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Dante Pettis was dealing with a calf issue, and that’s why he was limited against Tampa Bay

Snap counts from yesterday’s game.

San Francisco 49ers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

One thing that stood out during the San Francisco 49ers 31-17 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was the lack of playing time for second-year wide receiver Dante Pettis. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said Pettis had a calf issue, and that was part of why he didn’t start. Here is Shanahan’s quote:

He had health issues, so that’s why he missed a week of practice. He just got cleared to come back on Monday, so he was a little behind the eight-ball on that. He didn’t start the game, and we didn’t have a ton of long drives where we got into the substitutional flow. From everything I saw, he did a hell of a job out there. Hopefully, he continues to earn more time out there.

That explains it. Shanahan did say that Pettis came into this game as a backup and his health issues were only part of the reason he was a sub. It’ll be interesting to see once Pettis has a week of practice, assuming he’s fully recovered and no longer behind the eight-ball if he is once again a starter. If you recall, before the injury he was playing deep into the fourth quarter of the third preseason game. Pettis only saw the field for two snaps on Sunday, so when he did test that injury, you have to wonder if Pettis wasn’t able to go full-speed and that led the team to sit him out.

Here are the snap counts from Sunday’s game:

Offense-68 total snaps

Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo 68

Running back: Kyle Juszczyk 32,
Matt Breida 30
Raheem Mostert 20
Tevin Coleman 19

Wide receiver:
Deebo Samuel 60
Marquise Goodwin 50
Richie James 26
Kendrick Bourne 17
Dante Pettis 2

Tight end: George Kittle 62
Ross Dwelley 12
Levine Toilolo 11

Offensive line:
Mike McGlinchey 68
Weston Richburg 68
Laken Tomlinson 67
Joe Staley 66Mike Person 66
Ben Garland 3
Justin Skule 2

I liked Goodwin’s usage. Shanahan used his speed to get across the field, not just vertical. Goodwin can be an asset if we see him running on these crossing routes at every level of the field.

One thing I’d like to have seen more was throwing to the running backs out of the backfield. I remember one play where Breida fell on a critical third-down, but outside of quick screens, there wasn’t much involvement. The game came off as if Shanahan felt like his receivers couldn’t win 1-on-1 on the outside, and that’s why Kittle saw ten targets.

Defensive snap counts-70 total snaps

Defensive line:
DeForest Buckner 53
Arik Armstead 47
Dee Ford 41
Nick Bosa 39
D.J. Jones 37
Ronald Blair 29
Sheldon Day 17
Solomon Thomas 12
Jullian Taylor 6

Fred Warner 70
Dre Greenlaw 56
Kwon Alexander 21
Mark Nzeocha 16

Defensive back
Jaquiski Tartt 70
Tarvarius Moore 70
Ahkello Witherspoon 70
Richard Sherman 70
K’Waun Williams 24
Emmanuel Moseley 22

Williams left the game due to dehydration. The snap counts tell us that Moseley is ahead of DJ Reed on the depth chart. Moseley filled in the slot and held his own.

Greenlaw probably didn’t expect to play 80% of the snaps for his first NFL regular-season game, but Alexander’s ejection left the team without a choice. The most notable difference between Alexander and Greenlaw to me was physicality, which is to be expected.

Playing Buckner 53 snaps in the Tampa Bay heat where other players were suffering from dehydration seems like a bit much. That’s a testament to Buck’s conditioning, but I thought that Thomas would be able to play more inside to give him a rest. That wasn’t the case, as Solly only saw the field for 12 snaps. We’ll see if there’s any change in Ohio next Sunday.