Antrel Rolle looks on from the bench during the second...

Antrel Rolle looks on from the bench during the second half of a preseason game against the Chicago Bears. (Aug. 24, 2012) Credit: AP

When a guy doesn’t practice in Wednesday, it’s usually not time for concern. Especially after a road game late on Sunday night. It can take a few days sometimes to shake off the aches and stiffness from one week before transitioning fully into the next. So when several key defensive players were sidelined or limited yesterday, there were no big alarm bells sounded.

That there were five defensive starters not practicing today, well, that’s a different story.

Michael Boley (hip), Rocky Bernard (quad), Kenny Phillips (knee), Corey Webster (hand) and Antrel Rolle (knee) were all not participating in today’s practice. Boely said he expected to go today but was not. Webster is listed as having a hand injury, but perhaps there is more than that holding him out since he practiced and played with the broken hand last week. Phillips we figured would be out. And Rolle? He was limited yesterday and has been dealing with that knee injury from crashing into a camera since the Week 3 win in Carolina.

Rolle was limited yesterday. Perhaps he was more limited than we suspected.

“I think it was pretty much me and T. Sash in there,” Stevie Brown said after yesterday’s practice. “Trel worked for a little bit for the most part of the practice and then he kind of sat down and then me and Tyler took over."

We did get to see Hakeem Nicks, but he remained on the exercise bike for the entire length of the portion of practice that was open to the media. Usually he gets up and walks around restlessly, hanging out with the receivers and quarterbacks. He did no such thing today. Ramses Barden was not at practice, dealing with a concussion.

The good news is that David Baas (hand) and Chris Snee (hip) appeared to be working today, although it seemed Baas was doing more than Snee. And Keith Rivers, who was limited yesterday, seemed to be at least limited again today.

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