After having their longest practice of training camp yesterday, the 49ers began preparations for their preseason opener with a short practice on Thursday. Here is what stood out during the 49ers thirteenth practice of training camp.
After having a rough practice yesterday, Jimmy Garoppolo bounced back today with a strong performance completing 13 of his 18 pass attempts and one touchdown.
The highlight of the day for Garoppolo would come late during the team period when the 49ers coaching staff put the offense through a tough situational drill. The offense was forced to start on its own 40-yard line, down by four with only one timeout and one minute left in the game. Garoppolo would march the offense down the field, finding Brandon Aiyuk on a quick out to the right flat for a two yard touchdown.
Rookie Trey Lance would then take the field facing the same situation. Lance would start the drive with incompletions on his first two throws before hitting Jalen Hurd over the middle to convert third and long. Lance would go back to Hurd on the next play, fitting the ball into a tight spot as the receiver had a safety bearing down on him. Lance would be forced to burn his only timeout after a four-yard completion to Ross Dwelley, which set the offense up with fourth and six from the 20-yard line with only seconds remaining. On the ensuing play, Lance would hit Dwelley on a slant that the tight end would take in for a touchdown.
Lance would finish his day 8-15, completing a long throw down the left sideline to River Cracraft for about 40-yards. This play was another example of Lance’s willingness to push the ball down the field. On the play, Lance had Travis Benjamin running open on an over route from right to left but chose to take the deep shot to Cracraft down the left sidelines. More on this play shortly.
Hurd had by far his most productive day in training camp, hauling in three passes over the middle from Trey Lance. Despite needing to work through injuries, Hurd is still very much alive in the battle for a roster spot. The 49ers definitely like what he can bring to the table, and if he can continue to stack days like today, he should find himself on the final roster.
The second-year 49ers wide receiver made big receptions from both Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo.
Cracraft’s first reception came on the aforementioned deep throw from Trey Lance. Cracraft had a step on the defender, but the ball was slightly underthrown. The receiver was able to adjust to the ball and make a leaping grab over the defensive back for a big gain.
The next opportunity for Cracraft came during the one-minute drill with the starting offensive unit. Facing third and six, Cracraft was able to get open over the middle on a dig route and Garoppolo found him for a big gain down to the 10-yard line.
While Cracraft may be a bit of a longshot to make the final roster, his ability on special teams doesn’t make it completely out of the question.
One area of concern for the 49ers early in training camp has been the depth of the secondary. That may have been put to rest, at least for one day. Backup cornerbacks B.W. Webb, Deommodore Lenoir, and Ambry Thomas each came away with a pass break up.
Playing left defensive end with the second team defense, Yarbrough twice beat backup right tackle Tom Compton for sacks.
The following players did not practice or were limited: Nick Bosa, Javon Kinlaw, Samson Ebukam, Arden Key, K’Waun Williams and Deebo Samuel.
Kyle Shanahan stated that he expects the starters to play about a series against the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night. The second team will then play through the remainder of the first half. The goal is to get about 30 snaps for Trey Lance.
Shanahan also let it be known that defensive end Dee Ford and wide receiver Jalen Hurd will not be playing.
Jack Hammer is a lifelong 49ers fan who shares insights on the team, and leads discussion on all football and team topics. Follow Jack on Twitter @JackHammer_NFL and subscribe to his YouTube Channel, YouTube.com/c/JackHammer49.