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49ers vs Chargers Week 4 Preseason Preview: What to Watch For

Matt Andruscavage
Aug 29, 2019 at 8:39 AM


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When and Where: Thursday, August 2019 - 6 pm PST (9 pm EST) at Levi's Stadium

Watch or Listen: How to watch or listen to Chargers at 49ers

Synopsis


It's the final preseason game for the San Francisco 49ers and while the starters will be resting and preparing for Week 1, here are some notable position battles to keep an eye on tonight:

1) C.J. Beathard's final opportunity


While Coach Kyle Shanahan has stated that the 49ers will be keeping three quarterbacks, many do not believe it to be true. There are other players who could be better suited to make the final 53, but tonight will be Beathard's final chance to have a good game and push projected backup Nick Mullens for the number two spot.

Beathard has battled hand and thumb injuries making it more difficult for him to get playing time, but the issue has also been when he has been in the game. The numbers haven't been great. He will have a chance tonight to silence the doubters.

2) The Last Running Back Spot


Jerick McKinnon could be headed to season-ending injured reserve, which opens the door for one more running back. Jeff Wilson Jr. has the inside track but could be challenged by Brandon Wilds and Austin Walter. Wilds has had a good preseason and was re-signed this week. My money is on Wilson, but Wilds will have chances.

3) Richie James and Jordan Matthews


With Trent Taylor recovering from surgery and the possibility of the 49ers keeping seven receivers, tonight will be important for both Richie James and Jordan Matthews. James has been the team's best receiver this preseason and has also done well on special teams, while Matthews has been good in spots. Dante Pettis, Deebo Samuel, Marquise Goodwin, Jalen Hurd, Taylor, and probably Kendrick Bourne are locks. There may be one or two additional spots initially, but both will need to have good days to have a chance.

4) Kevin Givens, Jeremiah Valoaga, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Jimmie Ward


While there are other defenders who will see action as they fight for a spot, Kevin Givens, Jeremiah Valoaga, Azeez Al-Shaair, and Jimmie Ward are the players most likely to make the team. Givens, an undrafted defensive end, has had good outings, and with the injury to Kentavius Street, there is an opportunity for him, though Damontre Moore has the edge. Jeremiah Valoaga has collected sacks and has pressured the quarterback consistently. Azeez Al-Shaair may also be too good to keep off the roster and can provide much-needed depth.

Jimmie Ward has been good when he's healthy lately and another quality game would ensure a spot on the roster.

Other Notes:


  • Kentavius Street will have his knee scoped and could be placed on season-ending injured reserve
  • Jerick McKinnon suffered another setback and may also be placed on season-ending injured reserve
  • Nick Bosa could play Week 1 as his recovery is going well
  • Dee Ford is ready for Week 1
  • Weston Richburg is back but could be eased back into the starting lineup. He may not start Week 1.
  • Jalen Hurd has a lingering back issue that could keep him out of the active 46 for a couple of weeks
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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