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Golden Nuggets: Would you be worried if Ambry Thomas were a healthy scratch Week 1?

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Sunday, September 5, 2021

Las Vegas Raiders v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Seven days from now, we’ll have meaningful football. I understand if you cover a team that you’re naturally going to side or show bias toward the team you cover. As you’ll see below, the two writers that cover the 49ers' opponent for the first two weeks both picked their teams to win.

This is not last year. There was a preseason. This is a better team with fewer question marks. The 49ers aren’t facing a divisional opponent. DeAndre Hopkins isn’t on the other sideline.

I couldn’t imagine the overreactions if San Francisco, touchdown favorites over Detroit, were to lose to the Lions.

“Everybody’s just going to have to see it on Sunday”: Kyle Shanahan again declines to name 49ers’ starting QB

“No, I’m not,” Shanahan responded. “And I don’t think I’m going to tell anybody. I think everybody’s just going to have to see it on Sunday (of Week 1).”

“I’m not trying to be cute with it or anything, but I think I’ve been pretty consistent through the whole thing,” Shanahan continued. “I don’t think it’s really a necessary big statement that everyone wants me to make. But I’ve got two quarterbacks that I think can help us, and we’re going to make sure we keep working with both of them throughout the year.

“Jimmy’s been our guy since we’ve been here, and he’s done a hell of a job. And I know he’s going to help us throughout this year. And I plan on Trey helping us also.”

Maiocco: 49ers WR Richie James is currently ineligible to return from IR ... sort of

Some confusion surrounding the status of injured San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Richie James surfaced today when respected beat reporter Matt Maiocco listed him as ineligible to return to the team while breaking down some roster side notes.

Normally, a player placed on injured reserve before the cut-down deadline must remain on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. If it happens after the deadline, they can return after missing a minimum of three games. However, that only applies to players that landed on the 53-player roster.

James did not.

All is not lost for James, though. There might be a mechanism in which he could return this season, again, per Maiocco. The team could release James with an injury settlement, making him eligible to return after a period of being away from the team.

NFL Wire site editors predict their team’s matchup vs. 49ers

The Lions will be brand new on so many levels: coach, QB, WRs, defensive scheme and attitude. They’re undertalented, but don’t be surprised if Dan Campbell inspires a fluke win at home in his debut. Lions 17, 49ers 16

The Eagles and 49ers meet in the second week of the NFL regular season and it’ll be an intriguing matchup from a quarterback standpoint. The 49ers saw Jalen Hurts for two plays in 2020, but they’ll get four quarters of Philadelphia’s dual-threat signal-caller. Eagles defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will likely have his hands full with both Jimmy Garoppolo and rookie Trey Lance. Philadelphia catches San Francisco looking ahead to a Week 3 matchup against the Packers. Eagles 24, 49ers 21

Getting the 49ers right is key to unlocking 2021 fantasy football success

Brandon Aiyuk stands out as a clear draft target — but what about the RBs?

Give me the wideout who looks like an ascending superstar as an X-receiver, who proved he could win at all levels in his rookie year. I don’t care about target totals from the minuscule sample of games where Aiyuk played with both Kittle and Samuel. Aiyuk’s rookie season looks like a normally promising debut where the more the team relied on him, the more he thrived. No matter what, he’ll be playing with superior passers in 2021 than what he dealt with late last season.

Examining which 49ers could be inactive for Week 1 vs. Lions

Cornerback Ambry Thomas is a player talented enough to prompt the 49ers to select him in the third round of the draft. But after taking the COVID-19 opt-out at Michigan and sitting out his final college season, the rust has been obvious.

Thomas was constantly holding and grabbing receivers during training camp. He simply is not ready to play at this level. Dontae Johnson and Deommodore Lenoir clearly are the team’s top backup cornerbacks.