San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media on Wednesday and discussed a number of players as the team prepares for its third preseason game, which is a road matchup against the Minnesota Vikings.

Sen'Derrick Marks

The 49ers signed defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks prior to Wednesday's practice. He was one of three players who was worked out by the team on Tuesday. Shanahan had the following to say regarding the signing.

"We just wanted more competition inside," Shanahan. "I've played against Sen'Derrick a number of times over the years. He's been a good player for a while. We wanted to see where he was at now, along with those other guys. We thought he had the lead in the workout. He's got 10 days to show us he deserves to be on this 53-man roster."

Jimmie Ward and DeForest Buckner

Defensive back Jimmie Ward was activated off of the physically-unable-to-perform list on Wednesday and took part in practice. Although, his participation was limited and the 49ers are looking to ease him back into the defense.

"He'll be off the PUP, be allowed to go out there," Shanahan said. "But, definitely going to take it easy with him."

Could Ward play on Sunday against the Vikings? He missed all of training camp and the team's first two preseason games after being placed on the PUP list on July 28.

"Of course, we would like to," Shanahan said. "But, I have really no expectations for that. We'll see how he looks today. I'm hoping we do a little bit more on Thursday and I think we'll have a better idea after two practices."

The 49ers are excited to have Ward back. He figured on being an integral part of the team's new defensive scheme.

"Jimmie is a good player, did a real good job for us in OTAs at our middle third safety," Shanahan continued. "I was really excited to get him to camp here. I know it hasn't gone the way he's wanted with his unfortunate injury. I know I'm excited, I think everyone's excited and I know he is. So, I look forward to getting him out there today."

Defensive lineman DeForest Buckner missed Saturday's game against the Denver Broncos with an ankle injury. He was also limited during Wednesday's practice. "We'll see how much he can do," Shanahan said.

Brian Hoyer

Quarterback Brian Hoyer looked sharp during training camp practices. While offensive miscues have diminished his play during the 49ers' first two preseason games, he also has been unable to impress the fan base. Shanahan agreed that there has been a discrepancy between training camp and preseason.

"It's about opportunities," Shanahan said. "You know, I feel in the first game, I can't remember exactly, but he had three passes maybe. I forget. It wasn't many. I know he went two drives and six plays. So, in the second game, I was disappointed with the turnover. But, the opportunities he had, he went to the right spot with the ball and made pretty good throws. Hopefully, we get him out there a little longer this week and get him into a rhythm where he's got a chance to play a little bit more."

Lorenzo Jerome

The undrafted safety with a nose for the football, Lorenzo Jerome, has quickly become a fan favorite. Despite playing college football at a small school, he has taken advantage of every opportunity thrown his way since signing with the 49ers. The fans aren't the only ones who have noticed. Shanahan and the coaching staff have as well.

"He's gotten a lot of reps out there with the injuries down and stuff," Shanahan said. "I think he's taken advantage of his reps. There's still 10 more days to go and lots of practice time and two games to earn a spot on this team. But, if you aren't a hands-down starter on our team you better be able to contribute to special teams."

Carlos Hyde

Running back Carlos Hyde figures to be the starting running back when the 49ers kick off the regular season against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday, September 10. Through two preseason games, Hyde has averaged just 2.6 yards per carry. While it is a small sample size, Shanahan took the time to evaluate the running back's performance thus far.

"I just look at what happened on the runs he had," Shanahan said. "Off the top of my head, I think there's one run in particular that I thought the O-line blocked it for about a four-yard gain and he got about one yard. Just trying to do too much on one play, which happens a lot with a running back. There was one play I think he left about three yards on the field. After that, his other looks, I didn't think were very good. We've got to do better with all 11 guys to give him a chance to improve that yards per carry."

Shanahan went on to clarify what he meant by "his other looks," indicating that he was referring to the blocking by the 49ers offensive line. The head coach stressed that the running back shouldn't carry all of the blame when the offense as a whole is unable to properly execute while running the football.

"It truly takes 11 guys to run the ball," Shanahan continued. "He had a great opportunity on the first play of the game, we were just a hair off, for a couple of reasons. Had an opportunity to get a big one, and I think he ended up getting one yard. It wasn't until play 19 we got the exact same look and the next time we were just a little bit more on and he got seven yards versus the same look. It wasn't much of a difference. It was one step by one player. So, that's what football is that not everyone realizes about. It takes 11 guys to execute a play. Usually, the guy who has the ball in his hand is the one who's rewarded or blamed, but I've been happy with Carlos' reps in the preseason."

At the end of the first half against the Broncos, Hyde started to look effective. He produced a run of six yards and then two seven yard carries.

"We blocked well and he got to the right hole," Shanahan said. "When contact hit him at five yards he fell for two more. I thought he got exactly what we blocked for and got a little bit more after it."