SANTA CLARA – The 49ers expect a veteran wide receiver to join their practices this week.
Mario Manningham, the 49ers’ second-leading wide receiver last season, will likely begin practicing after sustaining torn knee ligaments Dec. 23 against the Seattle Seahawks.
Manningham, veteran cornerback Eric Wright and rookie defensive linemen Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial are eligible to begin practicing this week after spending the first six games of the season on the sideline.
“As far as it pertains to Quinton Dial, Tank Carradine, Eric Wright, Mario Manningham, they can start practicing this week, and we anticipate that,” 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said.
The 49ers have a walk-through scheduled for Tuesday with their first full practice in preparation to face the Tennessee Titans slated for Wednesday afternoon.
Manningham and Michael Crabtree, who is expected to return in late-November from Achilles surgery, will join a group of wide receivers that has been led by Anquan Boldin.
It remains to be seen whether the 49ers will feel it’s necessary to add to their group of wide receivers with outside help before the Oct. 29 trade deadline.
Two players often speculated as being on the trade block – Tennessee’s Kenny Britt and Cleveland’s Josh Gordon – have been plagued by off-field issues. Hakeem Nicks of the New York Giants is a subject of trade speculation. Nicks is scheduled to make approximately $1 million more for the remainder of the season than the 49ers have in salary-cap room. The 49ers are $790,000 under the cap, according to a league source.
Harbaugh suggested the 49ers are pleased with their wide receivers.
“Our receivers are coming,” Harbaugh said. “There were a lot of good things in the game, big-time plays made by those guys. It’s not always the low-hanging fruit: How many catches did they have? How many yards?”
Harbaugh cited Kyle Williams’ crucial third-down catch on the 49ers’ game-clinching 89-yard touchdown drive, as well as Boldin’s block on Bruce Miller’s fourth-down conversion.
Carradine and Dial also could provide the 49ers depth at a position of need. Starting nose tackle Glenn Dorsey sustained a hamstring strain and his status is in question. Also, defensive end Ray McDonald is playing through a partially torn right biceps tendon.
Once the players off the non-football injury or physically-unable-to-perform lists begin practice, there is a 21-day window during which time the 49ers must activate them to the 53-man roster or place them on season-ending injured reserve.