Offensive & Defensive X-Factors
Quarterback Colin Kaepernick
Why is quarterback Colin Kaepernick an X-factor? Well, what he does on the field may very well determine his status with the team moving forward.
According to head coach Chip Kelly (h/t Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee), Kap is still one of the two best QBs on the roster. This should lead us to believe Kaepernick’s roster spot is safe even if he’s likely not going to be the starter.
But Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reported Kap’s standing on the roster, for football reasons, is precarious at best.
Thursday’s contest may be the final chance for Kaepernick to deem himself worthy of a roster spot.
Wide Receiver Dres Anderson
The season-ending loss of wide receiver Bruce Ellington opens up the door for other younger receivers on San Francisco’s depth chart.
One guy to watch is second-year pro Dres Anderson, who hauled in a 30-yard touchdown pass in the Niners’ preseason victory over the Denver Broncos two weeks ago.
Perhaps this is the play which cements his spot on the roster. But another strong effort may help Anderson climb the depth chart even higher.
Linebacker Marcus Rush
One of the 49ers preseason standouts has been linebacker Marcus Rush — a player on the roster bubble prior to the Niners’ exhibition opener against the Houston Texans.
Since then, Rush has accumulated a total of four sacks, which is tied for second in the entire NFL.
Not bad. Not bad at all for a team in need of pass-rushing help to start the season.
Can Rush keep up his flashing prowess against San Diego and carry that momentum into the regular season? 49ers fans sure hope so.
EDGE Tank Carradine
Another positive storyline from the Niners defense has been the emergence of edge-rusher Tank Carradine.
Carradine has two sacks of his own this preseason, and it looks as if the move from defensive end back to his natural position has been the right one.
It’s safe to assume Carradine’s roster spot is just fine. He’ll make the 53-man group to start the season. The final question will be whether or not he’s high on the depth chart.
A strong showing against the Chargers would allow for this.
Next: Game Information