Tuesday, the 49ers put their offense on Shaun Hill’s shoulders by naming him their starting quarterback.
Wednesday, he missed virtually all of practice with a strained lower back.
Niners head coach Mike Singletary downplayed the severity of the injury, which first surfaced Tuesday. Hill threw just one pass at practice Wednesday before shutting it down.
“It showed up yesterday,” Singletary said in comments circulated by the team. “[He] pushed himself through practice, got some treatment yesterday. Today it was still there. He probably could have pushed himself through practice but I told him, ‘You don’t need to do that. Let the other guys get the reps and let’s go.”
Singletary didn’t believe the injury was severe enough to warrant an MRI. He assumes Hill will play in the Niners’ third preseason game at Dallas on Saturday night.
If Hill can’t go, the Niners will be run veteran Damon Huard, the former Chief. Alex Smith, who was competing with Hill for the starting job, was ruled out of Saturday’s game with a sore thumb.
Singletary also made it clear he doesn’t plan on playing revolving quarterbacks if Hill doesn’t set the world aflame early in the year.
“It’s not a week-to-week thing,” Singletary said. “[Hill] is our starter. What does that mean? I think it means that you say, ‘Here’s the ball, here’s the offense, let’s go. Don’t look over here when you make a mistake. Don’t look over here when you throw an interception. Just know that everything we talked about this offseason . . . just do what we know we have to do in order to win football games.
“I don’t want him looking to the sidelines wondering if I’m going to take him out and put somebody . . . no. We’re not going to do that. That’s not fair to anyone.”
Alex Smith might think it’s fair, but we get the coach’s point.