SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Eric Wright was joined by a handful of players who were able to participate in practice for the first time on Tuesday.
Wright, who grew up in San Francisco and attended Riordan High, less than five miles from Candlestick Park, was originally traded to the 49ers by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in late July, a few weeks after he was arrested for a DUI. He failed his physical and the trade was nullified.
He eventually signed on as a free agent and placed on the reserved/non-football injury list.
"It felt good just to be able to practice, put a helmet on and communicate with my teammates," Wright said. "It's a lot different than looking at a piece of paper or watching film. The reps mean a lot."
He was also joined by veteran wide receiver Mario Manningham and rookie defensive linemen Tank Carradine and Quinton Dial.
Wright, in his seventh season in the NFL, said there were no health issues that would keep him off the field.
"No one wants to miss a lot of time but to go back out there with a healthy body is really not normal," Wright said. "It's a different experience and I'm happy I am healthy at this time of the season after taking a beating for years."
Wright has 14 career interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, including a 94-yard return with the Browns.
"I'm just grateful to be playing for the team I grew up watching," Wright said. "I'm able to live out my dream."
Manningham can add depth to a thin position for the 49ers, who have been without former No. 1 draft pick Michael Crabtree.
"I'm just trying to get my confidence back," Manningham said. "I'm learning the routes, trying to keep my quickness and get separation from the defenders. I'm doing everything I can to get back to 100 percent."
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