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Golden Nuggets: Getting out of the preseason healthy matters more than anything for the 49ers

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Sunday, August 15, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Last night was fun. The 49ers had explosive passing plays through the air and averaged six yards per carry on the ground. They went 1-3 in the red area, and turnovers can’t happen. Next up, two joint practices with the Chargers on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

Mychal Kendricks signing with 49ers

Kendricks was sentenced to one day in jail, three years of probation, and 300 hours of community service last month after pleading guilty to insider trading in 2018.

Kendricks entered the guilty plea when he was a member of the Browns. He never played a game for the franchise, which cut him during the preseason. Kendricks then signed with Seattle and played 18 games for the team over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He recorded three sacks and eight tackles for loss in 2019.

He spent time on Seattle’s practice squad in 2020 before Washington signed him late in the season. He appeared in one regular-season game for Washington before starting its playoff loss to Tampa Bay. Kendricks had six tackles in the postseason matchup.

49ers vs. Chiefs: Everything learned from 49ers loss

1. Trey Lance debuts: It wasn’t perfect, but the rookie looked the part. His arm strength and mobility were on display even though there weren’t any designed runs. Three bad drops hurt his stat line, but a couple of dropped interceptions helped his stat line. There’s a long way to go for the QB, but his debut was a success.

2. Health wins: Getting out of the preseason healthy matters more than anything for the 49ers. Saturday’s opener was a win on that front.

3. OL issues: The 49ers have a real problem on their offensive line. Daniel Brunskill started at right guard and wasn’t inspiring. Neither were any of the players who rotated in after him.

What we learned about Lance in 49ers preseason debut

Rookie defensive backs have promising debut

The 49ers did not take any chances with their top defensive backs, as cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Mosley, and free safety Jimmie Ward did not suit up for the game.

The team carved out plenty of playing time for the rookies. Cornerback Deommodore Lenoir and safety Talanoa Hufanga were in the starting lineup.

Lenoir had an interception of a Chad Henne pass that went through the hands of intended target Noah Gray. Later, he ran stride-for-stride down the field with Daurice Fountain on a deep incompletion.

Hufanga, known as a hard-hitter from his college days, was a little too eager for contact and was called for pass interference when he hit Chiefs receiver Tyreke Hill before Henne’s pass arrived.

Lance already has accomplished something Jimmy G has not

In doing so, he exceeded Garoppolo’s career-long TD pass.

There is one related stat still in Jimmy G’s favor, though.

Lance’s first TD pass traveled 37 yards in the air. Garoppolo has thrown for more air yards on a touchdown pass in his career, but only once. His 75-yard TD pass to Emmanuel Sanders against the New Orleans Saints in Week 14 of the 2019 season traveled 49 yards through the air.

Trey Lance does good things, then bad things, and other notes from 49ers’ preseason opener

  • Jonas Griffith, Fred Warner backup?: Dre Greenlaw started this game, but it was Jonas Griffith who started at middle linebacker. It was a clear effort to get Griffith reps at the MIKE linebacker spot, and he excelled. He had four tackles on the day and one near-interception, and in a very Warner-esque fashion. He flashed an A-gap blitz, then snuck back into coverage and nearly picked off Chad Henne. He was a half step late and broke up the pass, but was en route for a pick-six if he had snagged it.