The San Francisco 49ers are in Denver for their Week 2 preseason matchup with the Broncos on Saturday. Before that, the team will hold two joint-practices with the Broncos with the first having taken place today. The practice was the 13th for the 49ers since opening training camp on July 30.
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The 49ers and its fans eagerly await Colin Kaepernick's return to throwing ... in a game or even practice. That did not occur today in Denver. Once again, the quarterback did not take part in the throwing portions of team or individual drills. Nor did he throw during warmups. He did take part in portions of practice that involved handoffs. For example, he was handing the ball off during 11-on-11 drills of zone-read plays. He also was seen doing a little throwing on the side field while teammates worked on special teams drills.
#49ers QB Colin Kaepernick took three snaps in 11-on-11 run drill. He executed three handoffs on zone-read plays.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 17, 2016
Colin Kaepernick is being held out of throwing drills at practice but is doing some throwing (about 10 yds) on side field during ST work.— Matt Maiocco (@MaioccoCSN) August 17, 2016
The last time Kaepernick fully participated in a team practice was last Wednesday during the 49ers' open practice at Kezar Stadium. That was seven days ago.
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While WR Quinton Patton has returned to practice, WR Bruce Ellington (ankle) has not. WR DeAndrew White got more reps while filling in for Ellington.
DE Arik Armstead was fully dressed for practice but was limited to working with the strength and conditioning coach on the side. "I can tell you I want him out there," said defensive coordinator Jim O'Neil on Tuesday regarding Armstead. "He's a hell-of-a football player, but when those (medical) guys say he's ready to go, he'll go. Hopefully, he'll be able to go some in Denver."
Christian Ponder, who was signed on Tuesday, practiced with the team wearing No. 5. Ponder takes the roster spot of Thad Lewis, the backup quarterback who suffered a torn ACL against the Houston Texans on Sunday.
During 11-on-11 drills, Blaine Gabbert was 4 of 7 with an interception according to the unofficial statistics gathered by Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle. Ponder was 1 of 6 with an interception.
Unofficial from 11-on-11 vs. Broncos: Gabbert 4 of 7, INT; Ponder 1 of 6, INT. #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 17, 2016
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports that Gabbert, Ponder, and rookie Jeff Driskel each threw an interception during the final sequence of team drills.
Each of the 49ers quarterbacks -- Gabbert, Driskel, Ponder --- threw an interception during the final sequence of team drills. #notgood— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) August 17, 2016
According to multiple reports, the Broncos defense was substantially better than the 49ers offense in practice today. Of course, that same defense carried Denver to a Super Bowl championship in February.
There was a brief scuffle during practice between 49ers OLB Aaron Lynch and Broncos C Dillon Day. Lynch will serve a four game suspension for violated the league's policy on substances of abuse. The suspension will begin during Week 1 of the regular season making Lynch unavailable to the 49ers until their October 6 matchup against the Cardinals.
Brief scuffle during 49ers-Broncos practice: SF LB Aaron Lynch vs. DEN C Dillon Day. Order has been restored. #49ers— Eric Branch (@Eric_Branch) August 17, 2016
Then 49ers OLB Eli Harold reportedly got into a bit of a scuffle with Broncos TE Virgil Green, per Ryan Sakamoto of Niner Fans.
Kaepernick appears to be popular in Denver, the team he could have played for this season had he been willing to take a reduction in salary.
Ponder spoke with the media following practice.