Wednesday couldn’t have gone worse for the San Francisco 49ers and they didn’t have a game. Kendrick Bourne was placed on the COVID list during the morning. Late Wednesday evening, the team added Trent Williams, Brandon Aiyuk, and Deebo Samuel to the list. That means for tonight’s game, River Cracraft, Chris Finke, and Kevin White all will likely be promoted. I wonder how the team feels about waiving Dante Pettis, not that he’d make a difference, but for numbers purposes.
The Giants announced the move late Wednesday, a day after Pettis was released by the Niners.
Pettis will be in the six-day COVID-19 protocol so he will not count on the roster. He will be eligible to play when the Giants host the Philadelphia Eagles on Nov. 15.
Pettis played in 28 games with 12 starts in three seasons with the 49ers. His career totals are 38 receptions for 576 yards and seven touchdowns. He played in five games this season and did not have a catch.
Pettis was a second-round draft choice in 2018 after playing at the University of Washington.
Garoppolo TD passes: 7
More evidence of a disappointing start to the year for him. Mullens is sitting at four and will likely surpass Garoppolo in the next couple weeks.
Garoppolo passing yards: 1,096
It’s been a rough season for Garoppolo who’s unlikely to play most of the second half of the year. Expect a different passing yardage leader by the end of 2020.
Kyle Shanahan likes to see quarterbacks in college do the kinds of things he would ask of them in his offense. The problem is that, generally, the top prep quarterbacks go to the top college programs. And most of the top college programs do not run NFL-style offenses.
Shanahan addressed this issue last week:
“I think some of the challenges over the last, at least in my career, is you get some of these unbelievable athletes who’ve never had to sit in a pocket because they could just win games in Pop Warner just running around. They can win it in high school just running around. They can win Heismans and do whatever, just running around in college.”
I do not believe Shanahan thinks he can mold any quarterback into his system. That’s why he has been picky with his quarterbacks, leaning toward players who he has seen carry out play fakes, hang in the pocket, read defenses and go through progressions.
Obviously, the problem with that approach is it seems to eliminate the best athletes — and, potentially, the best quarterbacks — from consideration.
The 49ers conducted drive-through COVID-19 testing for players and staff on Wednesday. The results of those tests are due back Thursday morning.
The close-contact tracing potentially could have a major impact on the 49ers’ receiving corps.
The Packers also have been affected by COVID-19, especially at running back.
One of their runners, AJ Dillon, tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, while two others, running back Jamaal Williams and linebacker Kamal Martin, were deemed high-risk, close contacts to Dillon. None will play on Thursday.
Wide receiver Kevin White is likely to be elevated from the practice squad to be available for the game. Slot receivers River Cracraft and Chris Finke are also currently members of the practice squad.
Receiver Richie James, who missed the 49ers’ Week 8 game against Seattle with an ankle injury, is listed as questionable, along with safety Jaquiski Tartt.
Will Packers D stand up to 49ers’ rushers this time?
When last these teams met, Raheem Mostert ran into the record books and the 49ers ran into the Super Bowl. Mostert rushed for more yards than any running back after had in a conference title game as he charged ahead for 220 yards in San Francisco’s 37-20 win over Green Bay in the NFC Championship Game. As defensive coordinator Mike Pettine’s defense was pulverized, the Packers’ season was ended. Now, a rematch is at hand. Green Bay will face a depleted 49ers attack with no Mostert among others, but it will do so with questions still lingering about its ability to hold back the run.