The San Francisco 49ers had an opportunity that has been non-existent this season. In crushing the Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football, they actually got to rest some players. Joe Staley and Weston Richburg each sat out the final two drives. It was ten snaps of rest, and while not a huge deal, it’s something we have not seen.
You can check out the full snap count below, or read the gamebook PDF.
The most interesting part of the snap count in my mind was the absence of Trent Taylor, who was inactive. He has been dealing with a back injury, but did not appear on the Week 9 injury report. On Friday, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Richie James, “did a few more things for us on special teams.”
“Once [WR] Pierre [Garçon] got healthy, we had to decide. We were only going to have five receivers up and it really came down to special teams. We’re good with [WR] Richie [James Jr.] or Trent in the slot. It wasn’t that we went with Richie over Trent in the slot. It was that we were good either way and Richie did a few more things for us on special teams.”
This begged the follow-up as to Taylor’s heath.
“I mean, you can ask Trent. I think he’s healthy enough to play. But, I think we all have got to take into account that Trent had back surgery this offseason and back surgery is a big deal, obviously. It really took Trent until a couple weeks before the season to really be full-go. So, he got healthy enough to play, but you’ve got to take into account that he missed an entire offseason of working out and preparing himself. Not by his choice. Trent prepares as hard as anyone I’ve been around, but he had some back issues. He’s fighting through that stuff which has made it harder for him, but he’s still good enough to help us out. But yes, he is fighting a little uphill battle with that.”
It’s been a rough year for Taylor. He has been trying to recover from the back injury, and it’s been an uphill process. There are still seven games left, but I’m wondering if we’ll see any kind of improvement before next season.
We also did not see much of Dante Pettis, who played 11 snaps — 10 outside and one in the slot. Marquise Goodwin and Pierre Garçon led the way with 40 and 37 snaps, respectively. Richie James played 23 snaps, 15 of which came from the slot. Kendrick Bourne played 12 snaps, split evenly inside and outside. Given that this game was a blowout, I‘m surprised we didn’t see more of Pettis and Bourne. At this point, as Danny Tuccitto has repeatedly noted, Bourne serves as a replacement for Garçon, while Pettis is a replacement for Goodwin. As long as both Garçon and Goodwin are healthy, Bourne and Pettis will be on the outside looking in for work.
49ers snap count vs. Raiders, Week 9