49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio met with the media on Monday, and he said that Eric Reid would likely start at free safety this Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings. Reid has been getting a lot of second team work in practice, but last week he got a fair amount of first team work. He has been the No. 2 free safety on game-day, but this past Friday he ended up with more snaps than Craig Dahl against the Chiefs first string offense.
This is a fairly logical progression in Reid's development. The 49ers were not going to simply hand him the starting free safety job, but they have still provided him with opportunities to prove he belongs. Starting in the offseason workout program, the team rotated him with the other safeties, including Dahl, C.J. Spillman and Trenton Robinson. All reports indicate he has impressed in his development, and Vic Fangio has been complimentary of the rookie.
If Reid takes over the starting position this weekend, I find it hard to believe that he will lose it this season. Reid will have moments where he stumbles, but as Fangio said, Reid is not a guy who usually makes the same mistake twice. Given that he has the athleticism, work ethic and football intelligence to handle the job, his best chance to improve is through experience. The time would seem to be now, heading into the latter half of the preseason schedule.