"If it were up to me, I'd play (on Sunday against the Chicago Bears)," San Francisco 49ers safety Adrian Colbert said on Thursday. "I would've played last week (against the Seattle Seahawks). But it's not up to me."

While Colbert is practicing this week, the 49ers are being careful with their rookie safety. He is 16 days removed from surgery to repair his broken right thumb and will continue to practice this week in a blue no-contact jersey. The decision on whether or not Colbert gets onto the football field on Sunday will be made by the 49ers trainers and medical staff. All Colbert can do is work hard to show he is ready.

The 49ers coaching staff hasn't sounded very optimistic that Colbert will be available when the team travels to Chicago. They see next week's game against the Houston Texans as a more likely return date.

"We'll see how the week goes with him and how it heals and how he feels," head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. "There is a chance that he could play this week. Feel definitely better about him the following week versus Houston, but there's a chance."

On Thursday, defensive coordinator Robert Saleh also discussed his rookie safety and how he has progressed this week in practice.

"He was able to go through his non-contact (drills)," Saleh said. "He's got the blue jersey on so we're working through that part of it. Thankfully, his feet and head weren't hurt so he's been able to fly around with all that speed that we're starting to like."

Saleh agreed with Shanahan's projected timeline but added, "You never know."

Colbert broke his thumb in the first quarter of a Week 10 matchup against the New York Giants. He went on to play in all 66 of the team's defensive snaps.

Colbert was the third 49ers safety to suffer an injury in as many weeks. The week before, Jaquiski Tartt sustained a broken arm and landed on injured reserve. Two weeks before Colbert's injury, Jimmie Ward also broke his arm and was placed on injured reserve.