The 49ers wrap up their 2022 preseason against the Texans on Thursday, and these five Niners need to show up or risk being shipped out.
While fans are certainly over the preseason about 15 minutes into the first week of exhibition games, no player on the fringes of any roster will say these bouts are meaningless.
Particularly in the case of the San Francisco 49ers, who head into 2022 with a playoff-caliber roster and boasting a number of reserve players on the bubble who stand slim chances of surviving roster cuts despite being candidates to earn starting jobs elsewhere on teams across the league.
The Niners kick off against the Houston Texans for Week 3 of the preseason on Thursday, Aug. 25, which will mark the last bit of evaluation head coach Kyle Shanahan gets before engineering final roster cuts that are due no later than Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Shanahan has already trimmed 10 players off the original 90-man offseason roster, but there’ll be a massive blast of dismissed players in the hours and days following Thursday night.
We’ve already evaluated those on San Francisco’s roster bubble, yet these five in particular need to have an exceptional performance against Houston to convince Shanahan they’re worth hanging onto entering the regular season.
No. 5: 49ers cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields
During training camp, 49ers rookie cornerback Tariq Castro-Fields appeared to be a late climber and someone who might surprise as a late addition to the roster, especially if he was able to contribute on special teams.
After seeing only a handful of snaps during the Niners’ preseason opener against the Green Bay Packers, though, Castro-Fields’ efforts against the Minnesota Vikings weren’t great.
The former Penn State defensive back gave up receptions to all six of his targets, missed a tackle and was flagged for a defensive-holding call, though it was declined.
The Niners do have some injury concerns at the position, yes, but Castro-Fields certainly didn’t make the most out of his opportunity against Minnesota.
In order to save himself as a rookie addition, the 2022 sixth-round NFL Draft pick will have to show some serious prowess when he takes the field this Thursday.