Snippets from Day 4 of 49ers training camp

The 49ers on Saturday wrapped up their first four-practice block of training camp. No pads are allowed for the first part of the camp, so takeaways are always hit and miss. Once the pads come on Monday, we’ll have a much better sense of where the roster stands before the club’s first preseason contest on Aug. 12 against the Packers.

Here are the highlights from the fourth camp:

Charvarius Ward continues to shine

(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The 49ers’ biggest offseason addition has a huge training camp. Ward came in to be the No. 1 corner, and so far he’s playing like one with plays every day. including an interception Saturday. San Francisco had depth issues at cornerback last year and struggled to consistently find good play there. If Ward continues to play like he did in camp with Emmanuel Moseley holding down the opposite end, the 49ers could assemble the best secondary they’ve had under coach Kyle Shanahan.

Tarvarius Moore enters the fray

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Second-year safety Talanoa Hufanga is the frontrunner for the starting strong safety spot, but Moore made his mark Saturday with a pair of interceptions. This battle could become very interesting if Moore continues to play well in a comeback from a torn Achilles last season. He’s a converted free safety who can do some things athletically that Hufanga can’t, which gives the 49ers some added flexibility in the backfield. Hufanga has drawn praise from the coaching staff and it sounds like the job is his to lose, but don’t be surprised if Moore becomes a factor.

Dontae Johnson starts

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Johnson rolled with the first team defense as a nickel corner Saturday. His presence on the roster is inevitable. Can play outside, slot, safety and special teams. It’s unlikely that Johnson will put himself in a position to be a starter, but the fact that he’s running with the first team early in camp is a testament to how highly the coaching staff thinks of him. Don’t rule him out for a roster spot, especially if Jason Verrett remains on the PUP list in the regular season.

DT injury damage

(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

The 49ers have a bit of a problem on the interior of their defensive line. At a position that was once one of the deepest parts of the roster, many pieces are now missing. Arik Armstead is out for a few weeks with a sprained MCL. Maurice Hurst tore his biceps on Friday and will likely need season-ending surgery. Hassan Ridgeway was also sidelined Saturday with a mild quad strain that could keep him out for a few weeks. The once deep DL is now seeing that depth tested. Robert Nkemdiche, Kevin Givens, undrafted rookie Kevin Atkins and recently signed Tomasi Laulile are the other DTs on the roster. It wouldn’t be a surprise if the 49ers add another player to that mix while Ridgeway and Armstead return.

2 1st round return to the trenches

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Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw and right tackle Mike McGlinchey, who both had season-ending surgery last year, returned to team drills on Saturday. Both players were going through a few sessions before Day 4 of camp.

Kinlaw underwent surgery to reconstruct his ACL last season, while McGlinchey dealt with a torn quadriceps. The 49ers desperately need Kinlaw to play a full season and take a step forward from his rookie season in 2020. His presence inside will be a big piece of how they replace defensive tackle DJ Jones. McGlinchey is in the fifth and final year of his rookie contract and with some question marks inside, the 49ers need him to have his best year as a pro. If he can be an excellent run blocker while holding his own in pass protection, it would be a major boost to an otherwise inexperienced offensive front.

An observation by Jimmy G

Oooooh. Aaaaaah.

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This story originally appeared on Niners Wire

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