The San Francisco 49ers close out their preseason schedule with a game at home against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday. What story lines stand out?
The final game of the preseason has arrived, meaning it’s the last chance for many of the players to make their case to have a spot on the roster. The 49ers have had plenty of battles that we’ve kept an eye on throughout this process. Kyle Shanahan said that the right guard and punter battles will be the most important ones. However, the wide receiver, running back, defensive back and defensive line battles have also been interesting.
Wide Receiver Battle
It’s been a while since the 49ers had this much depth at the wide receiver position. After this game, the staff will have to make some incredibly tough choices. The wide receivers that are definitely making the team are Marquise Goodwin, Pierre Garcon, Trent Taylor, and Dante Pettis. That leaves two spots open if the 49ers opt to go with six receivers. Aaron Burbridge, Kendrick Bourne, Richie James, Victor Bolden and Aldrick Robinson all seem to be the candidates for those final two spots. Richie James has certainly made his case to be apart of the roster, leaving one spot left. Let’s see who performs the best come Thursday.
Alfred Morris Impact
The signing of Alfred Morris was a smart move, but the first game turned out much better than anyone probably predicted. Morris ran for over 80 yards on 17 carries and really made people think that Morris could earn his way up to the starting job. Considering Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida‘s injuries, Morris could get numerous opportunities come week one since he’s definitely proven he works well with the team. San Francisco did sign running back Ja’Quan Gardner to add depth to that position heading into tomorrow’s match. Look for Morris to have a solid game again.
Joshua Garnett Improving
A first-round pick back in 2016, right guard Joshua Garnett missed last season with a knee injury. Early this season, reports indicated that the knee was still bothering Garnett. Numerous fans were disappointed because of high expectations for Garnett, but he had a solid outing against the Indianapolis Colts. Shanahan did mention in a recent press conference that the right guard position is Mike Person‘s job “to lose right now”, but “Garnett could beat him out.” It all will come down to this final game to see if Garnett can replicate his performance from last week to beat out Person, who’s also been solid since training camp.
It all comes down to this last game for players to make their final cases. The cuts this season will definitely be heartbreaking to some fans.
The game kicks off tomorrow at 7 PM PST.