49ers snap count: Heavy workload for defense and it showed

49ers snap count: Heavy workload for defense and it showed

SANTA CLARA – Coach Chip Kelly admitted his defense was worn down.

The 49ers have defended an NFL-high 914 plays from scrimmage through the first 13 games of the season.

On Sunday, while the 49ers’ offense was on the field for just 57 plays, the defense lined up for 84 snaps against the New York Jets in the 49ers’ demoralizing 23-17 overtime loss at Levi’s Stadium.

In the fourth quarter and overtime, the Jets dominated the game against a bedraggled 49ers defense that was a step slow and did not seem to have the strength to finish off tackles.

Six defensive players, including lineman DeForest Buckner, were on the field for all 84 snaps. And Kelly said the fatigue he witnessed contributed to his decision to go for it on a fourth-and-2 situation from the Jets’ 37 on the first possession of overtime. Carlos Hyde was stopped for no gain, and the Jets took over and easily marched 63 yards on six plays for the game-winning touchdown.

“I was a little concerned about putting our defense back out on the field in that situation,” Kelly said. “Obviously in the overtime rules, you kick a field goal there’s an opportunity for the other team to go back out there and match it. S we could take a little bit of pressure off of them by converting offensively.

“We didn’t take any pressure off our defense in the second half because of the three-and-outs. We weren’t helping our defense at all on the offensive side of the ball.”

The 49ers have run 101 fewer offensive plays than what their defense has defended this season. The 49ers’ defense has been on the field for seven minutes more than their offense per game.

Despite missing one game earlier this season, Buckner has played the most snaps of any interior defensive lineman in the NFL. The rookie from Oregon has lined up for 823 plays. Miami’s Ndamukong Suh is second at 785 snaps on the season. Moreover, Buckner also played eight snaps on special teams on Sunday.

Here’s a look at the complete playing time of every 49ers player on offensive, defensive and special teams:

57 -- QB Colin Kaepernick, RT Trent Brown, RG Joshua Garnett, LT Zane Beadles, LG/C Marcus Martin
49 -- WR Quinton Patton
47 -- LG Andrew Tiller
44 -- TE Garrett Celek
40 -- WR Jeremy Kerley
30 -- RB Carlos Hyde, WR Torrey Smith
27 -- RB Shaun Draughn
25 -- WR Chris Harper
17 -- TE Vance McDonald
13 -- TE Blake Bell
10 -- C Daniel Kilgore
8 -- WR Rod Streater
2 -- WR Aaron Burbridge

84 -- S Jaquiski Tartt, LB Nick Bellore, DL DeForest Buckner, CB Jimmie Ward, CB Tramaine Brock, S Antoine Bethea
73 -- LB Ahmad Brooks
61 -- LB Gerald Hodges
47 -- LB Eli Harold
46 -- CB Rashard Robinson
44 -- DL Chris Jones
43 -- DL Glenn Dorsey
39 -- DL Ronald Blair
24 -- LB Aaron Lynch
16 -- LB Michael Wilhoite
11 -- DL Mike Purcell
7 -- DB Dontae Johnson
6 -- CB Keith Reaser
2 -- DL Tony Jerod-Eddie
1 -- DB JaCorey Shepherd

Special teams
25 -- Wilhoite, Johnson
22 -- Bell
20 -- Burbridge
19 -- Vinnie Sunseri
16 -- Marcus Ball, Draughn
15 -- Streater
13 -- Tartt, Purcell
12 -- Celek
11 -- Bradley Pinion, Kyle Nelson
10 -- Bellore, Reaser, Shepherd
9 -- Phil Dawson, Robinson
8 -- Buckner
7 -- Kerley
5 -- John Theus, DuJuan Harris, Brown, Garnett, Beadles, Tiller, Jerod-Eddie
4 -- Ward
3 -- Brooks, Jones, Blair
1 -- Patton

Did not play
QB Blaine Gabbert

Not active
QB Christian Ponder
RB Mike Davis
CB Marcus Cromartie
LB Tank Carradine
T Joe Staley
TE Je’Ron Hamm
DL Quinton Dial

49ers host two free-agent cornerbacks


49ers host two free-agent cornerbacks

The 49ers hosted two veteran cornerbacks on free-agent visits the past two days and could be signing either Jaylen Watkins or LaDarius Gunter as they wind down their activity on the free-agent market.

