The San Francisco 49ers wrapped up their fourth day of training camp practice on Sunday, the second with pads on. With a players' day off on Monday, here's what stood out during the day's action.

The first week of San Francisco 49ers training camp 2018 is now in the books, and Sunday's action reinforced a lot of what we've seen over this inaugural week of practice.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back on Sunday with a number of deep throws, which were a bit of a problem for him the day before. The Niners' increasingly hot running back competition picked up where it left off after day three, and that figures to be a hot topic heading into the second week of practice.

Meanwhile, veteran cornerback Richard Sherman practiced in pads for the first time this season. He had Saturday's practice off but was able to return to action again after being cleared from his Achilles injury prior to camp.


After missing wide receiver Marquise Goodwin on two deep throws on Saturday, Garoppolo flashed some arm strength both during one-on-one drills and full 11-on-11 sessions. On one 11-on-11 play, per's Joe Fann, Garoppolo hit Goodwin on a 45-yard connection with defensive back Jimmie Ward in coverage.

Earlier, Garoppolo targeted wide receiver Pierre Garçon during a one-on-one drill against safety Jaquiski Tartt (h/t Niners Wire's Rob Lowder):

Meanwhile, backup quarterback C.J. Beathard had himself a bit of a rough practice, according to NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. Beathard looked solid enough the first three days of practice, so the 49ers are hoping this lone day is an exception to the second-year quarterback's maturation. Ensuring San Francisco's backup situation is adequate in 2018 will be crucial to the team's depth chart.

Running Back

Behind starting tailback Jerick McKinnon, the 49ers' backup running back figures to be a prime competition before Week 1. Runners Matt Breida and Joe Williams have had strong camps, although it's still going to be tough for Williams to push out Breida for the No. 2 spot on the depth chart.

Wide Receiver

Garçon hadn't been much of a factor over the first three days of camp. And considering this is the first week in pads he and Garoppolo have had to work with each other, it's understandable the chemistry has yet to develop. But that long pass in a one-on-one drill should help matters a bit.

Meanwhile, rookie wideout Dante Pettis had his second excellent day on the field. After struggling a bit the first two days of practice, Pettis showcased all the route-running prowess that made him a well-known commodity at Washington, continuing that trend with an excellent route and separation in an individual drill on Sunday:

Goodwin was also able to flash his exceptional speed on the field and helped Garoppolo work on his deep-ball passing skills.

Tight End

San Francisco's tight end depth got some clarity over the weekend, as Lowder pointed out how Cole Hikutini appears to have solidified the No. 3 spot on the depth chart behind fellow TEs George Kittle and Garrett Celek.

Hikutini has been seeing some reps with the first-team unit all week. And while Kittle likely starts this season, Hikutini's raw pass-catching abilities could earn him a notable role this upcoming year.

Offensive Line

Third-year offensive guard Joshua Garnett missed Sunday's practice with a minor knee injury, according to The Athletic's Matt Barrows. It's not expected to be serious. But with fellow guard Jonathan Cooper (knee) still out, Garnett's absence opened up the door for depth linemen Mike Person and Erik Magnuson to see some added reps.

Garnett appears to have a leg up on Cooper for the starting right guard spot as long as the latter remains out.

Defensive Line

It was a good day for 49ers pass-rushers Cassius Marsh and Ronald Blair, according to Maiocco:

Marsh has been having a solid camp so far, and he figures to be the prime edge rusher in coordinator Robert Saleh's defense this season. And while Marsh isn't known for his run-stopping abilities, putting him in for obvious passing situations is likely the role we'll see in 2018. Additionally, fellow EDGE Jeremiah Attaochu had a couple of mock sacks.

It's also good to see Blair making an impact. The 49ers defensive line is pretty crowded, but Blair's versatility to line up at a number of positions bodes well for his roster chances in 2018.


The 49ers continue trying to work with second-year linebacker Reuben Foster on better tackling techniques in order to prevent unnecessary injury risk for the talented-but-aggressive defender.


After taking a veteran's day off Saturday, cornerback Richard Sherman practiced in pads for the first time this season.

Sherman moved well enough, largely putting to bed any questions about his 2017 Achilles injury and subsequent recovery. Yet he was beat deep by Goodwin during an individual drill:

In fairness to Sherman, Goodwin has Olympic-level track speed. So it's not exactly a surprise to see the veteran get beat on a go route. And for consolation, Sherman completely overworked fellow wide receiver Aldrick Robinson on the next rep, per the San Jose Mercury News' Cam Inman.

Ward was beat deep by Goodwin too, which won't exactly help the former's chances to climb the depth chart. Right now, it appears as if Ward will be a primary backup to both the cornerback and safety positions entering 2018. Meanwhile, Tartt's coverage on Garçon was OK, even though the veteran receiver managed to create enough separation against the younger defensive back.

Tartt's hold on the starting strong safety position remains strong, though.

This and That

Saleh noted Sherman is still trying to get his "football legs back," which might explain why he was beat by Goodwin during that particular one-on-one drill. Even with Sherman running at 100-percent, keeping up with Goodwin would have been a difficult task. And Saleh also pointed out how Ward will be a versatile piece this season, capable of playing wherever the 49ers want him to in the secondary.

Ward missed half of 2017 with a broken forearm and is readjusting to playing cornerback after spending last year at free safety.

Pettis, the No. 44 overall pick from the 2018 NFL Draft, continues to flash his excellent route-running capability. While he might be a year away from assuming a starting role on offense, head coach Kyle Shanahan is going to have a difficult time keeping him off the field.

The 49ers will have a players' day off on Monday before resuming practices on July 31.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.