Programming note: After the 49ers-Saints game is over on Sunday, change the channel to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area and 49ers Postgame Live
SANTA CLARA – Tight end Vernon Davis and safety Eric Reid squared off in a contract drill after practice Friday as the final protocol for them to return to action after being diagnosed with concussions five days ago.
When asked if both starters are on pace to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said, “It seems so.”
Both players must remain symptom-free to receive final clearance to play.
“It all depends on how I feel the next two days,” Davis said. “Up to this point, I’ve been fine. No complaints or worries.”
The brief contact drill involved Davis and Reid engaging with each other as if Davis were run-blocking. Moments earlier, defensive back Darryl Morris went up against Davis.
“He was pretty physical,” Davis said of Reid. “Eric is a pretty physical guy. We were just making contact, and that’s pretty much it.”
In other 49ers news:
--Wide receiver Michael Crabtree did not take part in team workouts this week, but Harbaugh said he ran pass routes, caught passes, performed sprints, pushed a blocking sled and lifted weights. Harbaugh said it was partly the team’s plan for Crabtree’s rehabilitation from Achilles surgery and partly a tweak to his scheduled based on how he fared in the first week of practice. Crabtree returned to practice last week but remains on the reserve/physically-unable-to-perform list.
The 49ers have one open roster spot and it’s apparent Crabtree will not be available to play Sunday against the Saints. The 49ers could choose not to fill the 53rd roster spot for this weekend or they could promote tight end Derek Carrier to the roster.
Third right end Garrett Celek will not be available to play due to a hamstring strain, Harbaugh said.
--Tony Jerod-Eddie and Demarcus Dobbs will see the bulk of the action on Sunday with starting defensive lineman Ray McDonald ruled out of action with a high-ankle sprain.
--Rookie running back Marcus Lattimore will be cleared to begin practice next week, Harbaugh confirmed. Lattimore will take part in three weeks of limited practice before he is shut down for the remainder of the season due to a knee injury, consisting of three torn ligaments, he sustained 13 months ago.
When asked if there was any chance Lattimore could be available to play this season, Harbaugh answered, “That’s not the plan. Don’t anticipate that.”
--Undrafted rookie offensive lineman Luke Marquardt will also be allowed to take part in some on-field activities beginning next week. He is on the reserve/non-football injury list due to a foot injury. Marquardt is not expected to practice, but he would be able to join the team on the field for the first time during practices for the 21-day window. Currently, neither Lattimore nor Marquardt can take part in team stretching or walk-throughs.