No Peterson, but prominent faces back

Julian Peterson didn't join the 49ers at practice Monday, as had been rumored over the weekend, but there were some prominent faces participating on the field that had been missing in action most of August.

In addition to quarterback Tim Rattay, two-time Pro Bowl center Jeremy Newberry and rookie receiver Rashaun Woods also returned to unrestricted drills. And, like Rattay, both looked healthy and ready to go.

Newberry hadn't practiced at full-go since Aug. 2, but he looked completely recovered from arthroscopic surgery Aug. 10 to clear out some cartilage in his right knee. He spent most of the afternoon practicing with the first-team offense.

"Actually, he moved around better than I've seen him move around since I've been here," coach Dennis Erickson said. "We'll see how the week goes on. Whether we play him at all or a series or two against Minnesota (on Friday), I don't know that right now. But it's good to have him back."

Erickson felt the same way about Woods, the team's first-round draft pick who has missed virtually all of training camp with hamstring problems.

Woods made some nice catches Monday and did not look at all encumbered by his hamstring problems. He displayed his physical skills when he leaped over cornerback Shawntae Spencer to come down with a reception on a sideline pattern.

"We hope to see him back (Tuesday) and see where he's at," Erickson said. "Hopefully, he can get some snaps Friday. He's going to get a chance to play."

--- As far as the Peterson rumors, Erickson – who has yet to speak to his All-Pro linebacker this month – said: "I would have no reason to believe that he'll be here tomorrow. Until I see him, I'm not going to believe anything, basically. When he shows up, he shows up. That's the only control we have over him."

--- Safety Tony Parrish, who has a torn right calf muscle, said the injury – which showed up on an MRI exam Sunday even though he has been practicing with it all month and played with it the past two weeks in exhibition games – won't threaten his streak of 96 consecutive regular-season starts, which is one of the longest in the NFL among safeties. "It's August 23rd, right?" Parrish said in the locker room Monday. "The first game is when, September 12? That's what gives me confidence right there (that he'll be back). I'll be all right. I know myself. I'm a fast healer."

--- Left defensive end John Engelberger joined the list of injured starters when he missed Monday's practice with a lower back problem.

--- The Niners released defensive tackle Bryan Henderson, who was signed to the roster last week but didn't play in Saturday's game against Chicago.


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