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49ers Notebook: Nick Bosa participates at OTAs; Christian McCaffrey absent; Brock Purdy adjusting to celebrity status

May 21, 2024 at 3:31 PM

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The San Francisco 49ers kicked off organized team activities (OTAs) this week, giving reporters their first glimpse of on-field work during Tuesday's afternoon session. Among the absentees were wide receivers Brandon Aiyuk and Jauan Jennings, which shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

RELATED Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings absent from 49ers OTAs

Aiyuk is seeking a contract extension and is unlikely to participate in anything voluntary while he awaits a new deal. Jennings has yet to sign his $4.89 million restricted free-agent tender, so his absence also makes sense.

Other notable absences included cornerback Charvarius Ward and linebacker Dre Greenlaw, both of whom are recovering from injuries. Ward underwent surgery this offseason at the Vincera Institute, which is known for treating core injuries.

This week, Ward noted, "So I'm almost at 100 percent. I'll be ready for training camp, [for sure]."

Greenlaw continues to rehab after suffering a torn Achilles in February's Super Bowl, recently stating, "It's been about three months now since the injury. I just recently got out of the boot, and just, slowly, every day, just rehabbing, getting the strength, getting the mobility in it."

49ers who were present on Tuesday but did not practice included safety Talanoa Hufanga, linebacker Fred Warner, center Jake Brendel, tight end George Kittle, and defensive end Drake Jackson. Hufanga, Brendel, and Jackson's lack of participation are injury-related.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan noted that Brendel is dealing with knee tendinitis, and the 49ers don't expect to see him during OTAs

The coach commented, "He could tough through it, but we're gonna be smart with him on it."

Shanahan added that Jackson is not healthy.

No Christian McCaffrey at OTAs

Christian McCaffrey was also absent. Shanahan told reporters that the star running back has not been around this week but stressed that this phase of the offseason remains voluntary.

Shanahan stated, "I'm not too concerned about Christian, but no, he hasn't been here."

Some have speculated that McCaffrey's absence may be contract-related. Others have noted that the running back is slated to get married soon. The 49ers coach didn't offer a specific reason behind the player's absence.

"I'm not sure if that is the case on any of those guys," Shanahan responded when asked if McCaffrey's absence was business-related. "... But it is all voluntary, so we'll see when it becomes mandatory."

Nick Bosa on hand

Nick Bosa joined his teammates on the field for the Tuesday practice session. This is noteworthy as the talented defensive end doesn't typically arrive until the mandatory portion of the offseason. He usually spends this time of the year training in Florida.

"I love Nick being around, love him getting a chance to do football with the guys and stuff," Shanahan commented. "Nick's first year here, after the Super Bowl, his first offseason, we had COVID. The next year, after the offseason, torn ACL. And the year after that, he was in contract stuff. I believe that's right.

"And then this is the first year that kind of [has] just been a totally normal year. And I think the one year that it was like that, he came to a few OTAs; didn't come to all of them. But he didn't just come in minicamp. So I'm glad he's here the first week, and hopefully, he'll continue."

When asked about his earlier-than-usual appearance, Bosa told reporters, "I think it's just good to get around the new guys. We have a lot of new faces this year, so just kind of helping the new guys out. And I don't think there's really been much of a normal offseason for me in terms of just, we had COVID, we had my injury, and the contract situation. So it's kind of a new year. I want to be around. It's good to be around."

Quarterback Brock Purdy is happy to see the star defender on the practice field, knowing his presence will better prepare the offense for the upcoming season.

"You tell it means something to him, and to show up, phase three, practicing on the field, it's pretty special," Purdy said. "So for all of us to see that, it's like, 'All right, Bosa's taking it serious, then we all should.' But regardless, being out on the field, giving our guys looks, the offensive line looks, and for myself, pocket movement, all that kind of stuff, it's huge. You can't get enough reps of it.

"But for him to be back in the building around the guys, it means a lot. And so it makes all of us excited to start rolling for the season."

Brock Purdy adjusting to celebrity status

Purdy now receives more recognition while walking around the Bay Area. The young quarterback has become a household name in the region, a significant difference compared to his first NFL offseason, when he was buried on the 49ers' depth chart, and few knew who he was.

Purdy is adjusting well to his newfound celebrity status.

"It's a little different, obviously, but at the end of the day, I've said this a million times, but I just try to keep it simple in terms of who I am as a person, as a human," Purdy remarked. "You know, there's people that come up and want pictures and stuff, and it's like, 'Dude, I was that kid growing up.'

"And I always wanted whoever I [admired] to give time and just be a human, and talk, and take a picture, sign some stuff. So I always remember that, and throughout all this, the offseason stuff, and doing different things, try to give back to people as best as I can and not be on a pedestal or anything like that. So that's how I look at it."

Purdy notes that he has been able to have some fun this offseason. That includes hanging out with his teammates, throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at a Giants baseball game, and partying with Kittle at a Luke Combs concert.

It's a welcome change compared to last offseason when the quarterback spent several months rehabbing his elbow following surgery.

"It's been good to hang out with the guys outside of football and have a little offseason, so it's been good," Purdy stated.

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