The 49ers protected three players on their practice squad this week, which gives us a little clue into the health at three key positions - quarterback, wide receiver, and cornerback.
First, the quarterback situation. With Trey Lance’s finger already not healing up as fast as the team predicted, they need to secure a backup QB in case Jimmy Garoppolo goes down against Detroit. Considering Jimmy has gotten hurt in two of the last three Septembers he’s played in, this is a wise plan. Admittedly, it’s frustrating to be talking about the third string quarterback before the first game of the season, but you can’t blame the team for taking precautions.
Second, the protection of Travis Benjamin makes sense because of the uncertain nature of Jalen Hurd’s knee, as well as the fact that Brandon Aiyuk has battled a hamstring injury recently. If Hurd (still) isn’t ready to go, Benjamin can step right in while also being able to lighten the load on Aiyuk’s hamstring by taking over the punt return duties.
Third, Dee Virgin. Cornerback was already one of the weakest positions on the roster, and injuries have taken somewhat of a toll. Jason Verrett has plantar fasciitis, which can flare up at any time. Emmanuel Moseley didn’t practice Monday due to a balky hamstring. That would leave two rookies (Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir), K’Waun Williams, and Josh Norman as the only heathy corners on the team.
Again, these are proactive moves the 49ers are taking, but these are the realities the team is facing heading into Detroit this week.
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