The San Francisco 49ers returned to Santa Clara Saturday evening, and on Sunday, head coach Kyle Shanahan offered updates on several injuries heading into the final preseason game.
Aaron Burbridge (hamstring), Dante Pettis (knee bruise), and Jimmie Ward (quad strain) all suffered injuries against the Indianapolis Colts, and all three are not expected to play on Thursday against the Los Angeles Chargers. Shanahan said all three would be ready for Week 1.
The natural follow-up question was if that meant all three would make the 53-man roster. Pettis is a lock and Ward seems pretty close given his salary, but Aaron Burbridge is competing for the last wide receiver spot on the depth chart. Shanahan backed off a little saying they would see how things move along over the coming week.
Burbridge seemed to be closing in on a roster spot last year thanks to his special teams skills, so that could be his ticket to the roster this year. As for Ward, Shanahan was later asked if he was frustrated at all by his injury history. He said it was unfortunate, but he also said they were counting on Ward for contributions this year as they had in the past. That doesn’t necessarily lock it in, but barring a trade, it seems like Ward will be on the roster after final roster cuts.
Shanahan also offered an update on Reuben Foster, who is in the concussion protocol. Shanahan said Foster is day-to-day, and would not commit to ruling him out for Thursday’s game against the Chargers. Foster technically has enough time to clear the protocol, but the team is not going to rush anything.