One of the biggest names in the NFL from last season has faded into obscurity. Indeed, Jonathan Martin has become so irrelevant that no one really noticed that he missed three weeks of offseason workouts due to mononucleosis.
Via the Associated Press, Martin returned to the practice field on Tuesday, engaging for the first time in an OTA session with the 49ers, who traded for Martin earlier this year.
“It felt good out there,” Martin said, per Josh Dubow of the AP. “Just trying to get my timing back. It felt good to be back out there with my teammates and get this offense down. . . . I just have to get back in shape. The biggest thing is timing, getting your hands down and footwork back. I lost a little bit of weight. That’s what I worked on last week.”
Whatever the timetable, Martin has plenty of work to do if he hopes to make the 53-man roster in San Francisco. The illness puts him behind schedule, and it narrows his window for not being one of up to 37 who ultimately are sent packing.
Helping Martin will be his familiarity with coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense, based on their time together at Stanford.
“We have a lot of plays,” Martin said. “It’s been good. There are only so many plays in football. It’s just getting the language down, the calls, the adjustments and different looks.”
Martin provided a much different look last week, chiding LeBron James on Twitter for getting cramps in the first game of the NBA Finals. The real question is whether anyone with Martin’s new team will chide him for what happened last year in Miami, when Martin abruptly left the team due to allegations of persistent bullying. The ultimate question is whether Martin will be employed by the 49ers or any other team when the chase for the NFL’s next championship officially begins in September.