D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports

49ers-Chiefs: How long will Trey Lance play? You won’t see Dee Ford, Jalen Hurd, or Nick Bosa

Aug 13, 2021 at 7:18 AM--

What's the plan for Saturday when the San Francisco 49ers open their preseason by hosting the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium? First, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the starters will get a series, Kyle Shanahan revealed yesterday. The coach hopes that series isn't a three-and-out.

Regardless, the starters won't be out there very long, so don't get to the stadium late if you plan to attend.

"On offense, you hope you can go down and score in six plays or something like that and get those guys out," Shanahan said during a KNBR interview.

"I'm not playing every starter, but there's some starters I want to keep out for health reasons and things like that. But most of our guys, I plan on playing, and we'll get them out quickly."

After that, fans will get their first real look at rookie quarterback Trey Lance, who will work with the second-team unit. And they'll get a good look too. Lance is expected to play the remainder of the first half.

"Hopefully, he gets around 30 (snaps) or something, but you never know how that will go," Shanahan told reporters. "If he didn't get enough plays, then I would start him probably the first series of [the third quarter]."

For Lance, it will be his first time playing in front of fans in a while.

"I haven't played in front of fans, obviously, since the National Championship in [January of 2020], so that was [almost] two years ago," Lance said this week. "So, I'm very excited to have another opportunity to be in a game."

The list of players who will not play on Saturday features pass rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford. Shanahan notes that Bosa is healthy, but the team is being smart with its valuable defensive end. As a precaution, he hasn't even participated in team drills yet and may not do so until the week leading to the final preseason game, at the earliest.

"I'm not going to put an exact date on it, but it will hopefully be around the Oakland week, and things like that, and give him a chance to get a week of practice," Shanahan said. "We'll have a week off. Then we'll have a week to prepare for Detroit."

If Shanahan isn't willing to let Bosa participate during team drills in practice, it's a safe bet he won't throw him into a preseason game just yet.

Ford has participated in team drills. Although, his rep count has been limited. As with Bosa, the 49ers are being cautious while trying to make sure they have Ford for the whole season, not just Week 1.

"He's looking great right now," Shanahan said, "and we've just got to find that balance with keeping his back and everything feeling good, keeping his explosiveness going, protecting him that way, but also making sure he's ready for Week 1."

Shanahan also confirmed that wide receiver Jalen Hurd won't play on Saturday. That's unfortunate, considering Thursday's practice was his best yet. Hurd is very much on the roster bubble and needs to make the most of his limited remaining opportunities.

Several 49ers players missed Thursday's practice and could be among those who will not play against the Chiefs. Safety Tony Jefferson (hamstring) was placed on injured reserve.

Linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee), and defensive ends Samson Ebukam (leg) and Arden Key (quad) were held out. Although, Shanahan said Key nearly practiced, and the injury wasn't serious. That doesn't mean he will play in a meaningless preseason game, though. Tight end MyCole Pruitt (calf) remains out and is unlikely to get into the game.

Cornerback K'Waun Williams was the victim of some friendly fire during practice this week. Linebacker Dre Greenlaw ran into him, and the cornerback is dealing with a sore hip.

"I think he could have gone [in practice on Thursday] if it was a game or something like that," Shanahan shared, "but nothing to be worried about. [He's] day-to-day."

While Williams might have been good to go had there been a game, that may not include a preseason game. So, the cornerback's status is something worth keeping an eye on.

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