Strategy And Personnel

The Sports Xchange

December 13, 2018 at 12:54 am.


–RB Matt Breida (sprained ankle) was able to participate on a limited basis when the 49ers began preparations for their Week 15 matchup with Seattle on Wednesday. It’s possible he could return to action after having sat out the Week 14 win over Denver.

–WR Pierre Garcon (knee surgery) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The veteran had 24 catches for 286 yards and one touchdown in eight games this season.

–WR Marquise Goodwin had two catches for 20 yards on two targets in his return from a two-game absence to deal with personal issues in the Week 14 win over Denver. Goodwin found himself in a different wideout position against the Broncos, with WR Dante Pettis having taken over his old spot.

–TE George Kittle ranks second in the NFL in receiving yards by a tight end (1,103) and 10th among all receivers.

–TE Marcus Lucas was signed to the 49ers’ practice squad on Tuesday. The undrafted player out of Missouri in 2014 has been a member of the practice squads of the Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins, Chicago Bears, Seattle Seahawks, Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders.

–G Joshua Garnett (thumb surgery) got on the field for four plays in the Week 14 win over Denver. He had missed the previous three games.

–DE Cassius Marsh (concussion) suffered the injury in the Week 14 win over Denver and has entered the league’s protocol. He is unlikely to be cleared in time for the Week 15 game against Seattle.

–OLB Mark Nzeocha (strained groin) had to leave the Week 14 win over Denver and is unlikely to play in Week 15 against Seattle.

–CB K’Waun Williams (strained knee) missed the Week 14 win over Denver. He was not able to practice Wednesday and thus is very questionable for the Week 15 matchup with Seattle.

–CB D.J. Reed Jr. (strained heel, bruised chest) played 65 of the 74 defensive snaps in the Week 14 win over Denver. He was replacing injured CB K’Waun Williams. Reed sat out the Week 13 loss to Seattle.

–FS Tyree Robinson was signed off the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad on Tuesday. The undrafted rookie out of Oregon was on the Cowboys’ active roster for the first two games of the season.
–SS Jaquiski Tartt (shoulder stinger) did not practice Wednesday when the 49ers began preparations for the Week 15 matchup with Seattle, an early indication he will have to miss a second consecutive game. Tartt aggravated a previous injury in the Week 13 loss at Seattle.

PLAYER SPOTLIGHT: DT/DE Solomon Thomas. As the 49ers consider their upcoming draft options, Thomas could play a role in the direction the team takes. He was positioned in THE defensive interior for a season-high 22 of his 49 snaps in the Week 14 win over Denver, an indication the 49ers plan to use him there in the future, thus creating an opening atop the draft for a defensive end. The speedy (for an interior defender) Thomas could pose problems for mobile Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson.

GAME PLAN: Same as the Denver game. The 49ers were surprisingly successful in shutting down the Denver running game in the Week 14 home win over the Broncos, and would significantly increase their chances of creating a winning streak by doing the same against the Seahawks. They gave up 168 rushing yards the last time they saw the Seahawks, and the result was a blowout loss.

You stop the run, you can play more conservatively on offense, which was another key to the Denver win. The 49ers passed for 414 yards in Seattle in Week 13 and came away with a 29-point loss. Clearly, that didn’t work.

–49ers TE George Kittle vs. Seahawks SS Bradley McDougald. The more the 49ers can occupy McDougald in run support, the better the chances of freeing up their most potential offensive weapon — Kittle — in the Seattle secondary. Kittle got free for just 70 yards (low by his standards) in the earlier loss at Seattle.

–49ers DE Arik Armstead vs. Seahawks LT George Fant. You want your boy to play in the NFL? Have him grow to be 6-foot-7, like Armstead, or 6-5, like Fant. Armstead had arguably the most impactful game of his 49ers career in the Week 14 win over Denver. Fant, meanwhile, is intriguing only in that he never played competitive football until being talked into trying out to be a tight end at Western Kentucky after his football eligibility was over.