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Juice gets extensive running back work, strong safety position has some questions for Week 9

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The 49ers lost again and injuries raise a question for Week 9.

The San Francisco 49ers dropped to 1-7 with their loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and the snap count revealed some interesting decisions in Week 8. You can view the full snap count below, or check out the gamebook PDF.

The 49ers did not get too crazy with the wide receivers on Sunday. Kendrick Bourne started opposite Marquise Goodwin, and they primarily played with two receivers. While Goodwin (61 snaps, 92%) and Bourne (54 snaps, 82%) played most of the game, Trent Taylor was the next receiver up, with 19 total snaps (29%). Dante Pettis returned to action from his knee injury and played seven snaps, while Victor Bolden played five snaps.

Instead of going with extra receivers, the 49ers used two running backs fairly extensively. Kyle Juszczyk led the way with 47 snaps, followed by Matt Breida (31), Raheem Mostert (12), and Alfred Morris (11). Juszczyk has become a key cog in this offense, both as a blocking fullback and as the third down back.

On defense, the secondary was fairly consistent, except for multiple injuries to the strong safety position. Jimmie Ward started at free safety and played all 66 snaps. Jaquiski Tartt started at strong safety, but a shoulder injury removed him after 25 snaps. Antone Exum replaced him and played 20 snaps, but then a concussion removed him from the game. Tyvis Powell closed out the game at strong safety, playing 21 snaps.

That strong safety position will be something to watch this week against the Oakland Raiders. The 49ers are playing on a short week, which means three days of recuperation and practice before Thursday’s game. The extent of Tartt’s shoulder injury is unknown for the time being, and Exum’s concussion means he has to go through the protocol. If the 49ers are without Tartt and Exum, Powell would get the start. The team also could welcome Marcell Harris back off the NFI list this week. That will be a position to watch.

49ers snap count vs. Cardinals, Week 8

Player Offense Defense ST
Player Offense Defense ST
Joe Staley 66 3
Mike McGlinchey 66 3
Laken Tomlinson 66 3
C.J. Beathard 66
Mike Person 66
Erik Magnuson 66
Marquise Goodwin 61
George Kittle 60
Kendrick Bourne 54 4
Kyle Juszczyk 47 7
Matt Breida 31
Garrett Celek 23 11
Trent Taylor 19 5
Raheem Mostert 12 19
Alfred Morris 11
Dante Pettis 7 2
Victor Bolden 5 7
Fred Warner 66 5
Jimmie Ward 66 4
Richard Sherman 66
Ahkello Witherspoon 65 7
DeForest Buckner 57 5
K'Waun Williams 52
Cassius Marsh 39 13
Malcolm Smith 39 5
Ronald Blair 38 3
Arik Armstead 38 3
Solomon Thomas 35 2
Earl Mitchell 31 2
Jaquiski Tartt 25 5
Elijah Lee 23 19
Reuben Foster 22
Sheldon Day 22
Tyvis Powell 21 18
Antone Exum 20 17
Tarvarius Moore 1 23
Mark Nzeocha 23
Bradley Pinion 14
Ross Dwelley 14
Richie James 11
Kyle Nelson 10
D.J. Reed 9
Robbie Gould 3
Garry Gilliam 3
Joshua Garnett 3