The San Francisco 49ers managed their third win in four games on Sunday, beating the Houston Texans. The 49ers once again won the time of possession battle (34:49 to 25:11), but offensive third down struggles meant the defense was on the field significantly more than we saw last week. You can view the full snap count below, or check out the gamebook PDF.
The big changes this week saw Trent Brown inactive, and Tank Carradine and Aaron Lynch active. Brown’s shoulder injury remains an issue, and Zane Beadles got the start at right tackle in his place. There were no injury issues during the game for the line, although Beadles had a rough day against all-world defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney.
Lynch was active for the first time in six weeks, and it comes two weeks after he was almost released, according to Matt Maiocco. Lynch suffered a calf injury in Week 6, but was then a healthy scratch in Weeks 12 and 13 following the 49ers bye. He was active on Sunday against the Houston Texans and played 27 snaps, which was good for 40 percent of defensive work.
Solomon Thomas and Tank Carradine were the starting defensive ends, and Lynch primarily split backup duties with Cassius Marsh. The 49ers have made adjustments along the defensive line regularly this season thanks to the depth. Leger Douzable, D.J. Jones, and Ronald Blair were all inactive in Week 14, but I suspect we see one or two of them active this coming weekend against a run first Tennessee Titans squad.
Lynch is a free agent after this season, and odds were already pretty good he was not going to be returning in 2018. Maybe he can impress to close out the season, but more than likely he will get some limited playing time, and that will be that.
Here’s the full snap count.
Snap count vs. Texans