The 49ers travel to DC this weekend to face a 3-7 Washington squad on Monday Night Football. Yesterday, I joined Hogs Haven to discuss reasons why each team will win this game. Today, we're taking a look at some under-the-radar players on each team. First up, Hogs Haven:
With the Redskins sitting at 3-7 coming off a playoff season, can I list the entire team as "under the radar?" While most people have stamped the Redskins as in "evaluation mode," I don't see that happening since the Redskins are not mathematically eliminated and the NFC East is not exactly blowing anyone's skirts up. That being said:
This is where I usually mention rookie TE, Jordan Reed. He has been a beast in terms of catching, blocking, receiving, speed, and yards after the catch. He suffered a concussion last week, so he is questionable. Otherwise, all the starters are healthy and the offense statistically has done well. No other surprises...sadly.
David Amerson: This is a tough one since the defense averages 31.1 points against a game. THAT. IS. ATROCIOUS. Rookie, CB, David Amerson makes himself known every game. Teams continually start the game challenging him but he has held his own and has multiple INTs (and a pick 6) to show for it.
Redskins Cheerleaders: I'd like to submit Exhibit A and Exhibit B. Anything that helps interfering with our opponents' focus we'll take. These gorgeous, First Ladies of Football have proven their value before when they got to Michael Strahan and Big Ben.
The player to watch will be left guard Adam Snyder. Fourth-year guard Mike Iupati normally gets the start, but he suffered a sprained MCL last week against the Saints. There is no official word on the injury, but the general belief is he could miss a few games with the injury. Even if he he gets back faster than that, odds are pretty good that he won't play on Sunday.
Snyder is the team's primary utility lineman, and can play all five positions. The 49ers drafted him in 2005, and let him walk in free agency after the 2011 season. He got a sizable contract from the Cardinals, but was released after only one season. One reason the 49ers improved the last two years has been the consistency of the offensive line. Snyder is a decent spot option, but not a long-term option. I have to think Washington will attack Snyder a fair amount on Monday.
We're back with a repeat from last week. Cornerback Eric Wright was activated for his first game last week, and quickly found himself moving from dime back to nickel back when Tarell Brown suffered a rib injury. We don't know Brown's status for Monday, but given that he spent the night in New Orleans, his chances of playing Monday probably are not great.
This means Wright would handle the nickel duties exclusively. Normally the 49ers start Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown, with Tramaine Brock handling nickel work. With Brown potentially out, Tramaine Brock would move from nickel to starter opposite Rogers. When the 49ers go to the nickel, Carlos Rogers moves in over the slot receiver, while Wright will move outside opposite Brock.
Last week marked Wright's first game action since last season, so he was a bit rusty. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio indicated that his total snaps was more than his total reps since joining the 49ers. He started the season on the NFI list, so that's not an entirely crazy comment, but it's still notable.