Niners coach Jim Harbaugh has developed a reputation as a player’s coach, and he may have reinforced that image Monday when safety Cory Nelms was allowed to leave practice for a short time to watch his girlfriend compete in the Olympics.
Nelms jogged off the field about an hour into practice, according to Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, to watch a live stream of the women’s 400-meter hurdles semifinals at the London Olympics.
He watched as his girlfriend, T’erea Brown, qualified for a spot in Wednesday’s final with a personal-record time of 54.21 seconds
“She got out good,” Nelms said. “It seemed like she was falling back, but she maintained and ran her race. She PR’d yesterday and PR’d again today. She’s peaking. She’s definitely on the right track.”
Nelms returned to practice right after the race because he is fighting for a spot on the 49ers’ 53-man roster.
Before practice, 49ers defensive backs coach Ed Donatell asked Nelms if he wanted permission to duck out of practice long enough to watch the race.
“I said, ‘Definitely,’” Nelms said. “I guess he got permission [from Harbaugh] and said it would be OK.”
Kaepernick No. 2: Colin Kaepernick will be the 49ers’ No. 2 quarterback in Friday’s preseason opener against the Minnesota Vikings, Harbaugh said. Kaepernick is battling Josh Johnson and Scott Tolzien for the role of Alex Smith’s backup.
“They all are fighting for that job and the competition, as I said, is very close,” Harbaugh said. “So we’re at that next step to take those, to get those game reps.”
Crabtree returns: Receiver Michael Crabtree was back on the practice field Monday for the first time since suffering an injury to his right leg July 27. Crabtree hasn’t played in an exhibition game in his brief NFL career.