It seems like any concerns about running back D'Andre Swift's availability for Sunday's game vs. San Francisco are long gone.
Swift, who missed most of training camp with a groin injury, has been back at practice full-go for the last couple weeks now, and he was a full participant in practice Wednesday and Thursday.
"I think Swift has been looking good in practice. He's been doing good," running backs coach Duce Staley said Thursday. "Happy to get him back out there and see that juice and that energy and he's been showing it the last couple days."
Staley said there isn't currently a plan to go into Sunday with a rep count on Swift.
"I don't know how to do that," Staley said. "I'm very bad at counting reps. If he's out there being productive ... I don't know how to take him off. I get caught up in the game. He's going to get caught up in the game. Every good running back that I know anyway, once he starts feeling it, you don't want to pull him off. We count reps Monday."
In 13 games as a rookie, Swift rushed for 521 yards (4.6 average) with eight touchdowns. He also caught 46 balls for another 357 yards and two scores.
The 49ers have a very good defensive front and defense overall, and it's expected Swift will play heavily into Detroit's counter attack on offense.
Taylor Decker missed practice Thursday, leaving the Lions with a question mark at left tackle ahead of Sunday's season opener.
Decker appeared on the practice report Wednesday as a limited participant with a finger injury. He did not practice Thursday. The team signed offensive tackle Will Holden to the practice squad Thursday morning.
If Decker cannot play, could the Lions shift rookie Penei Sewell from right to left tackle? Sewell has played exclusively on the right side since joining the Lions, but was a left tackle during his two seasons at Oregon.
The 49ers are very strong upfront along their defensive line with Nick Bosa, the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2019, and veterans Arik Armstead, Dee Ford and others.
Right guard Halapoulivaati Vaitai has experience at right tackle, and swing tackle Matt Nelson can play both spots.
"It's next man up," tight end T.J. Hockenson said Thursday, when asked about the potential of not having Decker Sunday. "Matt Nelson is a real good player. He's been in it with us the last couple years. He's ready for the challenge. Football is one of those games where it's next man up."
BEST BUDS SQUARE OFF
There are a lot of great matchups Sunday, but football fans should be especially excited for the tight end matchup in this one between Hockenson and San Francisco All Pro George Kittle.
Both Iowa grads, Hockenson and Kittle are best friends off the field and both have been looking forward to the matchup all offseason.
"It's kind of cool we get to play our first game," Hockenson said Thursday. "It's just fun to have that on the calendar the first game."
Hockenson said there is a wager between the two friends on Sunday, but wouldn't disclose what that was.
Hockenson earned his first Pro Bowl appearance last season, while Kittle missed half the year due to injury. Hockenson and Kittle work out regularly in the offseason together. Hockenson was named "Heavyweight Champion" as the best player at this year's Tight End University, an offseason workout organized by Kittle with a lot of the league's best tight ends in attendance.
- Lions veteran safety Tracy Walker said Thursday that he and fellow veteran Will Harris can be the best safety duo in football. Head coach Dan Campbell said recently that Harris had one of the best training camps among all the players.