The 49ers announced that they would have practice on Thursday, though it will only be a walk-through. The session will not be open to the media. Kyle Shanahan will speak at 11:30 a.m. PT and there’s no doubt the first question will be whether the change is due to the player protests across all sports, including seven NFL teams deciding not to practice on Thursday. Some of the beat writers reported that the change comes after eight players sat out of Wednesday’s practice, not to mention George Kittle and Richard Sherman having minor nicks. Additionally, five players are on the NFI and PUP.
The team will scrimmage Friday, and that will serve as a dress rehearsal for their Week 1 matchup against the Cardinals. I’m curious as to who all will participate in this “simulated game.” I’d doubt we’d see Nick Bosa or Dee Ford. When Bosa was sitting out of practice, specifically during the 1-on-1 drills, Trent Williams did the same. The Niners know what they’re getting in each of those three players, as well as Kittle, so Friday might be a time to get an extended look at players like Charlie Woerner, or some fringe defensive linemen. I wouldn’t expect to see much of Jordan Reed, who didn’t participate during team drills Wednesday. He’s been impressive, but the team is not going to add any unnecessary wear and tear.
The team is relatively thin at both wide receiver and offensive line. The scrimmage could provide answers at a few positions, including right guard. Friday will likely focus on players fighting for roster spots that haven’t been afforded the reps during team drills.