Wide receiver Deion Branch suited up and participated in practice for the first time in over a week after missing the regular-season opener against St. Louis on Sunday.
“I think I have a great chance,” Branch said of playing this week. “But it’s up to Coach Mora though. The only thing I can do is go out there and show him I can move around, try to make some plays here and there, and hopefully that can get me to go.
Branch tweaked his hamstring in practice the Monday of the Rams game and did not practice the rest of the week. Seahawks head coach Jim Mora decided on Sunday that Branch was not ready to go, and placed him on the inactive list.
Branch was a limited participant in practice on Thursday. He’s hoping to get enough work in practice this week to show Mora that he’s fully healthy and ready to play. But Branch also understands that Mora has to make roster decisions based on the receiver’s long-term health over the length of the season.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
“It’s a hard decision, and he knows I want to be out there,” Branch said. “But at the same time he has to do what’s best for the team and myself. I have to be honest with him and accept his answer, whatever it is.”
Leroy Hill (groin) and Marcus Trufant (back) are out. Lofa Tatupu (hamstring) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (back spasms) did not participate for a second straight day but are expected to be ready for Sunday. Brandon Mebane (calf) also did not participate in practice on Thursday.
Chris Spencer did not participate in 11-on-11 drills, but did suit up and work through individual drills for the first time since injuring his quad in the second preseason game against Denvel.
Branch, cornerback Travis Fisher (hamstring) and Walter Jones (knee) were limited participants in practice.
Jones worked in some team drills during practice this week as the team slowly works him into the lineup.
Safety C.J. Wallace fully participated in practice.
For San Francisco, LB Ahmad Brooks (knee) did not practice. G David Baas (biceps), DT Aubrayo Franklin (shin), CB Marcus Hudson (knee), WR Brandon Jones (WR), G Chilo Rachal (neck), DE Justin Smith (elbow) and DE Isaac Sopoaga (shoulder) fully participated in practice.
Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck talked with reporters today, and said the 49ers are better team than the Seahawks are used to facing the past, few seasons.
“It just seems like their talent is better than it’s been in the past,” he said. “That’s probably the thing that jumps out. They do a nice job of rushing the passer with just four guys. Their linebackers are playing well.
“Like I said their corners, Shante Spencer is playing well coming off that injury and Dre Bly is probably one of the best nickel guys in the game. It’s just a great position for him because he’s very savvy and very smart and obviously with Nate Clements those are three good guys right there. I just think in general they have guys at defensive end that are defensive ends, they can do it all. Their personnel matches up nicely with what they’re doing. They played a great game last week against Arizona.”
Defensive coordinator Gus Bradley believes containing running back Frank Gore will be important for his defense.
“We’re well aware that he can get going,” Bradley said. “And I think they did a good job last week of one guy hitting him, and then there’s another guy there and another guy just making sure that he didn’t get going. That’s got to be the approach with all running backs. We had that approach with Steven Jackson. And we’ve got to be aware of where he is at, all the time.”