With the signing of safety Darcel McBath to a one-year contract, the 49ers are making sure they are not short-handed at the first full-squad practice at training camp on Friday. Rookies and selected veterans are already on the practice field, however, all veterans will be in camp by Thursday. The practices may or may not include franchise tagged safety Dashon Goldson, who has not signed his one-year tender with the 49ers, and the signing of McBath ensures the 49ers will have a full 90-man roster at camp.
At the beginning of the training camp last year, McBath was with the Broncos until he was cut after the final preseason game. In December, he was signed by the Jaguars and appeared in one game before we was released in the offseason. McBath was drafted by the Broncos in the second-round of the 2009 draft. He had his best season in his rookie campaign recording 11 special-teams tackles, which led the team, and two interceptions.
McBath is more of a fill-in for the 90-man roster, and should not be viewed as potential replacement for Goldson if he does not report to training camp. One reason why the 49ers signed McBath is because he was coached by Ed Donatell when he was in Denver as the secondary coach. Donatell has been the secondary coach for the 49ers since 2011.
3 Rookies Start Training Camp on Injured Lists
No team is immune to injuries but the 49ers have seen a spike in injuries to their rookies. First, rookie linebacker Darius Fleming tore his ACL at the rookie minicamp and the 49ers have now placed him on the physically unable to perform list. The linebacker was taken out of the fifth-round is expected to miss the 2012 season.
Rookie guard Joe Looney, drafted in the fourth-round, and RB Jewel Hampton, undrafted, were placed on the non-football injury list. Being placed on the NFI list means neither player is eligible to return to the roster until week seven of the season. Both will count against the 49ers 90-man training camp roster, however, they will not count towards the 49ers 53-man regular season roster.
Both suffered injuries before they were drafted/signed by the 49ers. Looney sustained a foot injury at the Senior Bowl in January, while Hampton suffered two ACL injuries in both knees while playing at the University of Southern Illinois.
Keeping Looney makes sense because he is nearing the end of rehabbing his foot injury and should be healed in about two weeks. He also gives the 49ers more depth at guard behind starters Mike Iupati and Alex Boone, and backups Daniel Kilgore and Mike Person. Hampton on the other hand finds himself trying to make the team in a crowded backfield of seven running backs.
There is also concern for 49ers seventh-round draft pick, outside linebacker Cam Johnson, who had a minor knee procedure in June. According to Johnson’s agent, the rookie will be ready for the start of training camp. Even though Johnson was a seventh-round pick, he is expected to contribute as a backup at outside linebacker behind starters Ahmad Brooks and Aldon Smith. With the injuries to Fleming and Johnson, the 49ers are short-handed in backups at OLB with only Parys Haralson, Eric Bakhtiari and undrafted rookie Kourtnei Brown as the other options at the position.