As we approach the last game of the preseason, it's all about keeping guys healthy. The 49ers have done fairly well in keeping healthy (KNOCK ON WOOD) and they're taking serious precautions this Friday against San Diego. The first-team units will apparently only play a series or so.
Of course, with some of the recent injuries, the question becomes who will be out there and who will be on that first unit. Brian De La Puente has an arm injury that has sidelined him recently. Today saw Tony Wragge move over to left guard and Chilo Rachal took over at right guard. However, David Baas is due back to the practice field this week, so we could see the Baas-Wragge combination at guard.
Some folks who missed practice include Keith Lewis and Josh Morgan due to illness. On the other hand, Arnaz Battle and Ashley Lelie were finally able to take part in team reps today. I'll have a bigger post about the wide receivers tomorrow, but Lelie certainly has his work cut out for him in the next five days. Nolan has said he's on the fence about keeping 5 or 6 receivers so Lelie needs to give him a reason if he wants to stick around.
As for Friday's game, Nolan has indicated Adam Snyder, Jonas Jennings and Allen Rossum are all likely out. Robert Ortiz will be returning punts, with Michael Robinson and Delanie Walker getting some action in the kick return game. It's good to see Robinson back on the field.
In a somewhat related note, the final cutdown to the 53-man roster has to happen by Saturday. Since that's the day after an evening game, I'm planning on doing a final 53-man projection on Wednesday or Thursday. If there is anything that could dramatically affect a given player I'll throw up a post but if nothing big happens I probably won't since cuts could happen pretty quickly, making a same-day post rather dated. Game-time decision.