Practice returned to Santa Clara on Monday, for the first of two before the team’s final preseason game against the Houston Texans on Thursday. It was a tepid display.
Trey Lance picked off thrice in lackluster practice
Lance was picked off three times, but two were tipped. On the first, Marcus Johnson was knocked down and a flag probably should’ve been thrown, with the ball tipping its way into the hands of Talanoa Hufanga. On the other, Deebo Samuel dropped the pass and it found its way to Emmanuel Moseley.
The other interception, to Fred Warner, was terrible. Lance just threw into a window over the middle that was always closed. He also should’ve been picked off by newly-signed Tashaun Gipson on a ball over the middle, and there was another which was overthrown and which George Kittle made little effort to pursue.
The little effort part of the equation was obvious throughout practice.
If you’re going to take anything from Monday’s practice, it’s not the performances, though George Odum had a couple of would-be sacks on blitzes that were not recognized.
Lance was poor, but it was a pretty halfhearted effort all around, with no pads and everyone looking like they were going through the motions, trying to preserve themselves for the next day.
What was substantial, though, was the fact that Jason Poe got some first-team reps. There’s no injury status for Aaron Banks, so it appeared intentional on the team’s part. Poe’s gone from third string to fringe first string since camp began and clearly has a chance to make the team.
Multiple players return
Also substantial is the fact that both Arik Armstead and Emmanuel Moseley were back in practice.
At one point, Armstead bull rushed Spencer Burford and drove him back into the pocket during team drills for an impressive pressure.
Moseley was active, too, and, aside from the pick, covered a deep ball down the right sideline to Brandon Aiyuk well. He was hyped up, letting some expletives fly on the sideline near reporters after the play.
Hassan Ridgeway was also involved in his first practice in Santa Clara, after returning to action for the first time last week. Jaylon Moore and Charlie Woerner also had some practice reps.
There was no sign of Nick Bosa, who might as well be put on ice for the rest of the preseason, but will likely return to practice Tuesday.
On Sunday, Kyle Shanahan provided a host of injury updates, explaining that the returnees expected this week were Moseley, Armstead, Woerner, Moore, Curtis Robinson and Dontae Johnson with Ambry Thomas a possibility.
Thomas, along with Elijah Mitchell, Daniel Brunskill and Mike McGlinchey, were all seen working on the side field.
McGlinchey’s situation is fairly concerning. Shanahan referred to Colton McKivitz as the team’s current starting right tackle with McGlinchey currently “not healthy.”
He discussed the situation a bit more, saying he’s unlikely to practice this week.
“It just says that he’s not healthy right now,” Shanahan said. “I don’t think he’s going this week. And we’re going to test him next week after this, so we’ll see how that is.”
Charvarius Ward is also expected back after the final preseason game.
As for the tentative plan on Thursday night, Shanahan hopes for “most of the starters” to play.
“We’d like to starters to be able to, most of the starters, to be able to play in this game,” Shanahan said. “And then when you take the starters out you have to make sure you have enough guys to finish the game, so they’ll continue being the guys who probably started last game.”