HENDERSON, Nev. — Davante Adams burst off the line and within seconds, Jimmy Garoppolo’s well-placed pass came his way, but so did 49ers defenders Oren Burks and Charvarius Ward.
The collision result: Adams limped off with a lower leg injury, eventually heading on his own for the locker room.
“Unfortunately Adams went down,” 49ers defensive coordinator Steve Wilks said. “I thought it was a bang-bang play, definitely not intentional, and I hope he has a speedy recovery, because he’s one of the top players in the league.”
Even if it’s “not crazy serious,” as Raiders coach Josh McDaniels said, endangering a top player is always feared in summertime football, and Adams, a Bay Area native, is their offense’s best weapon.
But that’s not necessarily why the bulk of the 49ers’ starting players likely will sit out Sunday’s preseason opener against the Raiders. Another driving factor is the starters’ immense workload in Friday’s joint practice.
“Practice, you get it raw, exactly what it’s going to be,” 49ers leading receiver Brandon Aiyuk said. “Games are a little different and there’s not as much one-on-one work.”
That especially goes for 49ers starting quarterback Brock Purdy. He wasn’t perfect in either practice, but these desert duels did him well, especially in terms of the high pitch count he was able to handle with his surgically repaired right elbow.
Purdy was 17-of-26 Friday, with the low being an interception and the high being a touchdown pass to Deebo Samuel. More pertinent, Purdy served as the quarterback in 5-of-6 periods, amounting to 37 snaps for him.
Aiyuk added: “You get a period that might be good, one that might be alright. It’s pretty much that game situation where you go through the flows, the ups and downs, of a game.”
That meant limited duty for Trey Lance (1-of-2, five snaps), Sam Darnold (3-of-3, four snaps) and No. 4 afterthought Brandon Allen (no full-team snaps). All should see action at Allegiant Stadium on Sunday.
The 49ers did not appear to sustain any serious injuries against the Raiders, although linebacker Dre Greenlaw left early from Thursday’s session with a hamstring issue that kept him out Friday.
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NO VEGAS TITLE BOUT
The closest these former Bay Area neighbors came to squaring off with fists was when Samuel and Raiders’ safety Tre’von Moehrig had to be separated. Overall, things were so civil that over 40 linemen from both teams merged to cool off inside a climate-controlled room in the midst of Friday’s practice.
Things were definitely more physical and less civil about 15 years ago when the Raiders hosted the 49ers in Napa, as Frank Gore attested after viewing Friday’s practice and recalling how hard he knocked Raiders linebackers around in that 2009 camp.
Check back for more updates and top observations from back-to-back days of action.