Linebacker Reuben Foster is out of his walking boot and moving around with a barely perceptible limp, a good sign as the rookie recovers from a high-ankle sprain.
Foster, who injured his right ankle in Week 1, won’t play Thursday against the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers’ next game is against Arizona on Oct. 1. NFL players who suffer the least severe form of a high-ankle sprain, a Grade 1 sprain, miss an average of 15.4 days because of the injury. The fact that Foster no longer needs an orthopedic boot is a sign the ankle is recovering well.
Ray-Ray Armstrong has filled in for Foster at weak-side linebacker over the last two games. However, Brock Coyle played six snaps there in the second quarter on Sunday, and he could get more playing time Thursday.
“He deserves it. He works his tail off and he works hard and we wanted to make sure that we got him some more reps,” defensive coordinator Robert Saleh said. “And to be honest with you, I feel he should probably get a little bit more. That’s not an indictment on any of the other players as much as is it is a testament to how he works and how he prepares himself every week.”
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During the offseason, Coyle typically practiced behind NaVorro Bowman at middle linebacker while Armstrong was the backup on the weak side.
Safety situation – Both Jaquiski Tartt (neck) and Jimmie Ward (hamstring) took part in Tuesday’s practice. They likely will be the 49ers’ starting safeties against the Rams on Thursday with Tartt playing strong safety and Ward at free safety.
Ward played 38 snaps Sunday in Seattle, his first extensive action since suffering a hamstring strain July 27.
“He held up well,” Saleh said. “The feedback (from Ward) was good, feels good. Man, he looked fast, too. So it’s good to have him back. Hopefully he can stay healthy.”
The team’s regular strong safety, Eric Reid, will miss multiple games with a knee injury. Tight end George Kittle (hip) practiced on a limited basis.
Et cetera – The Pro Football Hall of Fame has Katie Sowers’ game shirt and coaching binder on display this week. Sowers is both the 49ers’ first female coach and the NFL’s first openly gay coach. Her official title is “seasonal offensive assistant,” but she mainly works with the wide receivers.
▪ Running back Carlos Hyde and defensive lineman Solomon Thomas were nominated for Ground Player of the Week and Rookie of the Week, respectively. Hyde had 124 rushing yards in Seattle; Thomas had four tackles, two of them behind the line of scrimmage.
▪ The 49ers will be in their all-black “color rush” uniforms for Thursday’s game. They are 1-2 in those uniforms since debuting them in 2015.