HERTFORDSHIRE, England -- Colin Kaepernick insisted Wednesday that the 49ers are already back to their "normal routine," even if their surroundings said otherwise.

Practice took place on a lush, green field nestled among towering trees at a gorgeous resort in the English countryside.

There was no stadium-construction noise like back home in Santa Clara, and the scenery sure beat that Holiday Inn parking lot in Youngstown, Ohio, where the team held practices during 2011 and 2012 road trips.

"It's a great place to set up camp (and) hunker down in a great football environment," 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh said. "We have everything we need. Great set up here at The Grove, a football oasis."

Kaepernick and the 49ers practiced here Wednesday for the first time, two days after arriving from Nashville and one day after Kaepernick briefly traded his celebrity status for that of an almost-anonymous tourist in London.

Only a "couple people" noticed the 49ers quarterback sightseeing with teammates on Tuesday's day off. "But for the most part, it was peaceful, it was nice," Kaepernick said Wednesday.

Chances are almost all of the 80,000-plus fans will recognize his No. 7 jersey Sunday when the 49ers (5-2) face the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-7) at Wembley Stadium.

Asked to name the most memorable stadiums he's played in away from home, Kaepernick listed only two: Boise State and Nebraska, both from his college days at Nevada. Obvious omissions: losing the Super Bowl at New Orleans' Superdome and winning the NFC championship in Atlanta's Georgia Dome.


Advertisement

"I don't think anything's going to compare to this weekend," Kaepernick said.

The 49ers enter Sunday's game on a four-game win streak, keyed by a run-oriented offense. Kaepernick, meanwhile, hasn't completed more than 16 passes in a game since the season opener.

"To me, it all depends on whether we're winning or not," Kaepernick said in evaluating his recent passing displays. "If we're winning, that's successful. If not, something needs to change and we need to get better. The last (four) games we've won, so that's all that matters."

As unique as this overseas road trip is, Kaepernick feels his body has adjusted to the time change. What wasn't normal was going nearly unnoticed in London. Can he do that back home? "No, not in the Bay. I don't try anymore."

  • Free safety Eric Reid recovered fast enough from Sunday's left-ankle injury that he wasn't even listed on the 49ers' injury report. Fellow starting safety Donte Whitner, who missed Sunday's fourth quarter with a knee injury, participated fully Wednesday.

  • Defensive linemen Justin Smith (shoulder), Ray McDonald (biceps) and Glenn Dorsey (hamstring) stretched with their teammates but did not practice, as was the case with wide receiver Jon Baldwin (illness).

  • London native Lawrence Okoye's popularity is booming, whether it's teammates asking him for local tips or reporters checking on his career change. A 2012 Olympics discus thrower, Okoye can't play Sunday and is spending all season on the injured-reserve list, a result of a sprained knee ligament suffered in the exhibition season.

    "It's a frustrating time, but it's a good time because I'm learning every day," said Okoye, who's been intensely studying other defensive linemen on game film the past couple months.

    His duties this week include acting as a pseudo-ambassador: "They think I'm their A-to-Z, their Yellow Pages. I just point them in the right direction. Everyone's focused on the win Sunday, so nobody wants to do anything crazy."

  • The Jaguars announced they'll start Chad Henne at quarterback over Blaine Gabbert. Four Jaguars starters did not practice: defensive end Jason Babin (not injury related), wide receiver Justin Blackmon (hamstring), center Brad Meester (not injury related) and leading receiver Cecil Shorts (shoulder).

  • Limited in practice for the 49ers were running back Frank Gore (ankle), linebacker Patrick Willis (groin), guard Alex Boone (shoulder), right tackle Anthony Davis (shoulder) and left cornerback Carlos Rogers (knee).

    Full participants despite ongoing issues were linebacker NaVorro Bowman (wrist), tight end Vernon Davis (hamstring), Kaepernick (foot) and wide receiver Kyle Williams (knee).

  • Punter Andy Lee is the NFC's special-teams player of the week, after pinning the Titans inside their 20-yard line on three of his six punts.

    For more on the 49ers, see Cam Inman's Hot Read blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/49ers. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/CamInman.

    SUNDAY'S GAME

    49ers (5-2) vs. Jacksonville (0-7) in London, 10 a.m., FOX