|Staley Returns to Practice Thursday|
by Chris Biderman of NinersDigest.com, December 5, 2013 at 5:37 pm ET
Joe Staley Profile
After missing practice Wednesday, Joe Staley was back on the field preparing for the vaunted Seahawks' defense Thursday. Staley's return to practice bodes well for his status for Sunday's game.
Staley left Sunday's 23-13 win over the Rams during the 49ers' first offensive possession after suffering a sprained MCL in his right knee. He was announced as done for the day before making his way back to the locker room.
Mike Iupati suffered a similar injury to his right knee Nov. 17 against New Orleans and hasn't played in the two games since. He has yet to resume practice and was working out in the weight room at the start of Thursday's afternoon session.
Staley's potential return to the field Sunday would have big ramifications for the offensive line. Not only would the team have it's Pro-Bowl left tackle back protecting Colin Kaepernick's blind side, but it would move Alex Boone back to right guard where he has started every game over the last two seasons. That would prevent the inexperienced Joe Looney from having to go against one of the league's best defensive fronts at right guard.
In other news, Vance McDonald returned after missing Wednesday's practice after suffering a sprained ankle in the second quarter of Sunday's win. Garrett Celek was moved off the injury report this week after straining a hamstring in Week 10's loss to Carolina, meaning Derek Carrier's three-game stint on 53-man roster could be in jeopardy.