Solomon Thomas’ rookie holdout lasted exactly 43 minutes.

As the 49ers were going through the individual-drill portion of their first training camp practice Friday, their first-round draft pick was signing a four-year contract.

Once his signature was on the document, he rushed to the team locker room, threw on his uniform and then went outside and took a conditioning test, which he passed. He didn’t practice Friday but is expected to be on the field — at left defensive end — in Saturday’s session.

Thomas is represented by the same firm as last year’s No. 3 overall pick, Chargers pass rusher Joey Bosa, who missed all of his team’s training camp in a contract dispute. Thomas said he was confident his impasse wouldn’t take that long.

“My agent knew … how fast I wanted to get out there,” he said. “He knew I didn’t want to be by myself another month. So I let him take care of everything.”

Thomas missed nearly all of the spring practices because Stanford’s classes were still in session. But he said he kept in contact with coaches and watched practices on his team-issued iPad and felt he won’t be behind when he finally is able to practice.

Thomas, who weighed in at 276 pounds Friday, will start out playing left defensive end, likely with the third-team unit. Tank Carradine and Ronald Blair have lined up at that spot with the first- and second-team defenses respectively.

There also are plans to utilize the rookie as an interior pass rusher, which is where he was most effective at Stanford.

Ward nicked — Safety Jimmie Ward, whose career so far has been marked by injuries, began training camp on the physically-unable-to-perform list after suffering a hamstring strain during Thursday’s conditioning test.

The injury is not severe and Ward was seen running on a side field. Still, it underscores the fragility of one of the most critical spots in San Francisco’s defense — free safety.

With Ward out, Jaquiski Tartt lined up at the position. Tartt mostly had lined up at strong safety during spring practices.

Veterans Vinnie Sunseri and Don Jones, as well as good-looking rookie Lorenzo Jerome, also can play the spot.

Free safety is a pivotal one in San Francisco’s new defense because the other safety usually plays close to the line of scrimmage. Secondary coach Jeff Hafley called it “the eraser” because Ward is the last chance to erase others’ mistakes.

Ward has missed 13 games with an array of injuries, including a foot fracture, quadriceps tear and broken collarbone, since being selected in the first round in 2014.

Et cetera — Reuben Foster’s first-ever practice with the 49ers included an interception. The first-round selection picked off a pass from fellow rookie C.J. Beathard that was tipped by cornerback Prince Charles Iworah. Like most of the rookies, Foster played with the third-team units on Friday.

* Veteran Elvis Dumervil also went through his first practice with his new team. Dumervil mostly was used as an outside rusher in nickel formations, which will be his role when the regular season begins.

* The 49ers have added a 35-foot-tall ramp to their training regimen. The ramp has a 30-degree incline and is 60 feet long. Strength coach Ray Wright had a similar one when he was with the Houston Texans.

About the Author: Insidethe49

Insidethe49 Site Staff

Share This Story, Choose Your Platform!