SANTA CLARA – Left tackle Joe Staley returned to limited work on Thursday, while left guard Mike Iupati continued to rehabilitate the injury that has kept him out of the lineup the past two games.
Staley has made significant progress from an MCL sprain of his right knee. The 49ers originally believed Staley would miss at least one game after he sustained the injury on Sunday against the St. Louis Rams. But his appearance at practice on Thursday is a signal that Staley could return to action for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Iupati is likely to miss at least another game due to his MCL sprain. Iupati was the only 49ers player who did not take part in Thursday’s practice.
Cornerback Tarell Brown, who is recovering from an internal ribs injury he sustained Nov. 17 against the New Orleans Saints, took part in limited work. When Brown is cleared to play, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said he will probably be eased back into the action.
“I think he’ll probably be, like a lot of these guys that have come back, when you have inactivity, especially with the injury he had, it’s best to ease guys back in,” Fangio said. “We’ll tackle that issue when it comes.”
Wiide receiver Mario Manningham took part in limited practice due to a knee injury. Rookie wide receiver Quinton Patton is no longer on the injury report, but it remains to be seen whether he will be among the 46 active players on Sunday.
“He’s moving around really well,” 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman said of Patton. “Right now he’s doing a nice job. It’s good to have Manningham, who’s looking better every day, out there.”
Running back Frank Gore (ankle) returned to full practice after being limited on Wednesday. Tight end Vance McDonald (ankle) returned to limited work after sitting out practice the previous day.
49ers practice report
Did not practice
G Mike Iupati (knee)
WR Jon Baldwin (calf), CB Tarell Brown (ribs), WR Mario Manningham (knee), TE Vance McDonald (ankle), LB Dan Skuta (foot), T Joe Staley (knee)
LB Navorro Bowman (wrist), TE Garrett Celek (hamstring), RB Frank Gore (ankle), DT Ray McDonald (ankle), LB Aldon Smith (shoulder), DT Justin Smith (shoulder)
Seahawks practice report
Did not participate in practice
CB Brandon Browner (groin), WR Percy Harvin (hip), DE Bruce Irvin (thigh), QB Tarvaris Jackson (illness)
TE Kellen Davis (neck)
RB Marshawn Lynch (not injury related), WR Golden Tate (hip)