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Shanahan says the 49ers accomplished their No. 1 goal against the Raiders

As ugly as Sunday’s game was, the team didn’t suffer any injuries against the Raiders

San Francisco 49ers v Las Vegas Raiders Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reeled off a list of players he expects to return to practice this week. Most importantly, the team didn’t sustain any new injuries against the Raiders on Sunday. Here’s what Shanahan had to say when asked not having anybody pop up on the injury report was a bright spot:

Yes. It was a very bright spot of the week. It’s usually the number one goal in those preseason games. So yeah, we didn’t lose anybody in that game. Danny, he had a tight abductor and hip before we went to the Raiders and only got tighter while we were there. And he wasn’t ready to go yesterday so he couldn’t go.”

Other than Danny Gray, Oren Burks, who suffered a PCL sprain when he collided with Raiders star wide receiver Davante Adams, were the only players who were surprise inactives for Week 1 of the preseason.

If you saw No. 86 on the field and thought it was Gray, you are not alone. That’s the number Gray wore as a rookie. Tay Martin now dons 86, while Gray has upgraded to No. 6.

As positive of a performance as rookie Ronnie Bell had, I’d expect Gray to have an even bigger role with Ray-Ray McCloud out. If healthy, don’t be surprised if Gray received an opportunity to return kicks.

Gray had nine returns in college, and two separate punt returns. With Gray’s speed, he’s always a threat to score.

Burks’s absence opens the door for Jalen Graham or Dee winters to earn a roster spot. As of right now, Fred Warner, Dre Greenlaw, and Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles are locks. Marcelino McCrary-Ball feels safe, which means there’s one final spot.

Since Burks won’t return until Week 1, the 49ers have a financial decision to make. If released, the 49ers save $2.5 million in cap savings and only have a $273,000 in dead money. You’re paying a fraction of that with a Day 3 rookie contract.

For a team that has to make difficult decisions between players at positions considerably more valuable than linebacker, saving $2.5 million could be a no-brainer if the young linebackers show enough promise.