Let’s face it, we’re all ready for next week. After going seven months without football, the preseason gives you a nice fix. Now we’re ready for games that truly matter. But before we can get to the regular season we have one more game to play. This is the one game that if you’re a football player, you would rather not play in.
If you started last week, then your spot on the team is all but guaranteed. This week, not so much; if you play this week it’s because you’re a backup and/or on the roster bubble. Teams will have to cut their rosters down to 53 players this Saturday.
The 49ers offense is pretty much set with a couple players likely on their way out. After the signing of Alfred Morris and what he displayed on Saturday against the Colts, Joe Williams seems to be an odd man out in the back field. Morris may still see the field some on Thursday, but I would submit that it’s due to his late addition to the team. The 49ers also signed running back Ja’Quan Gardner, pending a physical. It’s already being reported that he will play on Thursday.
After suffering a hamstring injury in the game against the Colts, wide receiver Aaron Burbridge has been ruled out for Thursday and has likely played his last game as a member of the 49ers.
C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens will see most of the quarterback snaps on Thursday. Mullens appears to have run out of magic following his come-from-behind victory against the Cowboys. He will likely be cut on Saturday and signed back to the practice squad if he clears waivers on Sunday.
One thing I will be on the lookout for is Joshua Garnett. He played well last Saturday, but hasn’t secured the starting role at right guard. I want to see if he can build on the success and be the player worthy of a first-round pick.
There will not be too many differences from last Saturday’s game and the Week 1 matchup against the Vikings. Most of what happens on Thursday is because the teams are required to play four preseason games. But can the 49ers enter the regular season on a high note by beating the Chargers? We’ll find out Thursday night.
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