Since the start of preseason games, the 49ers’ offense has been missing more parts than the Camaro permanently stashed in my neighbor’s driveway.
The regular season is just 12 days away, and we don’t really know what Jimmy Raye’s platoon will look like at full strength. RB Brian Westbrook joined the team late and finally saw some action against the Raiders on Saturday. TE Vernon Davis tweaked his knee in the first preseason game, at Indianapolis, and hasn’t practiced or played since. WR Michael Crabtree, currently battling a sore neck, still has never played in an NFL exhibition game. And RB Frank Gore has touched the ball sparingly this preseason.
Someday, it is assumed, all of the arrows will be in Raye’s quiver, and it will be interesting to see how they fly.
“It’s gonna be crazy, man,” Gore said. “But the main thing is we gotta get on the field, all at once, now. It just don’t happen on Sundays. We’ve got to start practicing. Once everybody gets healthy, it’s gonna be crazy.”
It’s easy to envision third-down plays this season on which Alex Smith has Crabtree, Davis and Westbrook or Gore among his primary receivers. So far in 2010, Smith hasn’t connected with any of them in a game. He threw two passes to Davis in the Colts game and completed neither. And while he has six completions to Delanie Walker and three each to Dominique Zeigler and Josh Morgan, he hasn’t even attempted a pass for Gore, Westbrook or Crabtree in 2010.
Smith wasn’t convinced Crabtree would play against the Chargers on Thursday night, either.
“Now it’s almost time to get healthy and get ready to go,” he said. “I think that was the precaution we took this last week with those guys that – I mean, if you’re borderline, let’s go ahead and get the mindset of playing back and getting healthy for the regular season. … I guess I’ve always used this as a pretty minimal week of work as far as game goes, really. I think you really try to get healthy for the opening week.”
It seems unlikely Davis will suit up to play San Diego. Smith, Gore and Westbrook will make cameo appearances, if they appear at all. The QB isn’t concerned with his playing time on Thursday.
“Either way, it doesn’t matter,” Smith said. “I mean, get out there and get some plays in? No question. But like I said, I think everyone’s attention around the whole NFL is the next week. It’s getting the roster finalized, getting healthy, getting fresh, getting ready to go.”
Smith’s 21 completions during the preseason break down like this: Delanie Walker (6), Dominique Zeigler (3), Josh Morgan (3), Ted Ginn (2), Anthony Dixon (2), Nate Byham (2), Moran Norris (2), Michael Robinson (1). He has targeted Walker 10 times, and Ginn seven (including a play that was wiped out by a penalty).