Several 49ers are sitting out for the organized team activities with other players filling in as a result. All OTAs are voluntary and should not be a concern for those who are absent.
With some of the starting players taking time off, the younger players and rookies are starting to get more reps and snaps, thus helping them get on par with the team’s philosophy. The only two players who are expected to miss training camp are WRs Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles) and Mario Manningham (torn ACL).
Here is a list of players who are missing from OTAs and those who are benefitting as a result:
Guard/Center: Jonathan Goodwin (training at home), Mike Iupati (rehabbing from shoulder surgery)
The interior of the offensive line has been filled with Daniels Kilgore and Joe Looney. In particular, Goodwin, entering the final year of his contract will most likely not return after 2013 and Kilgore looks to be the next player at the starting center position. Looney saw little time after recovering from his own injury last season and was inactive for every game in 2012. Both Kilgore and Looney can be versatile interior offensive linemen for the future with these reps.
Offensive Tackle: Joe Staley (rehabbing from knee surgery), Anthony Davis (absent)
The 49ers have been putting Adam Snyder at the tackle position and most likely he will play as a swing tackle. Despite both Snyder and Alex Boone listed as guards, head coach Jim Harbaugh said they provide versatility to the tackle position if needed. Seventh round pick Carter Bykowski and 2012 practice squad member Kenny Wiggins have been receiving the snaps at the left tackle positions while Snyder is on the right side.
Running Back: Frank Gore (“Working through something”), Kendall Hunter (recovering from torn Achilles, limited), Marcus Lattimore (recovering from torn ACL and MCL)
Second year player LaMichael James is getting more reps as an RB than before. After showing promise as a situational running back, James is learning what it takes to be a well-rounded and every down RB. Jewel Hampton is also benefitting from this and it’s intriguing if he has the capabilities to contribute somewhere on offense. He will be in a battle to stay on the roster from last season, but he is getting time to impress the coaching staff. Other players receiving snaps include undrafted free agent D.J. Harper, Anthony Dixon and even seventh round draft pick B.J. Daniels.
Wide Receiver: Michael Crabtree (torn Achilles), Mario Manningham (torn ACL), Kyle Williams (torn ACL, limited)
Ricardo Lockette and A.J. Jenkins have received more reps during the seven on seven and 11 vs 11 drills than before. Chad Hall, Joe Hastings and even Marlon Moore are seeing action with the injuries to this unit. Anquan Boldin has stood out the most being the only veteran out of this young group of receivers. Quinton Patton and Chuck Jacobs are both buried on the second team offense, but still getting more playing time than expected. Lockette and Jenkins in particular look more comfortable when getting playing time with the first-team offense.
Linebacker: NaVorro Bowman (absent), Ahmad Brooks (recovering from a shoulder injury), Aldon Smith (recovering from shoulder surgery)
Michael Wilhoite and Nate Stupar are getting more snaps playing alongside Patrick Willis during the seven on seven and 11 vs 11 drills. Both players were practice squad members in 2012 and Wilhoite was promoted to the 53 man roster as a special teams contributor. Wilhoite so far has stood out as the best backup interior linebacker.
For the outside linebackers, Darius Fleming, Cam Johnson and Corey Lemonier are consistently on the field for drills. Fleming missed the entire 2012 season with a torn ACL last spring while Cam Johnson suffered an injured knee before being promoted from the practice squad late into last year. Johnson has looked decent in coverage while Lemonier has been showing his strength at pass rushing.
Defensive line: Justin Smith (recovering from torn triceps)
Tony Jerrod-Eddie and undrafted free agent Lawrence Okoye are both getting more time at defensive end with Smith being hurt. It also helps for them that 2013 draft picks Tank Carradine is recovering from a torn ACL and Quinton Dial still has a turf toe.