“We’re really pleased with what we’ve done,” 49ers general manager John Lynch said Thursday. “I’ll never say never. We’ve had a couple of guys visit in the last couple of days. Perhaps we’ll do something there. But for the most part, we’re wrapped up and pleased with what we’ve been able to do.”

The 49ers do not have much depth behind presumptive starting cornerbacks Richard Sherman and Ahkello Witherspoon. The team is also likely to add to its depth in the draft.

The 49ers met with Gunter (6-foot-2, 201 pounds) on Thursday. Gunter, 25, started 15 games for the Green Bay Packers in 2016. He recorded 54 tackles and broke up 12 passes. He signed with the Packers in 2015 as an undrafted rookie from Miami.

Gunter was waived at the beginning of last season and the Carolina Panthers claimed him. He appeared in just four games with Carolina, which did not tender him as a restricted free agent.

The 49ers on Wednesday met with Watkins, 26, a versatile defensive back who appeared in 36 games with five starts in four seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Watkins (5-11, 195) played three snaps on defense and 17 plays on special teams in the Eagles’ 41-33 victory over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 52 on Feb. 4. He entered the NFL in 2014 as a fourth-round draft pick from Florida.

Eric Reid discusses free-agent status, 'going to consider different ways to be active'


Eric Reid discusses free-agent status, 'going to consider different ways to be active'

STANFORD – Free-agent safety Eric Reid chatted with 49ers general manager John Lynch on the sideline, then moved into position onto the field for an up-close view of his brother’s pro day workout Thursday at Stanford University.

Younger brother, Justin, is aiming to be a first-round draft pick like Eric, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 18 overall pick in the 2013 draft.

Both football futures of the Reid brothers remain uncertain. Justin's fate will be determined on draft day. Eric Reid remains in limbo as an NFL free agent. He has not gotten any action in the first week of free agency, and the 49ers have not made him a contract offer, he said.

But Lynch said the 49ers are closely monitoring Reid’s situation. However, the organization already has three safeties they like: Jimmie Ward, Jaquiski Tartt and Adrian Colbert.

“Eric played and played well for us last year,” Lynch said. “I think he’s stuck in a safety market that’s been quiet. And I would anticipate things starting to shake for him and we’ll see.

“I’d never say never. I really do think opportunities will start to come his way. We’ve been monitoring it closely and we’ll see how that shakes out.”

Reid, 26, a six-year NFL veteran, said his agent has spoken recently to “a couple of teams,” but no contracts or visits have been proposed.

Reid’s market might be impacted by his up-front role in the protests of racial inequality of the past two seasons. Reid and Colin Kaepernick were the first players to take a knee during the national anthem at the beginning of the 2016 season.

Reid said he would probably not take part in any future protests during the national anthem.

“From the beginning, Colin has been flexible,” Reid said. “He started by sitting. He changed it up. We decided to kneel. And we understand that you got to change with the times. So I’m not saying I’m going to stop being active, because I won’t. I’m just going to consider different ways to be active, different ways to bring awareness to the issues of this country to improve on.

“I don’t think it’ll be in the form of protesting during the anthem. And I said ‘during’ because it’s crazy to me that the narrative got changed to we were protesting the anthem, because that wasn’t the case. But I think we’re going to take a different approach to how to be active.”

Reid said he has no regrets. He said he is willing to deal with the consequences of how NFL teams viewed his role in the protests.

“I stand by what I’ve done,” Reid said. “I know why I’ve done it. My faith in God is the reason. I can go to sleep at night confident I did what I was called to do. I’m just gong to stay positive and keep trying to stay in shape and wait and see what happens.

“I said at the end of last season I’m OK no matter what happens.”