As expected after a good day from the defense on Monday, they had earned the silver jerseys today. It was their second time wearing them this camp. No way to know if they will keep them once the team comes back to practice next week.
The team returned after a day off for their last full practice prior to their preseason opening matchup with the Dallas Cowboys on Friday. With that in mind, there were a great many players suddenly back at practice after missing a lot of time.
Those players were Menelik Watson, Pat Sims, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, Conner Vernon, Myles Wade, and Latavius Murray. Watson was activated from the non-football injury list and Sims from the active PUP.
Though Watson and Sims returned to action, that action didn't last long. Watson lasted all of about a half hour before exiting and a little while later, Sims was lost again as well. They had been out all of camp up to this point and apparently were not ready to return. Watson said his calf injury isn't too serious. The severity of Sims' injury is yet to be determined.
Also leaving practice was (drum roll, please) Jacoby Ford. He limped off the field during team drills. This is his second injury this camp. He has practiced all of about four days this camp after being out all last season. His prognosis is not good.
DJ Hayden was sidelined after he had a hamstring issue in practice on Monday. Vance Walker was not at practice because his wife was having a baby.
The quarterback play seems to go in waves. On Monday, it was ugly all around. Today they started out slow but once they got going, they all looked pretty good with Matt Flynn leading the pack.
In one team session, Flynn had five straight completions to four different receivers. He hit Denarius Moore on two crossing routes, Rod Streater on a crossing route, Rashad Jenkins in the left flat, and Brice Butler on a curl route. To finish it off, he went for David Ausberry in the endzone but Ausberry had Sio Moore in tight coverage and he stopped too soon and mistimed his jump. Otherwise it would have been a perfect drive.
Terrelle Pryor had a good day overall. At one point he had three straight completions of his own. The first to Mychal Rivera on a crossing route, then Marcel Reece on an out route, and then to Brian Leonhardt on a comeback route.
Pryor also had an ugly interception. Nick Kasa ran a post pattern and Pryor threw the ball a good 15 yards short of his route, right into the arms of linebacker Omar Gaither as if he was the intended receiver. No amount of glorious long balls will make plays like that forgivable.
The defensive play of the day came on an interception from Pryor, although it wasn't really Pryor's fault. He threw into the left flat for Deonte Williams but Williams had the ball bounce off his chest and Phillip Adams, who stayed home on the play, laid out to scoop up the interception. Adams had the runner up defensive play on a nice looking interception on Monday as well.
The catch of the day came off Pryor's hand as well. It was a long ball along the right sideline. Pryor put the ball up and allowed Andre Holmes to leap in the air and pull down the catch in tight coverage.
Denarius Moore had a familiar looking moment today. Just replace Matt Flynn with Carson Palmer and it would look very much like a lot of miscues last season. Flynn threw his direction as if he was going to stop and come back for the ball and Denarius just kept running as if it was supposed to be a deep ball. So, in case you were thinking those issues were Palmer's fault last season...
The team practice a lot of running the ball today and from what I saw, the offensive line didn't open up a single good size running lane the whole day. We'll see if that is more something to worry about on the offensive line or something to celebrate with the defense. I am leaning toward the offensive line until I see otherwise.
After practice, Dennis Allen dropped a few interesting tidbits. All four quarterbacks will play on Friday, starter will play about a quarter, the players who returned to action today will play but be limited, Miles Burris' status for the regular season opener is now in doubt, and Josh Cribbs has been practicing to be a backup long snapper.
I also caught up with Menelik Watson and he talked about his frustrations with missing all of training camp thus far and then re-aggravating his calf injury.
There's no access tomorrow so the next time we see these guys will be in a live game situation. The first one since the 2012 season. I know I'm looking forward to evaluating these guys in a real game. I assume you guys are pretty eager as well.
Friday's game won't be televised live locally but I will still be tweeted my observations during the game and you can catch it on tape delay on KICU in the Bay Area. For those outside the Bay Area, it will be live on NFL Network. Check your local listings.