The Hall of Fame Game is officially a wrap, and the San Francisco 49ers first preseason game is a week away. The Arizona Cardinals and Dallas Cowboys rested most of their starters, providing us with a whole lot of Blaine Gabbert and Kellen Moore. It’s not exciting, but teams are inclined to rest some of their starters, particularly for positions where they know what they’ll get.
The 49ers are in a fairly unique position, installing significantly new offensive and defensive schemes under an entirely new coaching staff and front office. The team has replaced over half the roster, and there are a lot of decisions to be made. The team has a lot of youngsters competing for roles, but even veterans are in a position where they have to legitimately compete for their job.
On Thursday, general manager John Lynch told KNBR’s Larry Krueger that he anticipates the 49ers playing some of their players a bit more than a traditional team might in the preseason. Krueger asked him if he had a list of guys who would not play in the team’s preseason opener next week against the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I think guys that will play less, but we’re a new new group. And so we understand that even though we have some guys that have kind of earned that right, we need them to play, because we need to evaluate the team as a whole. And so, I think there will be some guys who play less, and some of that may be health-related, but really Kyle and I have talked about, ‘hey we need snaps.’ So, probably playing more than a traditional team in the preseason.”
The 49ers injury report on Thursday listed Eli Harold (concussion) as out with not estimated return, DeForest Buckner (ankle) and Jaquiski Tartt (ribs) as day-to-day, and George Kittle and Keith Reaser as doing individual drills. The team has five more full practices before a travel day next Thursday to get to Kansas City.
The injury report will change, but other than that, it will be interesting to see how much guys like NaVorro Bowman, Ahmad Brooks, and Joe Staley, among others, are playing. The 49ers have an offensive and defensive scheme to perfect, and so I would not imagine they get that many fewer snaps than players that are fighting for a starting job.