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49ers bubble watch heading into Packers Week 3 preseason game

Welcome back to another round of the San Francisco 49ers bubble watch. The team is at home this week, preparing to face the Green Bay Packers in their third preseason game. We’re seeing some potential depth chart changes, and that influences my thoughts on the bubble watch. We’ve got a new player, and a handful of adjustments compared to our bubble watch last week.

1. Marcus Rush from weak bubble to strong bubble - I suppose it might be viewed by some as an over-correction, but when you get three sacks in a preseason game, you’re going to move up the radar. Jim O’Neil said he would get more opportunities in practice this week, which could mean more opportunities against 1s or 2s this Friday. If he can build on last week, he’s going to make the roster.

2. Vance McDonald from strong bubble to lock - I was hesitant last week, but we now have another week under our belt. Gabbert was looking McDonald’s way, and they seem to be developing a solid rapport.

3. Bryce Treggs from long-shot to weak bubble - Treggs injured his knee, but that might actually it easier for him to earn a spot on the roster. Not the 53-man roster, but injured reserve. It’s possible the team cuts an injury settlement, but I have a feeling they stash him on IR this season.

4. Garrison Smith from weak bubble to strong bubble - He’s quietly put together two strong performances. With Ian Williams done for the year and Glenn Dorsey still not playing, there are opportunities to be had. Smith is taking advantage of his chances.

5. Anthony Davis, Andrew Tiller from strong bubble to lock - I had them both as strong bubble, but I just can’t see them off the roster. Tiller lost some RG snaps to Davis on Tuesday, but this weekend could tell us more about that. Tiller can play both interior guard positions, which will be a benefit for him.

I’m still not sure what to make of the inside linebacker competition. Should all three be on the same level in this? The rotation continues this weekend, and I really have no idea where to go with it.


QB: Blaine Gabbert, Colin Kaepernick
RB: Carlos Hyde
WR: Torrey Smith, Bruce Ellington, Quinton Patton
TE: Garrett Celek, Blake Bell, Vance McDonald
OL: Joe Staley, Zane Beadles, Daniel Kilgore, Joshua Garnett, Trent Brown, Anthony Davis, Andrew Tiller

DL: Arik Armstead, Quinton Dial, DeForest Buckner, Glenn Dorsey, Ronald Blair
OLB: Aaron Lynch, Ahmad Brooks, Eli Harold, Tank Carradine
ILB: NaVorro Bowman, Gerald Hodges, Michael Wilhoite
CB: Tramaine Brock, Jimmie Ward, Dontae Johnson, Will Redmond, Rashard Robinson, Chris Davis
S: Eric Reid, Antoine Bethea, Jaquiski Tartt

K: Phil Dawson
P: Bradley Pinion
LS: Kyle Nelson

Strong bubble

QB: Christian Ponder, Jeff Driskel
RB: Mike Davis, Shaun Draughn, DuJuan Harris, Kelvin Taylor
WR: DeAndre Smelter, Dres Anderson, Aaron Burbridge, DiAndre Campbell, Jerome Simpson, DeAndrew White
TE: Bruce Miller
OL: Marcus Martin, John Theus, Fahn Cooper, Erik Pears

DL: Mike Purcell, Tony Jerod-Eddie, Garrison Smith
OLB: Corey Lemonier, Marcus Rush
ILB: Ray-Ray Armstrong, Nick Bellore, Shayne Skov
CB: Kenneth Acker, Keith Reaser
S: L.J. McCray, Marcus Cromartie

Weak bubble

QB: None
RB: None
WR: Bryce Treggs
TE: None
OL: Alex Balducci, Ian Silberman, Colin Kelly, Brandon Thomas

DL: Darren Lake
OLB: None
ILB: None
CB: None
S: None


QB: None
RB: Kendall Gaskins
WR: Devon Cajuste, Ryan Whalen
TE: Busta Anderson, Je’Ron Hamm
OL: Norman Price, Blake Muir

DL: Demetrius Cherry, B.J. McBryde
OLB: Jason Fanaika, Lenny Jones
ILB: Wynton McManis
CB: Prince Charles Iworah
S: None

K: John Lunsford