49ers vs. Texans: 5 bubble players to watch in preseason finale

Trey Sermon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Trey Sermon #28 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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Brock Purdy, San Francisco 49ers
Brock Purdy #14 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) /

49ers player to watch vs. Texans No. 1: Quarterback Brock Purdy

Trey Lance is likely to play the first half against Houston, leaving the Niners to field his two backups, Nate Sudfeld and Brock Purdy, over the final two quarters of the game.

Last week, Sudfeld and Purdy rotated in and out, each getting two drives apiece before giving way to the other.

However, Sudfeld’s role as Lance’s primary backup is already guaranteed. As in $2 million fully guaranteed, meaning the former isn’t going anywhere.

The big decision, at least for this case, is whether or not Kyle Shanahan wants to keep three quarterbacks on his 53-man roster,

“It’s always hard,” Shanahan said when asked about keeping three quarterbacks. “But it’s something you debate every year. It’s something we’ll debate this year. It’s not always just the quarterbacks.”

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Purdy, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, might not have the preseason stats that do him justice: a 58.6 completion percentage with one touchdown, no interceptions and an 86.0 passer rating. But he’s also been dogged by at least four drops, while his pocket awareness and athleticism have been on display to a point where another team could easily take a waiver flier if San Francisco ultimately elects to waive him.

Should Purdy finish his 2022 preseason campaign on a strong note, the 49ers may end up leaning towards keeping him.

The Niners and Texans kick off on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 8:15 p.m. from NRG Stadium.

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