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Taylor benched, Pettis inactive as 49ers' WR depth wanes

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​Dante Pettis was not even listed on the 49ers’ injury report, so he was 100 percent healthy going into Week 5.

Yet, the 49ers elevated Kevin White from the practice squad to take Pettis’ spot for the game. Pettis was named as one of the 49ers’ six inactive players for the team’s 43-17 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Levi's Stadium.

The 49ers’ playing time Sunday at wide receiver revealed some answers about what the coaching staff thinks of their players at that position.

It is obvious the 49ers are in no better position than last season, when they had confidence in only three receivers to step into a game. Last year, it was Deebo Samuel, Emmanuel Sanders and Kendrick Bourne.

This year, rookie Brandon Aiyuk has taken over Sanders’ role. Nothing else has changed.

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Trent Taylor, who was expected to have a productive season as the 49ers’ slot receiver, no longer has a role on offense. He has five catches for just 37 yards in five games.

 

He has not been fast enough, quick enough, or strong enough to get open for what should be easy receptions. Taylor played just four snaps on Sunday even as the 49ers fell behind early and had a 2-to-1 margin of passes vs. run plays.

Bourne is the team’s No. 3 receiver behind Samuel and Aiyuk. Bourne, who has 15 catches for 227 yards, is the 49ers’ second-leading pass-catcher behind George Kittle.

Richie James returned to practice last week. He missed the past four games with a hamstring injury. When he returns from injured reserve, who goes?

The signs would seem to point toward Pettis, who has proved to be a regrettable selection as a second-round draft pick in 2018.

Pettis has not caught a pass since Oct. 31, 2019. And he has not earned the trust of the coaching staff as a return man, either.

Thus, White was active on Sunday, while Pettis was not deemed valuable enough to be given a uniform to be included among the team’s top 48 players.

White was on the field for two offensive snaps and did not see a pass thrown his way.

Here is a look at the 49ers’ playing time on offense, defense and special teams from their Week 5 loss to the Dolphins:

Offense

Quarterback: C.J. Beathard 33, Jimmy Garoppolo 31

Running back: Raheem Mostert 31, Jerick McKinnon 67, Kyle Juszczyk 16, Jeff Wilson 15, JaMycal Hasty 2

Wide receiver: Brandon Aiyuk 62, Deebo Samuel 57, Kendrick Bourne 42, Trent Taylor 4, Kevin White 2

Tight end: George Kittle 64, Charlie Woerner 2, Ross Dwelley 1

Offensive line: Laken Tomlinson 64, Ben Garland 64, Daniel Brunskill 64, Trent Williams 64, Mike McGlinchey 64

Defense

Defensive line: Arik Armstead 54, Javon Kinlaw 45, Kerry Hyder 43, Dion Jordan 35, Kevin Givens 35, Kentavius Street 27, D.J. Jones 19, Alex Barrett 12

Linebacker: Fred Warner 67, Kwon Alexander 66, Dre Greenlaw 35

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Defensive back: Jimmie Ward 67, Jaquiski Tartt 67, Jason Verrett 65, Ahkello Witherspoon 41, Jamar Taylor 33, Brian Allen 24, Marcell Harris 2

Special teams

Tarvarius Moore 28, Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles 26, Azeez Al-Shaair 23, Ken Webster 17, Woerner 17, Harris 17, White 15, Ward 15, Hasty 14, Armstead 14, Kinlaw 14, Dwelley 12, Tartt 12, Greenlaw 12, Allen 11, Jordan 11, Mitch Wishnowsky 10, Wilson 10, Barrett 9, Taybor Pepper 6, T.Taylor 5, Street 5, Jones 5, Robbie Gould 3, Justin Skule 3, Colton McKivitz 3, Garland 3, Tomlinson 3, McGlinchey 3, Juszczyk 3, Brunskill 2, Warner 2, Alexander 2, J.Taylor 2, Bourne 1, Hyder 1, Witherspoon 1, Givens 1

Did not play

C Hroniss Grasu

Inactive

QB Nick Mullens, WR Dante Pettis, CB Dontae Johnson, CB Emmanuel Moseley, OL Tom Compton, TE Daniel Helm