The San Francisco 49ers are firmly into preparations for their Week 16 matchup with the Chicago Bears, but I wanted to take a look back at one aspect in particular of the snap count for Week 15 vs. the Seattle Seahawks. I’ve dropped in a table below, and you can check out the gamebook PDF as well.
The 49ers welcomed back wide receiver Marquise Goodwin in Week 14 against the Denver Broncos. He had missed two games after the team’s bye week while dealing with some family issues. In his return against the Broncos, Goodwin played 24 offensive snaps, coming off the bench behind starters Dante Pettis and Kendrick Bourne. It made sense that the team would work him back into the mix rather than just giving him a full load of snaps.
This past Sunday against the Seahawks, Goodwin only played seven offensive snaps. Pettis and Bourne started, and Trent Taylor was next in wide receiver snaps with 15 out of the slot. Goodwin was just barely ahead of Richie James on the depth chart.
These final two weeks will be interesting to see if Goodwin remains down the depth chart, or if he gets more into the mix. Prior to the bye, when Goodwin was active, Pettis was the one who saw his snaps decrease. Pettis has been the 49ers best receiver the past four weeks, so it makes sense he would not lose snaps. But what next for Goodwin?
The 49ers signed Goodwin to a three-year contract extension this offseason. They’ve got the cap space to take the hit if they wanted to release him, but that does not seem likely for the time being. Pettis could be developing into being the 49ers best current receiver, but Goodwin still brings a spark as a deep threat that the team needs. They might look at other options in the offseason, but even still, few players have the kind of game-breaking speed Goodwin has. He struggled with drops in Buffalo and early in his first year with the 49ers, but he has developed into a solid cog in the 49ers offense.
The way this season has unfolded has opened the door for plenty of odd and random developments. Trying to figure out what the plan is at wide receiver is high on that list.
49ers snap count vs. Seahawks, Week 15