49ers WR Brandon Lloyd enjoying return to NFL 

Brandon Lloyd returned to the 49ers to finish what he started.

After taking a year off from football, Lloyd said he came back to the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2003 because nobody else could offer what he wanted: a chance at redemption and a Super Bowl title.

"When I was younger, I was in love with the winning attitude and culture that the team had. And when I was finally able to play for the team, no one had that," said Lloyd, whose first stint with the 49ers was from 2003-05. "Now the team does have that, and San Francisco has always held a special place in my heart. And so I didn't explore any other options. I wanted to return to San Francisco and maybe bring a certain amount of closure to my career."

Lloyd has been a major addition through the first week of training camp, showing off a smooth route-running ability that teammates call the best among the receivers. He has mostly shied away from talking about his comeback this summer, saying his focus is on making the team -- and it still is.

But Lloyd finally began to open up about his journey back to the NFL. He said he wants to help mentor the team's young receivers and cornerbacks while showing he still has what it takes to be an elite wide receiver at age 33.

He caught 105 passes for 1,510 yards and 13 touchdowns in his first three years in the league with San Francisco. That included leading the team with 48 receptions, 733 yards receiving and five TD catches in 2005.

Lloyd then played two seasons with Washington and one in Chicago before stops with Denver, St. Louis and New England. He was cut by the Patriots in March 2013 and didn't join any other team despite catching 74 passes for 911 yards and four touchdowns in 2012.

Lloyd signed a one-year contract with San Francisco in April to end his sabbatical, which included starring in a direct-to-DVD zombie movie titled "After Effect." Back on the field for the 49ers, he is learning an offense all over again.

NOTES: 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said CBs Tremaine Brock and Chris Culliver and DT Ray McDonald did not participate in practice because they are nursing minor leg injuries. He also said DT Justin Smith also is sitting out because he's still recovering from the shoulder surgery he had this offseason. ... The 49ers signed former Arizona Cardinals running back Alfonso Smith to a one-year deal and waived injured guard Fouimalo Fonoti. Smith's signing comes after injuries to primary backups Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James in the last week. Hunter is out for the season after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, and James will be sidelined indefinitely with a left elbow injury.

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