The San Francisco 49ers will not face a pair of notable Texans defensive players, as well as their starting center in Sunday’s preseason opener. Texans head coach Bill O’Brien announced on Friday that outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (knee) and center Nick Martin (back) did not travel with the team to Santa Clara. They join J.J. Watt (back) as sidelined for the 49ers game.
Clowney and Martin are not expected to be significant issues, while the hope is Watt will be back for Week 1. All three are starters, and so even if they did play against the 49ers, it would probably not be an extended amount of snaps. The preseason is about individual performances more than whether or not the team wins or loses, so we’ll have to keep these absences in mind when the 49ers starters are on the field.
Since the 49ers are playing at home, there is no report on who did not “travel” for the game. Chip Kelly did not specify who might not play on Sunday for injuries or veteran status, and so we’ll have to wait and see what the pre-game lineup announcements bring. The preseason does not include a formal injury report, so it is no surprise some teams will give out less information than others. Players on our radar for potential absence would be Colin Kaepernick (shoulder), Arik Armstead (shoulder), Glenn Dorsey (knee), and Quinton Patton and DeAndre Smelter, who both missed time on Friday, but status is unknown.