SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of the San Francisco 49ers training camp:
Cornerback Chris Culliver returned to practice for the first time since Sunday. The team was being careful since he is still recovering after tearing an ACL a year ago this Saturday. Fellow starting cornerback Tramaine Brock (ankle) has been out since Sunday with a sore ankle. It is not considered to be serious.
In addition to Michael Crabtree, receiver Brandon Lloyd was out of practice Thursday. Like Crabtree, it is not expected to be serious. With Crabtree and Lloyd out, starter Anquan Boldin had a big day Thursday. It was a nice reminder to the team about how deep this unit is this season.
Defensive lineman Demarcus Dobbs missed practice due to a personal matter.
Many of the reserve offensive skill players had a case of the dropsies Thursday. Second-year tight end Vance McDonald had a couple of easy drops, but he also looked good several times. He is having a nice camp.
Rookie inside linebacker Chris Borland (third-round pick) and Shayne Skov (undrafted) are both looking good and are getting a lot of repetitions. Borland will vie for big playing time and Skov is making big pitch to make the roster. They are both fun to watch.
An NFL officiating crew, led by back judge Lee Dyer, has spent the past three days with the 49ers. They have worked on the field and in meetings rooms. The crew showed the team (and the media in a separate session) an overview of 2014 rule changes.
Offensive coordinator Greg Roman said the offense is basically installed and the team is spending a lot of time working on situations. The first-team offense executed a beautiful two-minute drill Thursday. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was spot on as he has been often this camp.
Tackle Jonathan Martin has struggled at times all camp. He has had his moments, but it seems when he gets beat, he gets beat pretty badly. Martin, who came over from Miami in a March trade, is working with the first team at right tackle with Anthony Davis who is recovering from an offseason shoulder injury.
Roman had a nice quote on venerable running back Frank Gore outlasting the critics' expectations: "It's just been the story of his career, so why would it be any different now?"
Roman likes backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert and his 4.5 speed. If Gabbert has to play, in theory, the Kaepernick plays could remain in the playbook.
The 49ers have their latest start time for camp on Friday. It starts at 5 p.m. PT. With a day off for the players on Saturday, the team has not left them a lot of time Friday night. Coincidence?