Offensive tackle Anthony Davis’ guaranteed return to the 49ers might not be such a sure thing, after all.
The 49ers open their voluntary offseason program on Monday, and it is uncertain whether Davis will be in attendance for new coach Chip Kelly’s first formal interaction with his players in Santa Clara.
When asked if Davis planned on filing papers for reinstatement from the reserve/retired list and show up for the first day of the 49ers’ offseason program, a source close to Davis told CSNBayArea.com on Friday morning that he would not comment at this time.
Davis, 26, had repeatedly stated on social media his intention to attempt a comeback with the 49ers in 2016 after sitting out a season to heal his body and his mind. As recently as late-February, ESPN’s Adam Schefter cited league sources who said Davis would apply for reinstatement and wants to play this season.
However, Davis has yet to apply for reinstatement with the opening of the team’s offseason program set to begin on Monday in Santa Clara. If Davis were determined to make a comeback, he would be expected to attend the voluntary program to work his way into shape and start to learn Kelly’s new up-tempo offensive system.
General manager Trent Baalke has mostly withheld comment on Davis’ possible return this offseason because the paperwork for reinstatement has not been filed. But he said if Davis does return, the timing of his announcement last year and his relationships with teammates would be discussed.
“I do think that it’s something that is going to be addressed,” Baalke said last week at the NFL owners meetings. “(But) by having a coaching staff that’s new, everyone is starting on a clean slate. And anything that’s a hangover from the previous stuff gets dealt with a little differently.”
Despite his abrupt retirement or hiatus last June, Davis remains under contract to the 49ers. Davis stepped away from the game last year with four years, $21.4 million remaining on the contract extension he signed in April 2013.
Davis underwent offseason surgery in 2014 on his left shoulder. He was plagued by hamstring, knee and ankle injuries that limited him in the early part of the 2014 season. He also sustained a concussion that sidelined him four weeks. Davis appeared in just seven games in 2014 after starting every game at right tackle in his first four NFL seasons. The 49ers traded up two spots to select him at No. 11 overall in the 2010 draft.
During the time he experienced post-concussion symptoms, Davis provided a sobering glimpse of what he was enduring.
“You look out and it’s a white fog,” Davis said. “Or just having simple conversation, you feel slowed down. . . . It’s scary when your brain is not working how it’s supposed to, and the culture of this league is big, tough guy.”