49ers

Injuries overshadow late 49ers rally past Cowboys in preseason opener

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AP

Injuries overshadow late 49ers rally past Cowboys in preseason opener

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SANTA CLARA – The 49ers’ first exhibition game was a loss -- even if the scoreboard said something different.

The 49ers sustained several losses – the full extent of which was not immediately known – during their summer debut against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday night.

Four starters and two significant backups had their evenings cut short due to injuries

On a side note, third-string quarterback Nick Mullens rallied the 49ers' reserves with a 7-yard touchdown pass to rookie Richie James with :18 remaining for a 24-21 victory over the Cowboys in the exhibition opener for both clubs.

But the victory may have come at a cost.

Linebacker Malcolm Smith, who sustained a season-ending torn pectoral last year before the 49ers even played an exhibition game, exited the game during the opening Cowboys possession with a hamstring injury.

The 49ers are counting on Smith to be a big factor, especially at the beginning of the season when Reuben Foster will be serving a two-game suspension. Rookie Fred Warner (chest) and Brock Coyle (hip) did not suit up for the game.

Linebacker Eli Harold left the game with a knee injury.

Tight end George Kittle sustained a right shoulder injury upon falling to the ground after being upended after a Jimmy Garoppolo pass down the deep middle of the field fell incomplete.

Starting defensive end Solomon Thomas and backup offensive tackle Garry Gilliam were diagnosed with concussions. And backup running back Matt Breida sustained a shoulder injury. Breida’s condition appeared to be the least concerning of the team’s injuries.

Afterward, coach Kyle Shanahan said Kittle and Breida with both "miss some time" with their shoulder injuries. Shanahan said he did not have any specific information about the extent of the injuries.

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo played the first nine snaps of the game, picking up two first downs while completing three of six passes for 34 yards. Backup C.J. Beathard completed 10 of 20 pass attempts for 181 yards with one interception.

Joe Williams, who was the fourth 49ers’ running back to enter the game, accounted for the team’s first touchdown with a 1-yard score in the second quarter. Williams, a fourth-round pick in 2017, is competing for a roster spot after spending last season on injured reserve with a foot injury.

Williams gained 27 yards on 11 carries, and was also stopped short on a two-point conversion attempt from the 1-yard line after Jeremy McNichols’ 1-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter.

Williams’ biggest competition is Raheem Mostert, who made the club last season mostly for his play on special teams. Mostert gained 57 yards on eight rushing attempts, but also lost a fumble late in the third quarter.

Mullens completed 11 of 13 pass attempts for 141 yards with one touchdown and one interception while rallying the 49ers.

James was the team’s top slot receiver with Trent Taylor being held out of action. He caught a 21-yard pass from C.J. Beathard to set up Williams’ touchdown. James caught four passes for 46 yards, including the game-winning touchdown.

Another rookie receiver, Dante Pettis, shook free for a 53-yard reception on the first possession of the third quarter. That play led to a Robbie Gould field goal, cutting Dallas’ lead to 14-10 in the third quarter. Pettis was a second-round draft pick from Washington.

The Cowboys did not suit up running back Ezekiel Elliott, but quarterback Dak Prescott started and engineered a touchdown drive on his one and only series of the game against the 49ers’ starters.

The 49ers’ four-man pass rush did not get any pressure on Prescott. Left cornerback Jimmie Ward, playing in place of Richard Sherman, was running side-by-side with receiver Michael Gallup. But when Ward turned to look for the ball, Gallup gained 2 yards of separation before free safety Adrian Colbert could range over for help. The pass play went for a 30-yard touchdown.

2019 NFL Draft order: Full list of Round 1 picks, No. 1 through No. 32

2019 NFL Draft order: Full list of Round 1 picks, No. 1 through No. 32

Teams will make their first-round picks at the 2019 NFL Draft in Nashville, Tenn., and it's likely the order entering Thursday night's proceedings isn't how it will end up.

Trades always shake up the draft order, and a few teams are primed to make deals this year. The Raiders, for instance, own three first-round picks, and if they decided to package the Nos. 24 and 27 selections -- acquired in the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, respectively -- they could move up in the order.

There also has been rumblings that the No. 1 pick, owned by the Arizona Cardinals, is up for sale. If the Cardinals decide to deal, that could change the face of this draft, beginning with the 49ers' pick at No. 2.

Until then, we only can go off how the order is now, and you can see which teams own Nos. 1 through 32 in the list below.

2019 NFL DRAFT ORDER
1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns in Odell Beckham Jr. trade)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears in Khalil Mack trade)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys in Amari Cooper trade)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs in Frank Clark trade)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints in 2018 draft-day trade)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots

NFL draft tracker 2019: First-round pick, trade updates as they happen

NFL draft tracker 2019: First-round pick, trade updates as they happen

The 2019 NFL Draft starts Thursday night in Nashville, Tenn., and the Bay Area's two teams should be in the center of the action.

The 49ers own the No. 2 overall pick, and the Raiders have three selections -- Nos. 4, 24 and 27 -- meaning they have many options that could decide where the top prospects fall.

The 49ers seem set on Ohio State's Nick Bosa with their selection, but should the Arizona Cardinals, who own the No. 1 pick, surprisingly trade down or pick an edge rusher instead of Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray, their focus could change. One option: Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams, whom many have ranked No. 1 on their draft boards.

Williams also could fit the Raiders with the No. 4 pick, but there have been whispers about a trade up to No. 1 for Murray. That might require the Raiders to give up two first-round picks, and should a deal happen, it would completely alter the league's landscape.

It promises to be an interesting slate of 32 picks made in Music City, and you can follow live as each selection is made in the 2019 NFL Draft tracker below:

1. Arizona Cardinals
2. San Francisco 49ers
3. New York Jets
4. Oakland Raiders
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. New York Giants
7. Jacksonville Jaguars
8. Detroit Lions
9. Buffalo Bills
10. Denver Broncos
11. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Green Bay Packers
13. Miami Dolphins
14. Atlanta Falcons
15. Washington Redskins
16. Carolina Panthers
17. New York Giants (from Cleveland Browns in Odell Beckham Jr. trade)
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. Tennessee Titans
20. Pittsburgh Steelers
21. Seattle Seahawks
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Houston Texans
24. Oakland Raiders (from Chicago Bears in Khalil Mack trade)
25. Philadelphia Eagles
26. Indianapolis Colts
27. Oakland Raiders (from Dallas Cowboys in Amari Cooper trade)
28. Los Angeles Chargers
29. Seattle Seahawks (from Kansas City Chiefs in Frank Clark trade)
30. Green Bay Packers (from New Orleans Saints in 2018 draft-day trade)
31. Los Angeles Rams
32. New England Patriots