Jonathan Martin returned to practice this week for the San Francisco 49ers after missing more than three weeks recovering from a of mononucleosis.
Martin returned to the practice field Monday and has been taking part in organized team activities on the field for the first time with his new team.
”It felt good out there,” Martin said Tuesday. ”Just trying to get my timing back. It felt good to be back out there with my teammates and get this offense down.”
Martin took part in the early portion of the offseason program before coming down with the viral infection just before the start of OTAs. He lost about 12 pounds because of the illness and spent last week trying to regain his strength.
”I just have to get back in shape,” he said. ”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.”
Martin spent most of his time Tuesday working as a backup right tackle. He is also seeing time at left tackle and could get a look at guard as he tries to earn a spot as a reserve offensive lineman in San Francisco.
The transition to a new team has been helped by Martin’s familiarity with coach Jim Harbaugh’s offense, having played for him in college. Martin also played on a West Coast-based offense with Miami
”We have a lot of plays,” he 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 was traded from the Dolphins to the Niners in mid-March, providing him with a new start after his departure from Miami last October. He accused teammate Richie Incognito of bullying in a scandal that overshadowed the franchise’s 8-8 season.
An NFL investigation determined Incognito and two other Dolphins offensive linemen engaged in persistent harassment of Martin. Incognito was then suspended and missed the final eight games.
Martin praised the locker room culture in San Francisco, calling it a ”great environment” where players take care of each other.
The NFL is traveling around the league to meet with all 32 teams this offseason to stress anti-bullying. The Niners will have their presentation next week.
”I think it will be a good discussion,” Harbaugh said. ”I look forward to it. I don’t think it will hurt and I’m sure it will help.”