Seeing San Francisco 49ers linebacker Kwon Alexander, who has spent the past two months on injured reserve after suffering a torn pectoral muscle, on the practice field on Thursday was a surprise. Having the star linebacker back gave his teammates an emotional boost.

On Friday, the 49ers got another lift with the return of quarterback C.J. Beathard.

Beathard has been away from the team since his younger brother, Clayton, was fatally stabbed in the early hours of December 21, 2019, as the 49ers prepared for a Week 16 matchup against the Los Angeles Rams.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan and the team helped the quarterback arrange travel to Tennessee to be with his family.

Two days later, Shanahan spoke with Beathard on the phone and told the quarterback there was no need to hurry back, and that his place is at his family's side as they all dealt with the tragedy. Shanahan told Beathard only to return when he was ready.

"They're working through a lot of stuff, obviously," Shanahan told reporters the week after the Week 16 win. "C.J., I told him definitely — he didn't ask — but I told him to make sure he doesn't come back this week. He's going to be out there with his family and stuff, especially with Christmas up this week. Whenever he's ready is the time he should come back; whenever that is."

The suspect in the killing of Beathard's 22-year-old bother and 21-year-old Paul Trapeni III has since been caught and arrested.

Both linebacker Kwon Alexander (pectoral) and safety Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) practiced again on Friday but remain in blue no-contact jerseys.

"I'm just happy to be back out there," Alexander told reporters on Thursday. "It was fun to be back. Just trying to get ready (to potentially play)."

Noticeably absent from the portion of practice open to the media was wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders. The 49ers announced that he was excused for personal reasons.

Defensive end Dee Ford (hamstring) did not practice but was seen getting some work in with trainers on the side.

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