Now that we’ve got the ice bucket and sexual innuendo portions of Jim Harbaugh’s Friday afternoon press conference out of the way, it’s time for some brief updates on the serious stuff the 49ers head coach covered.
Most people assumed the special teams, err, specialist was out for the year because the 49ers placed him on the Injured Reserve list two days ago. Not so, according to Harbaugh.
“I don’t think it’s that serious. Something with the knee,” said Harbaugh. “I don’t think it’s a season ending injury.”
After completing 3-of-11 passes for 20 yards, along with an interception, fans are already nervous about the prospect of Gabbert being one Colin Kaepernick injury away from running the 49ers’ offense. He’s still the No. 2 guy in the head coach’s eyes, however.
“Very pleased with the job Blaine Gabbert’s doing,” said Harbaugh, who didn’t anticipate a change in the quarterback rotation in Sunday’s game against the Broncos.
“Made a couple very good throws, missed a couple as we said after the game (against the Ravens). I think it was a good first step and he’s continued to compete well. I thought he did in the game and he’s continued to do that in the process of the preseason and the training camp. I feel good about how he’s coming along.”
More vagueness coming from the 49ers about a running back the fans are extremely curious about.
“He’s doing well. There’s been gains. That’s where we’re at. Not quite there yet,” Harbaugh said. “He’s making gains every day. Reports are going well. Nothing to elaborate deeply on.”
I asked Harbaugh whether Mangini, who’s the team’s tight ends coach this year after serving as a “senior offensive consultant” in 2013, would remain the main consultant on replay challenges.
“Yes, and there’s others. Eric’s the go-to guy on replays. Vic Fangio has been really good in the past. Greg Roman as well,” said Harbaugh.
The 49ers were the sixth-worst team when it came to challenges last year, with a 22% (2-for-9) success rate.