The San Francisco 49ers find themselves in a bit of a pickle on defense. The team released their Thursday practice participation report, and for the second straight day, free safety Adrian Colbert did not practice. Colbert is dealing with a hamstring injury, and his status is a big question mark for Sunday.
D.J. Reed has been listed as the team’s backup free safety, even though Jimmie Ward has experience at the position. Ward played played free safety last year, but was moved to cornerback this season. Kyle Shanahan will likely offer some clues as to Sunday’s plan, but this is a big position to watch.
Malcolm Smith remains sidelined with his own hamstring injury, missing a second straight practice. He was listed as doubtful last week, and it seems unlikely he plays this week. That would likely mean Elijah Lee starts at WILL, next to Fred Warner. The team signed linebacker Terence Garvin, but he is likely simply in the key reserve role at all three linebacker spots with Brock Coyle on injured reserve.
The right guard position remains a real problem as well. Mike Person and Joshua Garnett both were listed as DNPs. Najee Toran has been getting first team RG snaps this week, but Cam Inman tweeted that Person looked a little more possible than Garnett for Sunday. If Person and Garnett are inactive, it seems like Toran would start at right guard and Matt Tobin would be the primary reserve.
Wide receiver Marquise Goodwin remains out with his quadricep injury. Given the speed element to his game, it would not surprise me to see him inactive this Sunday. That means keep an eye out for Dante Pettis.
Here’s the full Thursday practice participation report.
DNP: S Adrian Colbert (hamstring), G Joshua Garnett (toe), WR Marquise Goodwin (quadricep), G Mike Person (foot), LB Malcolm Smith (hamstring)
Limited: OL Erik Magnuson (hamstring), S Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder), CB K’Waun Williams (rib), CB Ahkello Witherspoon (ankle)
Full: T Joe Staley (not injury related)