San Francisco 49ers: Al Netter

The San Francisco 49ers have filled their 90-man roster by re-signing guard Al Netter on Monday.

Netter, who was released earlier this offseason, was on the 49ers' practice squad for all of the 2012 season and for the final three months of last season. He will compete for a roster spot in training camp.

The 49ers had an opening on the roster because of cornerback Eric Wright's recent retirement.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Patrick Willis may have a slightly different look in the first half of the upcoming season.

Willis
During Tuesday's organized team activity, Willis was playing the "Mike" inside linebacker spot usually occupied by NaVorro Bowman in the 49ers' 3-4 defense. Bowman is likely out until midway through the season as he recovers from a torn ACL. Michael Wilhoite, the leading candidate to take Bowman's spot in the staring lineup, took most of the first-team repetitions Tuesday in the "Jack" inside linebacker spot Willis played last year.

Willis said the change may stick for the season. It is just a subtle change and he is comfortable there because he has played in the spot before. Willis said it is still strange being on the field without his fellow inside-linebacker star Bowman.

In other 49ers' notes:
  • Star tight end Vernon Davis and standout guard Alex Boone continued to stay away from the voluntary session as they have all offseason. They are both unhappy with their contract. Neither player will be considered a holdout until they miss the June 17-19 mandatory minicamp. Second-year tight end Vance McDonald is starting at tight end with Davis gone. McDonald appreciates the extra reps, but admitted this about Davis: "I miss the dude." Joe Looney is working in Boone's right guard spot.
  • The 49ers cut guard Al Netter to make room for special teamer Blake Costanzo on the 90-man roster.
  • Veteran defensive end Justin Smith and running back Frank Gore were onlookers during the meat of the workout. Like Gore, cornerback Chris Culliver participated in early warm-ups and the did not participate in team drills.
  • The 49ers named Dr. Fergus Connolly director of elite performance. Connolly will work intimately with football operations to develop innovative sports and performance science practices geared towards player welfare and performance optimization. He spent the last three years as a performance consultant to teams in the NFL, NBA, English Premier League and professional rugby.
  • Because several receivers were out for various reasons, reserve quarterback Josh Johnson played receiver in some drills. And he didn't look too bad. But don't expect him to change positions. It's just an emergency deal.
  • Among the banged up receivers are Steve Johnson (hamstring) and Quinton Patton (foot). Both injures are considered minor at this point. Like he did last week, Brandon Lloyd had a strong day. Chuck Jacobs, who spent last season in the practice squad, was very active Tuesday.
  • The quarterback whisperer, 49ers' head coach Jim Harbaugh, spent some one-on-one time with undrafted rookie quarterback Kory Faulkner early in Tuesday's practice.

Reinforcements on the way for 49ers

October, 14, 2013
10/14/13
5:30
PM ET
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- The San Francisco 49ers remain optimistic they will get four players back to practice this week after injuries.

Receiver Mario Manningham, cornerback Eric Wright and rookie defensive linemen Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial are “anticipated” to practice this week, coach Jim Harbaugh said Monday. This reiterates what Harbaugh said last week about the group. The 49ers have a walk-through practice Tuesday and then have a full-fledged practice Wednesday, which would be the player’s first real test.

Once the players start to practice the team will have 21 days to activate them to the 53-man roster or shelve them for the season. All four players, barring setbacks, are expected to be activated.

Harbaugh said Sunday Dial, a fifth-round pick from Alabama, could be activated as soon as Sunday against Nashville.

The 49ers are thin on the defensive line. Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey injured his hamstring in the first quarter Sunday and did not return. He was jogging on the sideline, didn’t have much of a limp after the game and said he thought he’d be fine. Monday, Harbaugh said there is no new information on Dorsey’s health.

In other 49ers’ notes:
  • Harbaugh said several players stood out in the 32-20 win over the Cardinals on Sunday. He pointed out the play of tackle Anthony Davis and quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
  • Asked if the 49ers would be interested in trading for a receiver such as Hakeem Nicks, Josh Gordon or Kenny Britt, Harbaugh said that is “endless speculation” and the 49ers are not interested in “endless speculation.”
  • While Kyle Williams hasn’t been spectacular on punt returns, Harbaugh defended his work and said Williams is doing a good job.
  • The 49ers signed guard Al Netter to the practice squad. Netter was previously with the team. Tampa Bay signed guard Patrick Omameh from the squad last week.
  • 49ers offensive lineman Alex Boone toldCSN Bay Area how difficult it is to turn on and off his emotions on the field.
  • 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin discussed his charity celebrity dinner at Morton's the Steakhouse in San Jose on Nov. 11. The Anquan Boldin Foundation benefits under-privileged children.
  • The 49ers leave for a 10-day trip Friday when they go to Nashville for Sunday’s game against the Titans. They then fly directly to London to play Jacksonville on Oct. 27. What’s Harbaugh’s travel plan like? Pretty simple: “I’m going to go with the clothes on my back, pack my playbook, a tooth brush and a great attitude.”

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