49ers depth chart: 4 players who benefit from no preseason

Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Dante Pettis #18 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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Ahkello Witherspoon, 49ers
Ahkello Witherspoon #23 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) /

Some 49ers players will be hurt by the lack of an NFL preseason in 2020, yet these four actually stand to benefit from having zero exhibition games.

The San Francisco 49ers are fortunate enough amid what’s been a crazy and unpredictable offseason to boast plenty of continuity heading towards the 2020 season.

One of the crazy elements, of course, is the cancellation of the NFL preseason this year. If the Niners were going through a rebuild, like they were a few short years ago, this would have been an excessive challenge. Yet with head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad boasting 18 out of a possible 22 players returning from last year’s Super Bowl squad, the vast majority of roles and expectations for the team’s upcoming campaign have already been defined.

There are those who are going to be hurt by the lack of a preseason. Fringe players on the roster, unheralded first-year rookies and others needed those exhibition reps to flash their on-field talents in order to impress Shanahan and his staff. Without these games, San Francisco will have nothing but 2019 game tape and training camp to evaluate which players comprise the 53-man roster by Week 1. Each year before this one, there are usually at least a couple of players who flashed enough to find a spot on the back end of the roster.

That’s likely not going to be the case in 2020 now.

Yet the lack of NFL preseason games does have some benefit. There are some players who actually stand to gain a lot more without these exhibition contests, knowing they’ll be able to ride on previous and more-recent or relevant accolades and performances.

Here are four such players who can feel better about their roster chances heading into 2020 without a preseason.