Vernon Davis to play receiver for Niners?

Davis lines up with WRs: As more proof of his value to the 49ers passing game (and its offense in general), Vernon Davis reportedly worked exclusively with the team’s wide receivers in San Francisco’s most recent minicamp. Right now, it’s probably more of a precautionary measure — wanting Davis to be ready in case he’s needed to play the position during the season. However, it says a lot about how the coaching staff feels about Kyle Williams and A.J. Jenkins. After a strong finish to last season, Davis has sleeper written all over him. That only increases with added responsibilities in the passing game.

Gronk ‘could be ready’ for season: All eyes have been on the tight ends for the New England Patriots — especially Rob Gronkowski, who has seemingly spent more time on the operating table than on the field. But after Gronk’s back surgery Tuesday,’s Ian Rapoport reported that the dynamic pass-catcher could be ready for the regular season. Unsurprisingly, Gronkowski will be on the Physically Unable to Perform list for the preseason — meaning he won’t be with the team for training camp. It’s uncertain whether that designation will continue into the regular season. If so, Gronk would be unavailable for the first six games. At this point, the numerous operations and mounting injury history have dropped Gronkowski from the top tight end spot. He’ll fall farther if he’s on the PUP list to start the year.

Mendenhall on track to start: Once new Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians proclaimed that he wouldn’t run a backfield rotation, it appeared that Rashard Mendenhall would have the inside track to be the starter. It looks like the consensus is right after Arians told “NFL AM” that “there’s no doubt” that Mendenhall would be the starter if the season began today. Mendenhall had his best seasons in Arians’ offense with the Steelers and as long as he stays healthy, the prospect of being Arizona’s bell-cow should give the veteran rusher’s fantasy value a decent boost. Right now, Mendenhall projects as a No. 2 option in most leagues.

— Follow Marcas on Twitter @MarcasG

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