49ers takeaways: What we learned in 27-17 preseason win vs. Chiefs

49ers takeaways: What we learned in 27-17 preseason win vs. Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Reverberations were felt throughout the world of the NFL with Andrew Luck's announcement Saturday night of his retirement.

What does that have to do with the 49ers? Probably nothing. But no team in the league is as thin at quarterback as the Indianapolis Colts. And the 49ers have three NFL-worthy quarterbacks.

And the 49ers have to be feeling a lot better about their starter, as Jimmy Garoppolo looked sharp in the 49ers’ 27-17 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium.

Garoppolo played all 37 snaps of the first half, and completed 14 of 20 passes for 188 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions. His passer rating was 116.2.

And, then, the competition continued for the backup job.

1. Nick Mullens or C.J. Beathard?

Nick Mullens entered the game at the beginning of the third quarter after Garoppolo stepped aside in what is expected to be his final preseason game of the summer.

Mullens missed his first two passes badly. Jordan Matthews was running wide open, 40 yards down the field, but Mullens led him too much. Instead of a 75-yard touchdown, it was an incomplete pass. Then, Mullens threw high to Deebo Samuel over the middle. But Mullens came back to keep the drive going with passes to Matthews of 11 and 22 yards.

Mullens finished 8-for-11 passing with 84 yards through the air.

C.J. Beathard is expected to see considerable action in the 49ers’ preseason finale on Thursday night against the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi’s Stadium. Coach Kyle Shanahan said he does not plan to name his backup quarterback until the cuts are made to 53 players for the start of the regular season.

The 49ers would likely be willing to trade Mullens or Beathard to a quarterback-needy team, such as the Colts.

Jimmie Ward back in the mix

Jimmie Ward was cleared for full practice this week, and he made his preseason debut against the Chiefs after sustaining a fractured collarbone on May 23. Ward was back in the starting lineup at free safety, and also handled duties at nickel back.

Tarvarius Moore moved into the starting role ahead of Adrian Colbert in recent weeks. Colbert did not suit up for the game due to a hamstring injury sustained on kickoff coverage Monday night at Denver.

Ward appeared to have a solid game on Saturday. He had three tackles, and also drew an offensive pass interference penalty due to his tight coverage against Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman.

Ward and Moore are battling for the starting the job, and Ward also appears to be in line to open the season at nickel back if K’Waun Williams (knee) is not available for Week 1 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

D-line depth on display

The 49ers have some flexibility on the defensive line, and that has definitely been on display with Dee Ford and Nick Bosa held out of the preseason due to knee and ankle injuries, respectively.

Damontre Moore, a sixth-year player from Texas A&M, is coming off a strong season in spring for the now-defunct Alliance of American Football. He has performed well in 49ers’ camp, including Saturday’s performance while playing with a cast on his hand.

[RELATED: How 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo looked on each preseason drive vs. Chiefs]

Moore registered four tackles, two sacks, three tackles for loss and three hits on the quarterback.

But Moore might face an uphill climb for a roster spot with the 49ers’ loaded defensive line that includes Ford, Bosa, DeForest Buckner, Arik Armstead, Solomon Thomas, Ronald Blair, D.J. Jones, Sheldon Day, Jullian Taylor and Kentavius Street.

49ers expect game-time decision whether Dee Ford will play vs. Steelers


49ers expect game-time decision whether Dee Ford will play vs. Steelers

Defensive end Dee Ford is feeling better after sitting out the second half of the 49ers’ game last week against the Cincinnati Bengals with discomfort in his knee and quadriceps, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

“Hopefully, he’ll be feeling good on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “He said he felt good. He looked good walking through. But I know that’ll go all the way up to Sunday.”

Ford, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, sat out practices Wednesday and Thursday. He was scheduled to take part in limited practice on Friday, but the 49ers dialed back their planned practice to a walk-through at their Santa Clara facility because of the high intensity of the practices earlier in the week.

“I know he’s feeling better now than he has the last few days, but he’s still not fully there, yet,” Shanahan said of Ford. “We’ll see how these last 48 hours go. Hopefully, they go well. If it does, I know he feels confident to go out there, especially with time off the following week.”

The 49ers face the Steelers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. After the game, the club will have a bye week before returning to action on Monday, Oct. 7, against the Cleveland Browns.

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (ankle), and safeties Jaquiski Tartt (toe) and Jimmie Ward (hand) are also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Bosa and Tartt are expected to play, while Ward is likely to miss his third consecutive game to open the season.

Shanahan said he expects rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd to be available after the bye week. Hurd has sat out five weeks with a back condition.

“He’s on track,” Shanahan said of Hurd. “We’ll see how it is once we get back from the bye week. I know he has a lot of work to do when we all get away from here a little bit for the four days. It’ll be big the work he puts in when we’re away. We expect him to be ready when we get back.”

The 49ers will not have the services of wide receiver Trent Taylor for at least eight weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a Jones fracture on his right foot. The bone has healed, Shanahan said, but there were issues with some of the soft tissue around the bone on the outside of his foot that has caused a flareup. Taylor is eligible to return to action on Nov. 17 against the Arizona Cardinals.

[RELATED: 49ers place Taylor on IR, re-sign Young]

The 49ers placed Taylor on injured reserve and signed veteran offensive tackle Sam Young. Shanahan said he does not think Young will be active and in uniform for Sunday’s game.

49ers injury report

RB Tevin Coleman (ankle)
WR Jalen Hurd (back)
OT Joe Staley (leg)
WR Trent Taylor (foot) – injured reserve

DE Dee Ford (quadriceps
S Jaquiski Tartt (toe)
DE Nick Bosa (ankle)
DB Jimmie Ward (hand)

Steelers injury report

FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)
LB Vince Williams (hamstring)
LB Anthony Chickillo (foot)

49ers place Trent Taylor on IR, re-sign veteran tackle Sam Young

49ers place Trent Taylor on IR, re-sign veteran tackle Sam Young

The 49ers on Friday signed veteran offensive tackle Sam Young to a one-year contract and placed wide receiver Trent Taylor on injured reserve.

Taylor, who underwent surgery Aug. 10 to repair a Jones fracture in his right foot, must sit out for at least eight weeks before he is eligible to return to the 49ers’ 53-man roster and appear in a game.

Originally, the 49ers placed Taylor's timetable to return at four to six weeks. As recently as last week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said he hoped Taylor would be able to return to action after the 49ers' Week 4 bye.

Taylor was expected to be one of the team’s leading pass-catchers this season before he sustained the fracture to the fifth metatarsal on his right foot. Since the 49ers selected him in the fifth round of the 2017 draft, Taylor has appeared in 29 games and caught 69 passes for 645 yards and three touchdowns.

The 49ers re-signed Young, who was among their final cuts before the start of the regular season. The 49ers require more depth at offensive tackle after Joe Staley broke his left fibula, an injury that is expected to keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.

Rookie Justin Skule is scheduled to start Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers at left tackle.

[RELATED: Jimmy G headlines 49ers to watch in Week 3]

In his nine-year NFL career, Young has appeared in 88 games with 21 starts with Dallas, Buffalo, Jacksonville and Miami. Young will wear No. 65 for the 49ers.