SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Coverage of the San Francisco 49ers

Balmer Bails

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Kentwan Balmer has excused himself from practice.

    San Francisco 49ers defensive end Kentwan Balmer's career is not unlike cell phone reception in San Francisco. It's been kind of on and off.

    And right now, Balmer is getting zero bars.

    Balmer flat-out walked out of 49ers practice Monday night, the San Jose Mercury News reports. He is not back Tuesday.

    "It's on Kentwan," Singletary said on a Tuesday morning interview on KNBR. "Kentwan's got to make up his mind in terms of how he's going to handle some of the personal issues that he has to handle."

    "There's certainly a lot on his plate right now," Singletary told KNBR's Murph & Mac. "Just leave it where it is, and it'll be fine."

    There are very few facts and several theories regarding Mr. Balmer's absence.

    Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area received word from Balmer's agent that "The reasons were personal -- family matters."

    This does not sound particularly fishy.

    But it does sound particularly fishier when one factors in that Balmer's unexpected exit coincided with Rivals.com breaking a story alleging that Balmer and his agent were involved in NCAA recruiting violations.

    ProFootballTalk.com reports that Balmer should not be gone long. "Per a league source," writes NFL gumshoe Mike Florio, "Balmer is expected to return on Wednesday."

    Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who would have not only left practice, but would have also grabbed two beers and jumped out the emergency chute shouting obscenitites.