This is the third part in a series that spotlights three 49ers-Vikings matchups to watch Sunday, 10 a.m. (FOX-TV), at Mall of American Field.
Matchup No. 3: Sopuaga vs. Sullivan
Matchup No. 2: Akers vs. Harvin
49ers LT Joe Staley vs. Packers DE Jared AllenTale of the tape
Staley (74): 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, sixth season, Central Michigan
Allen (69): 6-foot-6, 270 pounds, ninth season, IdahoPro Bowl left tackle Joe Staley played well for a good portion of the 49ers' season-opener against the Green Bay Packers. But three plays in which he surrendered 2.5 sacks to outside linebacker Clay Matthews ruined his day.Staley rebounded strong against the Detroit Lions, nearly pitching a perfect game against Detroit Lions defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, who had one tackle and no sacks in the 49ers' 27-19 victory Sunday night.Now, Staley faces perhaps the biggest challenge of his season. He'll be going against Minnesota Vikings right defensive end Jared Allen, a four-tie Pro Bowl selection who led the NFL last season with 22 sacks.Staley will likely contend with crowd noise inside the dome that could force the 49ers to go with a silent count. He'll also be facing one of the more well-polished pass-rushers in the game."It's going to be a great challenge going against him," Staley said. "He presents something a little bit different than Clay and the guys last week. He's a little bit more slippery and longer. He's more of a savvy guy. He's really not going to run straight down your throat."Allen, who finished his prep career at Los Gatos High, begins his fifth season with the Vikings after playing four years with the Kansas City Chiefs. Allen had 105 sacks in his eight NFL seasons. One of those came against Staley on the first head-to-head play they faced one another.Allen blasted around the outside on the Metrodome turf and swiped the ball away from quarterback Shaun Hill to begin the third game of the 2009 season. Staley recovered the fumble. He also recovered in the game to prevent any more sacks or quarterback hits against Allen.A strong Vikings pass rush coupled with a noisy environment inside the dome could pose the biggest threat to quarterback Alex Smith and the 49ers' offense on Sunday.
The 49ers on Wednesday were assigned outside linebacker Cassius Marsh off waivers from the New England Patriots.
The Patriots waived Marsh on Tuesday after acquiring him in September from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for fifth- and seventh-round draft picks.
Marsh (6 foot 4, 245 pounds) appeared in 46 games in his four NFL seasons. Three of his four career sacks came in 2016 while with the Seahawks. He was Seattle's fourth-round pick in 2014.
Marsh is the second defensive player the 49ers have claimed off waivers this week. The club acquired former Jacksonville Jaguars defensive lineman Sheldon Day on Monday. The 49ers released defensive linemen Tony McDaniel and Datone Jones within the past week.
The 49ers are at their roster maximum of 53 players. The club will have to clear a roster spot if Tank Carradine, as expected, is activated off injured reserve in order to play Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium.
SANTA CLARA – Quarterback C.J. Beathard is expected to make his fifth consecutive start for the 49ers on Sunday, but Seattle coach Pete Carroll said his team will be prepared to face Jimmy Garoppolo, too.
“It really isn’t a factor,” Carroll said in a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday. “We’re just preparing for the 49ers. They got a style of offense. They got really good players who do what they do. And whoever’s triggering it from the quarterback spot, we’re going to go play football.
“We’ve seen Jimmy play. We’ve seen how he’s mobile and the kind of athlete and competitor he is. But other than that, we just go play football. We can’t do anything about that.”
Beathard remained on the sideline when the clubs met Sept. 17 in Seattle. The Seahawks have defeated the 49ers seven consecutive times, including a 12-9 victory in Week 2 this season. Quarterback Brian Hoyer started the 49ers’ first six games of the season and rushed for just 7 yards during that time. Beathard has 115 yards rushing on 20 attempts in Kyle Shanahan’s offense.
“He’s been mobile. He’s got a rushing average, you know,” Carroll said of Beathard. “He’s averaging 5-yards a carry and stuff. They’re incorporating him in the run game some that we have to be concerned about. That’s different than other quarterbacks at times. I’d think Jimmy can do the same stuff.
“He (Beathard) is getting more settled. You can see the offense growing. You can see Kyle able to expand and do more stuff. He’s an incredible offensive coordinator and play-caller that we’ve respected for a long time. I think they’re just grown and they’re getting more proficient at what they’re doing."