The San Francisco 49ers lost an ugly one Sunday evening, and the 42-17 loss to the Denver Broncos provided the team with a chance to get snaps to some reserves. The blowout was part of the reason, but injuries also factored into the adjust snap count. I've posted the snap count below, but you can also read over the entire gamebook.
Michael Wilhoite was on the field the entire game, getting 60 defensive snaps. Chris Borland was third with 57 defensive snaps as the 49ers stuck primarily to their nickel defense. They played out of their base and dime, but for the most part it was a nickel kind of night. The 49ers entered the game without Chris Culliver and Jimmie Ward, which forced Tramaine Brock back into the starting lineup a little sooner than expected. If Culliver and/or Ward was healthy, I have a hunch Brock either would have only played in sub-packages, or he would have sat out entirely.
Speaking of the cornerbacks, Dontae Johnson appears to have leap-frogged Chris Cook. He finished with more snaps in Week 6 after Jimmie Ward went down, and in Week 7, Johnson was the nickel back, with Perrish Cox moving inside to cover the slot receiver.
Aaron Lynch had another busy day, getting 44 defensive snaps, to go along with 10 special teams snaps. He is officially the nickel linebacker in place of Aldon Smith until the latter returns from suspension. It will be interesting to see if Lynch takes over some or all of Ahmad Brooks's nickel work when Smith returns. I don't think Brooks will turn completely into a Parys Haralson role, but they have to find a way to get Lynch on the field after Smith returns.
The offensive will be one issue that needs to be addressed over the bye week. In the third quarter, Daniel Kilgore suffered what is believed to be some kind of fracture of his ankle or leg. Dillon Farrell took over center duties. At one point, Farrell rolled his own ankle and left the game. The 49ers moved Joe Looney to center, and inserted Jonathan Martin at left guard (Martin was a reserve because Anthony Davis returned). That left the 49ers with no more reserves. I believe Farrell returned later in the game, but there will be maneuvering to be done. If Kilgore is done for the year, the 49ers will place him on IR and make a corresponding roster move. Tackle Carter Bykowski and guard Andrew Tiller are their two offensive linemen on the practice squad.
Here is your complete snap count for Week 7: