The San Francisco 49ers have moved into their closed practice sessions this week, giving media access to individual drills but not team drills. That means we don’t have observations about changes to the depth chart.
Of course, sometimes information sneaks out. The team released a highlight video from Wednesday’s session, and Matt Maiocco noticed that Erik Magnuson and Tim Barnes were getting first team reps. Naturally, we all buzzed about it given Magnuson’s climb up the depth chart.
On Friday morning, Kyle Shanahan pumped the brakes on that when asked about the video and the reports.
“Nothing’s changed. I was actually asked that yesterday, if he was going with the starters or something because there was some picture, but when we go through a carded practice - he's definitely, he’s not starting for us right now — when we go through a carded practice of 10 plays in a period, you have the ones go for all of them — at least, as a coach you say that. And you know you're not going to keep those guys in 10 plays in a row. It's important to rotate guys in to prepare the backups for when they're gonna play. So, you have a bunch of random guys in there. So, it's not like you always have the five O-linemen you're going with. It's not like you always have the two or three receivers out there that are starters. So you mix guys in throughout a period and I really wouldn't look too much into that."
This does not mean Magnuson isn’t trending upward, but it provides much needed context to a few seconds of video. On Friday afternoon, Shanahan said nothing has changed with the depth chart. Magnuson likely will be back out there with the 2s this weekend against the Vikings. With starters probably getting little to no playing time next week in the preseason finale, I would not be surprised if Magnuson got extensive work early on in that final game.