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49ers-Texans snap count: Does special teams work tell us something?

The San Francisco 49ers lost their preseason opener 23-10. We take a look at what the snap count tells us about the roster competitions.

The San Francisco 49ers have their first preseason game in the books, and with that comes the first snap count of the preseason. Preseason snap counts go considerably longer than the regular season given the use of the 90-man roster. Starters get limited snaps, and the team in turn empties out the roster. 14 players did not play on Saturday, with ten remaining in Santa Clara, and four getting a veteran's day off in Houston.

The 49ers offensive starters primarily got one series of action. Joe Staley and Erik Pears played just the first series. Alex Boone and Joe Looney went a second series. Marcus Martin went a third series moving over to center, with Brandon Thomas taking his place at right guard. Trent Brown and Patrick Miller came on at left and right tackle after Staley and Pears departed, and got the remaining snaps. Brown actually looked solid at times, but also gave up some serious pressure when Dylan Thompson came on. Not great, but I'd say something to build on for Brown.

On defense, Shayne Skov played 80 percent of the defensive snaps, with Eli Harold right behind him at 76 percent of snaps, Nick Moody at 64 percent and Corey Lemonier at 59 percent. The 49ers are thin at linebacker, so it is not surprising linebackers got the most snaps on defense. Arik Armstead got a lot of work, playing 55 percent of defensive snaps.

Where it gets interesting is trying to interpret special teams work. Younger players stuck behind strong veteran depth have to show something on special teams if they want to make the roster. We might be able to get a handle on potential early cuts based on this first snap count. For example, WR Chuck Jacobs, TE Xavier Grimble, WR Issac Blakeney, WR Nigel King and WR Mario Hull played single digit offensive snaps (8, 4, 4, 1, 1), and only King got work on special teams, with one such snap. The 49ers might try and slide one or two of these guys to the practice squad, but limited work does not bode well for them.

Busta Anderson only got one offensive snap, and no special teams snaps. While most of the above group seems like potential cuts, I would not be at all surprised if the 49ers try and hide Anderson in the preseason in order to slip him through waivers to the practice squad.

Here is a full rundown of the 49ers snap count vs. the Houston Texans.

Player Offense Defense ST
Trent Brown 35 2
Patrick Miller 35 1
Blaine Gabbert 22
Dillon Farrell 21 5
Brandon Thomas 21 1
Quinton Patton 20 2
Marcus Martin 20 1
Andrew Tiller 19 1
Ian Silberman 18 1
Jerome Simpson 18
Blake Bell 17 10
Vance McDonald 15 9
Jarryd Hayne 15 3
DeAndrew White 14 8
Dylan Thompson 14
Garrett Celek 13 8
DiAndre Campbell 13
Joe Looney 12 1
Alex Boone 12 1
Derek Carrier 11 9
Asante Cleveland 11 7
Mike Davis 11 6
Kendall Gaskins 10 7
Chuck Jacobs 8
Carlos Hyde 5
Colin Kaepernick 5
Anquan Boldin 5
Erik Pears 5
Joe Staley 5
Torrey Smith 4
Xavier Grimble 4
Issac Blakeney 4
Bruce Miller 3 11
Trey Millard 1 12
Sean Hooey 1 1
Justin Renfrow 1 1
Nigel King 1 1
Mario Hull 1
Busta Anderson 1
Shayne Skov 66 9
Eli Harold 63 6
Nick Moody 53 2
Corey Lemonier 49 10
Arik Armstead 46 3
Jaquiski Tartt 39 11
L.J. McCray 36 10
Keith Reaser 36 8
Dontae Johnson 35 11
Craig Dahl 34 9
Marcus Rush 34 2
Marcus Cromartie 25 9
Tramaine Brock 25 1
Shareece Wright 25 1
Quinton Dial 25 1
Eric Reid 25
Antoine Bethea 25
Mike Purcell 23
Kenneth Acker 22 11
Leon McFadden 22 1
Tank Carradine 22
Lawrence Okoye 21 6
Steve Beauharnais 21 2
Garrison Smith 20 3
Mylan Hicks 18 2
Kaleb Ramsey 17
Desmond Bishop 17
Tony Jerod-Eddie 15 1
Glenn Dorsey 14
Jermaine Whitehead 12 2
Shawn Lemon 11 1
Ahmad Brooks 9
Ian Williams 8
Bradley Pinion 9
Kyle Nelson 8
Phil Dawson 5