The San Francisco 49ers will lose a week of offseason preparation following a rules violation.
NFL Media’s Tom Pelissero reported that the league had imposed the penalty following the release of a video clip on social media that showed rookie players participating in drills that are not allowed at this point in offseason activities.
“The NFL docked the (49ers) the last week of their rookie development program for a violation of offseason work, per sources,” Pelissero posted to Twitter Thursday morning, June 10. “The infraction took place during rookie minicamp.
Video of Niners Misdeed Appears Benign, But Carries Weight
The video clip in question shows what appears to be a routine practice play between a wide receiver and a cornerback at 49ers rookie camp.
However, press coverage is not allowed as part of rookie camp activities. The Twitter account of 49ers on NBCS tweeted out video of the specific play that cost the team a week of its rookie development program.
San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media Wednesday about rookie camp, but did not mention any suspension of activities due to rule violations.
However, he did speak to the importance of rookie development efforts in the offseason, highlighting how considerable a loss it will be to miss out on a week of on-field practice time.
“I mean, last year we had rookies, we didn’t get an offseason and you have a bunch of rookies show up for training camp and you have no idea what they’re into. Some they think they’re in shape and they tweak stuff and it messes up their whole year,” Shanahan told reporters.
“To be able to get rookies here, see what it’s like to play to NFL speed, to learn the playbook, to go out there and understand how NFL practices are — how fast you go, how much better the people are across from you — it gives those guys just an idea of when they come into camp what (they have) got to work on.”
Niners Already Called Off Regular Offseason Program Due to Injuries
News of the penalty officially ended this phase of the 49ers’ offseason program. Shanahan also told reporters this week that due to injuries to three key players, management decided to pull the remainder of the team off the field for the time being.
The first practice called off was Tuesday, June 8. Another practice set for Thursday was scrapped and a three-day minicamp set for Santa Clara over the weekend was also cancelled.
Running back Jeff Wilson hurt his knee standing up from a locker room chair following a leg workout in the weight room two weeks ago. Backup offensive lineman Justin Skule tore an ACL on the practice field, while backup safety Tarvarius Moore ruptured his Achilles tendon just three plays later.
Moore already underwent surgery, then sent out a message about his status on Thursday evening.
“Surgery went great,” the safety said.
Both Moore and Skule are expected to miss the entire season. Barring any setbacks, Wilson Jr. is projected to get back on the field sometime during the middle of the Niners’ schedule.
All players are expected to return to Santa Clara at the end of July for the start of training camp.