49ers vs. Chiefs: 5 must-watch players in 2021 preseason opener
By Peter Panacy
49ers Player to Watch No. 3: EDGE Arden Key
Those who feel as if preseason games essentially don’t matter much probably don’t realize their importance for players on the fringes of the roster.
Before the news of the 49ers getting starting EDGE Dee Ford back onto the field during camp, former Las Vegas Raiders EDGE Arden Key had a pretty good shot of making the Niners’ 53-man roster, if for no other reason than to support what was generally seen as a thin pass-rushing depth.
With Ford back, though, the starting tandem of him and fellow EDGE Nick Bosa suddenly pushes a player like Key onto the periphery.
San Francisco is likely to take things slow with Bosa and Ford, who are both still working their way back from serious injuries suffered last year. And with fellow EDGE Samson Ebukam banged up a bit, there’s a good chance Key sees a lot of the field on Saturday.
Potentially as a defensive starter who plays a full half.
Key, who had only three sacks during his first three years as a pro, is looking to resurrect what has otherwise been a disappointing career thus far.
How good he looks against the Chiefs could go a long way towards determining his role with the 49ers this season.