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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Manningham takes an important step

By Bill Williamson

LONDON – Mario Manningham is not all the way back with the San Francisco 49ers, but the team made him feel that way during Wednesday’s practice.

Manningham -- working with the first-team offense -- scored a touchdown in practice. On cue, ever-excitable guard Alex Boone decided it was time to mark the occasion.

Manningham
“Boone and everybody else decided that it was time to have an eruption,” offensive coordinator Greg Roman said. “And we all had a celebration on the field welcoming him back ... everybody just went nuts welcoming him back.”

The key is Manningham working with the first team. That is an indication that he is close to returning. Manningham is in his second practice week coming off of the physically unable to perform list, meaning the 49ers must decide on activating him by Nov. 5. Odds are he will play Nov. 10 against Carolina after the 49ers’ bye week.

He would be a huge boost to an offense that is desperate for receiver help.

Meanwhile, 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said cornerback Eric Wright -- who also must be activated by Nov. 5 -- is coming along.

"He’s getting better and better," Fangio said. "And [we] put him in there yesterday with some of the defensive stuff. Last week he primarily did the scout-team work. This week we’ve put him in there with the defense ... few snaps here and there. And he’s done well. Obviously he’s not comfortable in the system yet. But he’s a guy that we think, once he kind of grasps it, he’ll grow leaps and bounds quickly because he’s played in the league. He’s done a lot of the things we do. He just has to learn to work with our guys and our lingo."

It will be interesting to see what happens when Wright is activated. Tramaine Brock has been terrific as the No. 3 cornerback, but I’m sure the 49ers will find room for Wright. His activation could mean the end of a short San Francisco tenure for Nnamdi Asomugha, who was hurt in September and lost his job to Brock.