Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 06, 2018 at 1:12 am.


–QB Nick Mullens threw for 414 yards in the Week 13 loss at Seattle. It was the most passing yards for a 49ers quarterback since Tim Rattay accumulated 417 at Arizona in October of 2004.

–RB Matt Breida (sprained ankle) has been ruled out of the Week 14 game against Denver after aggravating a previous injury in the Week 13 loss at Seattle. Breida ranks seventh in the NFL in total rushing yards (744).

–RB Jeff Wilson Jr. is expected to get the start at running back against the Denver Broncos with RB Matt Breida sidelined with an ankle injury. Wilson rushed 15 times for 61 yards and caught eight passes for 73 yards in the Week 13 loss at Seattle. He missed part of the game with a bruised foot, but returned to finish the contest.

–WR Marquise Goodwin returned from a two-game absence to deal with personal issues and is expected to suit up for the Week 14 game against Denver. Head coach Kyle Shanahan has yet to commit to Goodwin returning to his starting spot, however.

–G Joshua Garnett (thumb surgery) was able to practice without limitation Wednesday, an early indication he’ll be good to go in the Week 14 game against Denver. The backup guard has missed the last three games.

–OLB Dekoda Watson (torn calf) was placed on injured reserve after suffering the injury in the Week 13 loss at Seattle. He is out for the season after having seen action in four games, accumulating six tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble.

–OLB Pita Taumoepenu was promoted from the practice squad to the active roster for the Week 14 matchup against Denver. The University of Utah product was the team’s sixth-round pick in 2017 and appeared in two games last season.

–CB D.J. Reed Jr. (strained heel, bruised chest) returned to practice Wednesday on a full-speed basis and likely will return to the lineup for the Week 14 game against Denver. Reed sat out the Week 13 loss to Seattle.

–SS Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder stinger) has been ruled out of the Week 14 game against the Denver Broncos. Tartt aggravated a previous injury in the Week 13 loss at Seattle.

–FS Terrell Williams Jr. was signed to the practice squad this week. The undrafted rookie from Houston had been placed on injured reserve during training camp and then cut two days later.

–LS Kyle Nelson was suspended by the NFL for 10 games for violation of the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy. He is out for the season.

–LS Colin Holba was signed to replace LS Kyle Nelson, who received a 10-game suspension from the NFL this week. Holba appeared in 10 games for Jacksonville last season, including all three of the Jaguars’ postseason games.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: LS Colin Holba. The last thing a bad team needs is another reason to worry, but that’s where the 49ers find themselves following dependable long snapper Kyle Nelson’s 10-game suspension. Holba has plenty of experience, including three games in last year’s playoffs, but that won’t prevent 49ers fans from holding their breath when it comes time for the new guy to perform his generally unappreciated task.

GAME PLAN: Be the better running team. In a battle of two quarterbacks who tend to be far more effective when the opponent has to focus on stopping the run, the 49ers would stand to benefit from Jeff Wilson Jr. outperforming Phillip Lindsay.

The 49ers should benefit from Broncos wideout Emmanuel Sanders’ injury, allowing them to devote more attention to Lindsay. The 49ers have a key absence themselves, however, with run-stopping safety Jaquiski Tartt also out of action.

–49ers RT Mike McGlinchey vs. Broncos OLB Von Miller. McGlinchey has had a fabulous rookie season, but now gets the ultimate test in the NFL’s second-leading sacker. The 49ers have tended to be real hot or real cold when it’s come to pass protection in recent weeks, going two straight games without allowing a sack before watching their quarterback get plowed seven times in the last two games.

–49ers SS Antone Exum Jr. vs. Broncos RB Phillip Lindsay. The Denver rookie has exploded for five rushing touchdowns and 346 rushing yards the last three weeks, igniting a late Broncos surge into playoff contention. The 49ers, meanwhile, have been waiting for Exum to do big things, and he’ll get his opportunity in run support with SS Jaquiski Tartt injured.