49ers' third-stringer Davis finally gets to play QB in practice

  • San Francisco 49ers quarterback Nate Davis scrambles past San Diego Chargers defensive end Larry English during the second quarter of an NFL preseason football game Friday, Sept. 4, 2009 in San Diego. Davis was eventually sacked for a two-yard loss. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

SANTA CLARA — Rookie 49ers quarterback Nate Davis had to wait 16 weeks, but he finally got an opportunity this week to practice at his chosen position.

Davis ran the 49ers' scout team — using the St. Louis Rams' plays — against the 49ers' first-team defense this week, as backup quarterback Shaun Hill was held out with a sore back.

"It felt good to get out there and sling it around a little bit," Davis said Friday afternoon.

But Davis is likely to be back in his role as the 49ers' third-string quarterback for Sunday's season finale, coach Mike Singletary said.

"As of right now, (Hill is) still the No.2," Singletary said of Hill. "That's why he stayed out (of practice), so he could be the No.2. And if for any reason it gets any worse that that, Nate Davis will be No.2."

Hill is listed as probable for Sunday's game.

In previous weeks when Hill was available to practice, Davis saw more time as a wide receiver or defensive back during practices. This week was the first time Davis saw more than a handful of snaps at quarterback. He said he was able to stay sharp running the Rams' plays.

Davis said the Rams run a lot of vertical routes, so it was good practice in case he is forced into action Sunday behind starter Alex Smith. He said he believes he has a better grasp of the team's offense than he did in training camp when he saw significant action in the exhibition games.

"I'm a lot more comfortable than I was at the beginning," Davis said.

Davis said he is looking forward to the offseason. He spent about a half-hour before the 49ers' Dec. 20 game against the Philadelphia Eagles talking with quarterback Donovan McNabb on the field. He said McNabb invited him to Arizona to work out together in the offseason.

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