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What we learned Thursday: Tough day for 49ers' D

It wasn't a good day for Jim Harbaugh's defense.

Patrick Willis suffered a possible fractured hand during Wednesday's practice, though he'll play through it. The news is more dire regarding cornerback Chris Culliver, who tore his ACL during a punt-return drill on Thursday.

Culliver saw plenty of playing time last season when the opposition was in three- and four wide receiver sets. His misfortune likely locks up a roster spot for Nnamdi Asomugha, who had been firmly on the bubble.

Meanwhile, the law of averages appears to be catching up to the Niners, who had managed to avoid serious injuries during Harbaugh's first two seasons at the helm.

More Cooper fallout

Michael Vick, Jason Avant and others expressed support for Riley Cooper on Wednesday. On Thursday, one of the Eagles' biggest stars showed the complexity that goes along with the circumstances.

"I guess the real him came out that day," running back LeSean McCoytold's Albert Breer. "The cameras are off, you don't think nobody's watching or listening, and then you find out who they really are. And to hear how he really came off, that shows you what he's really all about."

McCoy said the situation hurts because it's like "losing a friend ... I can't respect a guy like that."

No wonder Cooper can't eat or sleep.

Hopin' on Harvin

As scheduled, Percy Harvin underwent surgery to repair his hip on Thursday. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said the procedure went "very well," but cautioned that his wide receiver had a long road ahead.

"We don't have any dates or timeline," Carroll said, "but we'll be optimistic and hope he'll get back as soon as possible and be ready to go, eventually."

Carroll's choice of words tells us Harvin's return in 2013 is far from guaranteed.

Quote of the day

"It might be the hardest thing I've had to do since I've been here." -- Chiefs nose tackle Dontari Poe, who hails from Memphis and lives in Kansas City, on swearing off barbecue.

Trainer's room

»Giants coach Tom Coughlin is trying to be patient as wide receiver Hakeem Nicks rehabs a groin injury.

»Mike Wallace has been missing from Dolphins practice since Monday because of groin soreness. He wants to play in the Hall of Fame Game, a sign the injury isn't serious.

»Jets coach Rex Ryan acknowledged his disappointment in running back Chris Ivory's hamstring woes.

»Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn will be out "a few days" because of a groin injury, coach Greg Schiano said. Schiano said the injury isn't as bad as he initially thought.

Stock up

» The Bucs continue to like what they're seeing from Darrelle Revis, who had his workload increased for a second straight day.

»Texans coach Gary Kubiak hopes running back Arian Foster can make his training camp debut on Sunday. In related news, linebacker Brian Cushing made his debut in 7-on-7 drills on Thursday.

»Saints defensive coordinator Rob Ryan loves what he's seeing from cornerback Keenan Lewis. He said the Saints "got the best free agent out there on defense." Such a Ryan-y statement.

Stock down

» The Jaguars have pumped the brakes on their "OW." Denard Robinson has seen his role slashed in the team's offense because of ball security struggles.

»Havard Rugland, a.k.a. Kickalicious, may have had to be perfect in Lions camp to steal the kicking job from David Akers. Unfortunately for Rugland, he missed two kicks on Thursday, his first misses of training camp.

» How can we not lower the stock of Chiefs offensive coordinator Doug Pederson, who says Alex Smith is the best quarterback in the NFL?

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