Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Five things we need to see during the 49ers final preseason game

Aug 28, 2021 at 11:17 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers are preparing to play their third, and final, preseason game for 2021 on Sunday afternoon. By all accounts, this game is being treated as the "dress rehearsal," much like the third preseason game has been in previous years. So with that in mind, here are five things we need to see during this final preseason game.

No injuries

The past two seasons, the 49ers have been riddled with injuries. In order for them to contend for the Super Bowl, they need to stay relatively healthy. We need the team to finish the preseason in good shape, with as few injuries as possible. Light a candle. Pray. Go to bed early tonight. Be nice to your neighbor. Whatever you have to do!

Jalen Hurd needs to make an impact

Head coach Kyle Shanahan said on Friday that Jalen Hurd is "one of our top six receivers." Much has been said, written and hoped about Hurd. But this preseason and training camp, he has been quiet. He hasn't practiced much, and so far, hasn't played in a game. That could change Sunday, as Hurd is expected to play.

If Hurd is to make this team, he needs to show up in the game and have an impact. And his surgically-repaired knee needs to be in good shape on Monday. If this happens, he should make the team. If not, we may need to say our goodbyes.

The starting offense needs to come together

The starting offense hasn't been great so far in the preseason. And that is probably because many of the starters haven't played. More starters should play Sunday, and we need to see them start to gel. I believe this offense will be really good this season. It would be great to see it get the rust off on Sunday, so it is ready to put up a lot of points in Detroit on September 12.

The quarterback situation needs to be resolved

I actually don't believe the narrative that Shanahan is still trying to decide who will start week one. There are many local and national media voices declaring a decision hasn't been made. Jimmy Garoppolo will be the Week 1 starter. We need this to be resolved so the team can best prepare for a Super Bowl run. The starter gets most, if not all, of the first-team reps during the season. After Sunday, it's time to turn our attention to Week 1.

Trey Lance needs to continue to progress

Rookie quarterback Trey Lance has continued to improve throughout the offseason, training camp and preseason. At times, he has looked dynamic. Other times, he has looked like a rookie. Garoppolo will start Week 1, but Lance will also play. And he very well may be the starter by the end of the season. But for now, we need to see him continue to improve and learn. That's best for the team, now and in the future.

And did I mention we need to see no injuries on Sunday?
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