Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

November 01, 2018 at 1:38 am.


–QB C.J. Beathard (sore right thumb, wrist) hit his hand/wrist on an opponent’s helmet during a follow-through in the Week 8 loss to Arizona. He said he could not grip a football on Tuesday, but refused to be ruled out of the Week 9 game against Oakland.

–WR Pierre Garcon (bruised knee, strained shoulder) was held out of the Week 8 loss at Arizona. The veteran’s injury coincided with the lead-up to this week’s trade deadline, but he wasn’t dealt. He likely will return for the Week 9 matchup with Oakland.

–WR Dante Pettis (bruised knee) returned from a three-game absence, but was in on just a total of nine snaps, including seven on offense, in the Week 8 loss at Arizona. He got just one target and didn’t record any receptions.

–C Weston Richburg (knee) was unable to play in the Week 8 loss at Arizona. He was limited in Tuesday’s workout and remains questionable for the Week 9 game against the Raiders.

–C/G Erik Magnuson snapped the ball over the head of QB C.J. Beathard on the final play of the Week 8 loss at Arizona, preventing the 49ers from having a chance to move into position for a potential game-winning field goal. Magnuson was playing in place of injured C Weston Richburg.

–OLB Reuben Foster (strained hamstring) played just 22 of the 49ers’ 66 defensive snaps in the Week 8 loss at Arizona. He has held out of Tuesday’s first workout of the week and remains questionable for the Week 8 game against Oakland.

–SS Jaquiski Tartt (strained shoulder) was pulled from the Week 8 loss to the Cardinals after playing just 25 defensive snaps. Given the short turn-around before the next game against Oakland, Tartt is unlikely to play in the Week 9 contest.

–SS Antone Exum (concussion) replaced injured SS Jaquiski Tartt and played 20 defensive snaps in the Week 8 loss at Arizona before also having to leave the game. He almost surely will not play in the Week 9 matchup with the Raiders.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: SS Tyvis Powell. The 49ers could be down to their third-string strong safety due to injury, just as they were when the Cardinals rallied from a late deficit to win the Week 8 contest. That’s not good news against the Raiders, who utilize their tight end, TE Jared Cook, as well as any team in the NFL. Even a team as tight end-challenged as the Cardinals picked on the 49ers’ weak strong safety situation with seven targets and five completions.

GAME PLAN: Get in Derek Carr’s face. Few quarterbacks melt under defensive pressure faster than the Raiders’ standout, who also is about as good as they get when he has time to throw. The Week 8 loss to Indianapolis was one of the latter occasions, when Carr was rarely pressured and completed 21 of 28 passes for 244 yards and three touchdowns.

The Colts burned the Raiders for three touchdown passes to tight ends, so no doubt that’s where the 49ers will look to attack first, especially with running backs Matt Breida and Raheem Mostert both nursing ankle injuries. The 49ers employ one of the top pass-catching tight ends in the league in George Kittle.

–49ers OLB Elijah Lee vs. Raiders RB Jalen Richard. With WR Amari Cooper and RB Marshawn Lynch no longer at his disposal, Raiders QB Derek Carr used Richard as one of his primary weapons as a pass-catcher out of the backfield in the Week 8 loss to Indianapolis. The Raiders could make even greater use of the ploy this week should 49ers star OLB Reuben Foster be sidelined or limited by a hamstring injury, putting a target on the back of Lee, a seldomly used former seventh-round draft pick.

–49ers DT DeForest Buckner vs. Raiders LG Jon Feliciano. This could be the mismatch of the century, with one of the NFL’s top pass rushers going up against a backup best known as a long snapper. Feliciano did a good job in the Week 8 loss to Indianapolis as the replacement for standout G Kelechi Osemele, who has missed three straight games with a knee injury. But keeping Buckner out of Carr’s face might be too tough of a task for the fourth-year pro.