The San Francisco 49ers wrap up their 2017 preseason schedule on Thursday night when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi’s Stadium. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. PT, and is likely to feature almost exclusively second and third string players. We’ll see a few starters on each side, but expect mostly reserves.
During the regular season, we’ll talk with the opposing team’s blog to get a handle on their team, and preview various matchups. For preseason games, we are doing things a little bit different. Matchups are not as big a deal because teams use the preseason to prepare their teams rather than win games. There is less game-planning against the opposing team, and more game-planning to see what your various positional units can do.
With that in mind, I chatted with Bolts From The Blue editor Richard Wade, and we talked about players to watch. He broke down offensive and defensive players facing the chopping block who could be decent waiver options. He then offered up a couple players worth watching when the fourth quarter arrives. We’ll have some unknown players on the field who likely will be either out of the NFL or on a practice squad when Week 1 of the regular season arrives. It helps to know who we’re watching.
Chargers offensive bubble player who could be a waivers option
The Chargers have a decent bit of depth at wide receiver, but they have at best one spot up for grabs at the position to the point where there are rumors that they are now shopping Dontrelle Inman around. Of the players that are on the bubble and not likely to make the final 53, Isaiah Burse is the most intriguing. He is probably no better than a 4th receiver, but he would be a solid one and he has shown decent ability as a returner.
Chargers defensive bubble player who could be a waivers option
Craig Mager was a 3rd round pick not that long ago and he still has the physical talent that led to Tom Telesco burning that day 2 pick on him. However, he has been passed on the depth chart and may end up getting cut this weekend.
Players to watch in the fourth quarter
If he's still in the game in the 4th quarter, and it's so hard to tell who will be in the 4th week of the preseason, I would keep an eye on Austin Ekeler. He's on the smaller side for a running back, but he is both a solid runner and a receiving threat.