With 2018 turning into little more than an audition for next year, Niner Noise explores what position battles may be on the table for the San Francisco 49ers this upcoming offseason.
With a 2-9 record this deep into the season, it’s pretty safe to assume the San Francisco 49ers and their fanbase is almost entirely focused on what happens in 2019.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan even indicated as much just a few weeks ago, dropping hints the Niners’ remaining games were little more than auditions for spots on the roster next season.
There have already been a multitude of factors influencing this. Injuries have been a major theme for the Niners this season, forcing a number of depth and reserve players to step into roles they weren’t exactly intended to assume. On top of that, more than a handful of second-year players have regressed, raising questions whether or not they’ll bounce back adequately enough given another offseason of coaching continuity.
And then, of course, there’s the situation with linebacker Reuben Foster. His release after his third arrest this year changes a lot for San Francisco’s defense moving forward.
Exactly how is anyone’s guess.
At any rate, it’s never too soon to start speculating what the hot position battles will be when minicamps, OTAs and training camp opens up in 2019. Sure, there are a lot of events yet to take place between now and then (free agency, the NFL Draft, etc.). But based off what we know now, let’s take a look at what some of those position battles may be when the calendar turns to next year.
Starting off with an underwhelming-but-intriguing one, backup quarterback.