The latest on Rattay

Tim Rattay walked up to the line of scrimmage during team drills Tuesday morning, barked a cadence, took the snap, turned and dropped back … and then handed the ball off to running back Kevan Barlow. It's the same thing Rattay did practically every time he took a snap, except for twirling the ball 5 or 10 yards on a few screen passes. Rattay is back in action at 49ers camp, but he still isn't able to throw at anything close to full throttle, and everybody is beginning to wonder when he will.

Rattay missed two full weeks of practice with an inflamed right forearm before he returned during Monday's afternoon drills. But the team still was playing it safe with him Tuesday.

And we're talking real safe.

"We just don't feel like he can throw it," coach Dennis Erickson said. "He doesn't feel like he can throw it down the field like he needs to. He's the only one that knows. You can talk to trainers, doctors and all that stuff, but until he feels that he can do it himself personally – and he'll tell you the truth – then he's not going to throw it. Whether that is tomorrow or the next day or the next week, I don't know that."

Which is making it tough on the Niners, because they need Rattay back at full-go in practice with the regular-season opener now less than four weeks away. Rattay hasn't been full-go since he suffered a groin injury that required surgery at the team's very first spring minicamp practice on May 7.

"I know it is frustrating for him," Erickson said. "It's frustrating for all of us because it continues. It's a lot better now than it was last week. There is no question about it. Hopefully, it will get better as time goes on. But, if he doesn't feel like he can throw it, he can't throw it."

Rattay already has been ruled out of Saturday's exhibition game at Chicago, and it's beginning to look like he might not play in the preseason at all. That begs the question: At what point does Rattay's setback start affecting the team's schedule and plan for the Sept. 12 regular-season opener against Atlanta?

"Right when it gets into the regular season, basically," Erickson said. "I mean, really. You know, as you get towards that last preseason game against San Diego, which we play on a Thursday (Sept. 2), if it is still bothering him, then it is a concern. But we'll just take it a day at a time."

It's not like Rattay can't throw at all. He has done some passing the past two days. Just not much.

"He'll throw it 25 or 30 yards and it is OK, and then if he tries to throw it further, it bothers him a little bit," Erickson said. "I'm sure, probably, if we were playing in the season, we would find a way to do it. Right now, there is no sense in doing it. We've got to get him healed."

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