The San Francisco 49ers close out the preseason with a match up facing the Los Angeles Chargers. (I keep saying and thinking San Diego) Head coach Kyle Shanahan stated that most of the starters will sit for the game while players they haven’t seen enough of will get one last chance to prove themselves worthy of a spot on the roster. Here are a few players to keep an eye on:
Victor Bolden Jr.
The rookie wide receiver made a splash with a 104 yard kick off return in week two of the preseason vs. the Broncos but had a more quiet game visiting the Vikings. He has played less than 20 snaps in each of those games but will likely have a more sizable opportunity to show what he can do facing the Chargers. With his special team contributions he has likely edged out Kendrick Bourne who will hopefully get stashed on the practice squad.
The running backs
There’s quite a battle brewing at the running back position. Raheem Mostert, once the man least mentioned, has now stepped into the spotlight. He not only turned a short dump off pass into an 87 yard touchdown but contributes on special teams.
Matt Breida who flashed in the preseason opener had a game off facing Denver and then only 16 snaps in Minneapolis with seven carries for 29 yards. Look for him to have another opportunity to get some snaps under his belt.
Joe Williams who was Kyle Shanahan’s draft crush has been on the uptick. Like Breida, he hasn’t had many snaps since the first game of the preseason. He should be on the field quite a bit vs. the Chargers.
The the big question mark of the group is Tim Hightower who Shanahan is very familiar with. He seemed to be a lock for the 53 but was held back in training camp because of injury. Shanahan says the veteran running back will see the field more in the last preseason game.
While the starting defensive line is pretty solid, Jones was a player who flashed in individual drills in training camp. He is a solid nose tackle and looks to have a bright future ahead of him. While he will likely land on the practice squad it should be interesting to see what he can do in an extended game situation.
This may or may not happen, but if it does, I’ll definitely be paying attention. While it’s common knowledge that Ward is the starting free safety, he has yet to play any preseason snaps. The coaching staff has the utmost faith in him, but it might be good to give Ward a few live snaps before he sees the field in game one vs. the Panthers. If he does see the field I doubt it will be for a sustained amount of time.