There appeared to be a moment when San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Kendrick Bourne played himself off the team's 53-man roster heading into 2019.

Bourne ended up dropping a pass in the first half, which has been something of a problem for the third-year pro out of Eastern Washington this preseason. Two weeks before, Bourne had a big lead on two Denver Broncos defenders and would have hauled in a perfectly thrown pass from quarterback C.J. Beathard, only to see it bounce off his hands.

Then, with the Niners wrapping up their preseason against the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday night, another drop. If it was going to take consistency to make San Francisco's regular-season roster this season, it appears as if Bourne lacked it.

The interesting part, though, was Bourne responded to both of these dropped passes with touchdowns. In Denver, he hauled in one at the back corner of the end zone on a fade. Shortly after his drop against the Chargers, Bourne responded with a 21-yard touchdown off the hands of Beathard:


At least Bourne made up for earlier gaffes both times, and those efforts caught the attention of head coach Kyle Shanahan.

"That's not the most consistent right there," Shanahan told reporters after the game. "But drops from Bourne haven't been too much of a problem. I do consider Bourne having some of the better hands on our team."


Speculation would suggest Bourne is in direct competition for a spot on the depth chart with veteran wide receiver Jordan Matthews, who also saw action Thursday night. Yet Shanahan clarified there are still some question marks at wide receiver, namely with slot receiver Trent Taylor (foot) not being able to go for Week 1, and rookie Jalen Hurd dealing with a minor injury, too.

So, while Bourne's drops this preseason have been something of a concern, they don't appear to phase Shanahan's hopes for him and the offense.

"He's earned a little bit more with that, in terms of how good his hands are," Shanahan continued.

Shanahan and the 49ers will have until Saturday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. PT to trim their 90-man roster down to 53 players.
  • Peter Panacy
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    Peter Panacy has been writing about the 49ers since 2011 for outlets like Bleacher Report, Niner Noise, 49ers Webzone, and is occasionally heard as a guest on San Francisco's 95.7 FM The Game and the Niners' flagship station, KNBR 680. Feel free to follow him, or direct any inquiries to his Twitter account.