49ers vs. Chargers: 4 players who are fighting for final roster spots

Dante Pettis #18 and Kendrick Bourne #84 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Dante Pettis #18 and Kendrick Bourne #84 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images) /
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49ers vs. Chargers 5 players fighting for roster spots
KANSAS CITY, MO – AUGUST 24: Cornerback Herb Miller #34 of the Kansas City Chiefs gets set on defense during the second half of a preseason game against San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Jordan Matthews #81 at Arrowhead Stadium on August 24, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images) /

These four players need to shine in the San Francisco 49ers’ NFL preseason Week 4 matchup with the Los Angeles Chargers in order to make the Niners’ final 53-man roster.

On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers reach the end of the 2019 NFL preseason when they host the Los Angeles Chargers at Levi’s Stadium, in Santa Clara, CA. The 49ers’ fourth and final exhibition game of 2019 arrives much to the dismay of head coach Kyle Shanahan, who made his disdain for preseason football crystal clear in a response to reporters earlier this month:

"Yeah, you absolutely don’t need four preseason games. I’d rather have zero than four. Preferably I’d like two: one to evaluate the people trying to make the team and then just one to knock a little rust off. -Kyle Shanahan"

The last preseason game of the year is the most difficult of the four games for the casual fan to watch, since each team’s star players are relegated to the sideline, taking mental reps in street clothes instead of making highlight-reel plays on the field.

The third preseason game is the most popular for good reason, as it best resembles regular-season action, with starters often playing the entire first half of the contest. However, the fourth matchup of the preseason plays an important role in determining the NFL futures of prospective players and long-term veterans, since it’s the last opportunity for bubble players to fight for precious final roster spots.

Over the 2019 preseason — and particularly during last week’s “rehearsal game” — we gained significant insight into how the 49ers’ final 53-man roster will shake out once players are released at the end of the week. However, a number of questions remain unanswered, and a number of roster spots remain unclaimed.

Hundreds of elite athletes around the league are waiting in anticipation for tomorrow’s game, when each NFL hopeful will get a final opportunity to make his mark — to demonstrate he belongs in the league and deserves to play the game at its highest level.

In order for these four San Francisco 49ers to continue their careers in red and gold, each player will need to shine on Thursday night: