Key question No. 3: Do positive reports of 49ers running backs carry over to game action?
Many reports have detailed the 49ers’ running back group as one of the major winners in training camp, with every player seemingly behind a big play. That’s incredibly important as the Niners are unlikely to change their ways as a run-oriented football team, and attrition at the position has been a common denominator throughout Kyle Shanahan’s tenure as coach.
However, running backs, out of most positions, give the least explicitly valuable tape in training camp. With an equal emphasis on health along with play, backs aren’t tackled and largely aren’t forced to deal with the true rigors and minutia the position has to offer.
Can second-year pro Trey Sermon, who’s spoken about being more decisive when running, actually be decisive in real-time, something he greatly struggled with last year? Can Jordan Mason, an undrafted free agent making a name for himself, do it when the lights are on?
Will San Francisco’s third-round NFL Draft pick from this year, Tyrion Davis-Price, showcase his strength and toughness when teams are trying to bring him down?
How their backs respond to live action will be important for the 49ers in sorting out their depth chart.
If things go well, it may spell bad news for now-established veterans like JaMycal Hasty.