The San Francisco 49ers kick off their preseason schedule this Friday against the Kansas City Chiefs, and we can expect at least three quarters of reserve playing time. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Wednesday that he does not plan on having his starters play more than a quarter.
Earlier this month, GM John Lynch told KNBR that he anticipated the 49ers probably playing some of their players “more than a traditional team in the preseason.” The first preseason game is all over the place when it comes to playing time around the league. Some teams will play their starters for a series, some will rest starters, some will play them for most of the first quarter, and some will land somewhere in between. It depends in part on how many plays a given unit gets. If a series goes three-and-out, and offense or defense might go out for a second series to get more reps.
The 49ers have new schemes to continue perfecting on both sides of the ball. I would be surprised if any healthy player sits out this game. That being said, where there is starter competition, we could see some rotation amongst the first team players. It is the first chance to really get a firm handle on what the 49ers depth chart is looking like at this point in training camp.