49ers to test re-sodded Levi's field on Saturday

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) The San Francisco 49ers will practice in Levi's Stadium on Saturday, a step that might be more about footing than getting familiar with the surroundings.

The 49ers host the Chicago Bears on Sunday night, the first time the stadium will be used for an NFL regular-season game.

''The reports are positive,'' 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said Friday. ''We've had three practices and two preseason games and we'll practice there tomorrow.''

The difference is the field has been re-sodded three times, and the 49ers (1-0) will be getting their first look at the latest version.

Punter Andy Lee and kicker Phil Dawson are the only players to have experienced the latest transformation.

''What it is now, from what it's been, it's perfectly fine,'' Lee said. ''I don't know how the big guys will do, but it seems like it will be great.''

The 49ers tore out the turf following their first exhibition game against the Denver Broncos and Harbaugh ended a public practice early when players slipped on the grass.

The field was redone after the 49ers played the San Diego Chargers in an exhibition game. An international soccer match between Mexico and Chile took place a week later and the grass seemed to hold up.

The sod has had another seven days to take hold for Sunday night.

''We were on the grass for the first time yesterday (Thursday),'' Lee said. ''Until then we weren't too sure about it. We'll spend time in pregame, like we always do, and get things figured out.''

The grass could pose a problem with several players, including Lee, who has been limited this week due to a knee injury. He's listed as probable.

Cornerback Chris Culliver, recovering from a concussion/stinger suffered early in last weekend's victory over the Dallas Cowboys, was listed as questionable, though he has been able to practice the past couple of days.

''He's right on schedule and should be good to go,'' Harbaugh said.

Culliver has not undergone the final medical test for clearance.

NOTES: DL Lawrence Okoye, on the practice squad, has been taking reps on the offensive line. ''The objective is more football,'' Harbaugh said. ''He's doubled his work in practice. It seems like a good idea. We'll see how it goes. ... Friday's injury report lists C Marcus Martin (knee) as out, Culliver, CB Tramaine Brock (toe) and T Anthony Davis (hamstring) as questionable, and Lee and DT Justin Smith as probable (non-injury related). . Harbaugh compared CB Perrish Cox on the football field to being on the playground. ''He's always excited about football,'' the coach said. ''Especially in games when he's on the sideline. It's fun for him to play the game.'' ... QB Colin Kaepernick made his first career start against the Bears two years ago. ... The 49ers have won the past three home openers under Harbaugh.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.