this year’s end University, an offseason workout organized by Kittle with tons of the league’s best tight ends attending.