4 things 49ers must accomplish in preseason opener vs. Chiefs

Offensive tackle Justin Skule #67 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Offensive tackle Justin Skule #67 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Dontae Johnson, Mecole Hardman, San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman (17) and San Francisco 49ers defensive back Dontae Johnson (48) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 1: 49ers defensive-backfield depth must prove itself adequate

Already, San Francisco has been forced to test its secondary during training camp, losing strong safety Jaquiski Tartt to a reaggravated turf-toe injury that could sideline him well into the regular season.

And with fellow veteran safety Tony Jefferson landing on injured reserve with a groin/hamstring injury, the 49ers now find themselves both testing their on-roster depth while also hoping another recent free-agent pickup, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, can make an impact.

San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers /

San Francisco 49ers

Clinton-Dix, Tavon Wilson and the rookie, Talanoa Hufanga, are all candidates to potentially replace Tartt. Needless to say, they’ll be focal-point players to watch on Saturday, especially early on when matching up against quarterback Patrick Mahomes and an explosive Chiefs offense.

Yet arguably the more important development will be watching how the Niners’ cornerback crop fares against Kansas City’s first-team receiving options.

There shouldn’t be too big of worries when looking at the starters, Jason Verrett, K’Waun Williams and Emmanuel Moseley, aside from the ever-present concern over injuries. But the depth behind those three remains a massive question mark.

Perhaps the two rookies, Ambry Thomas and Deommodore Lenoir, wind up impressing to a point where their up-and-down moments in camp become something of an afterthought.

Or, equally as possible, other recent pickups like B.W. Webb and Alexander Myres prove to be smart late-summer adds.

Either way,  San Francisco has to iron out its best depth chart for the defensive backfield quickly.

The 49ers and Chiefs kick off on Saturday, Aug. 14 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

Next. 5 must-watch players in 49ers' preseason opener vs. Chiefs. dark