Pat’s update: Practice report at the bottom.
The San Francisco 49ers made a roster move on Wednesday, promoting wide receiver Steven Dunbar, Jr. from the practice squad. He will wear No. 19 and takes the roster spot that opened when the team placed safety Jaquiski Tartt on injured reserve on Monday. The 49ers made the Tartt announcement over the weekend, but it could not be processed until Monday.
The team will be without Dante Pettis due to an MCL strain. Additionally, head coach Kyle Shanahan said Marquise Goodwin will not practice on Wednesday due to his calf contusion. Goodwin suffered the injury on the final offensive play of the 49ers Week 16 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Shanahan is comfortable moving Dunbar into the lineup on Sunday given his extensive work with the practice squad.
“Being on the practice squad all year, he has been up with the game plan every single week. He knows all the spots from a mental standpoint. We coulda plugged him in on a Saturday and he would have always known the gameplay. So, just from that standpoint where it starts with, his skillset, he’s gotten better throughout the year. He’s got real good hands, runs hard, is a big guy. Excited for him to get the opportunity.”
If Goodwin is unable to play on Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams, that would leave the 49ers with a receiver depth chart that includes Dunbar, Kendrick Bourne, Trent Taylor, and Richie James. The team could still promote Max McCaffrey or Jordan Smallwood from the practice squad. If Goodwin cannot play on Sunday, we could see the 49ers move him or Pettis to IR and open up a spot for either of the practice squad options. Since the team did not sign a free agent on Wednesday, that suggests those are the options.
Shanahan said on Wednesday that Steven Dunbar could play the Z (flanker) receiver role or an inside role. Z is the role Pierre Garçon played and the role Kendrick Bourne has been playing most of this season. Bourne can play some X (split-end) as well, and would probably get some work there if Goodwin cannot play this weekend. Taylor and James are slot guys, but the 49ers might have to mix and match bodies given the injuries.
Did Not Practice: RB Matt Breida (ankle), WR Marquise Goodwin (calf), LB Mark Nzeocha (groin), WR Dante Pettis (knee), T Joe Staley (not injury related)
Limited: TE Garrett Celek (concussion), C Weston Richburg (knee), LB Malcolm Smith (achilles), CB K’Waun Williams (knee)