While the most highly important third game of the preseason is over, the final game is here. This is the last chance for some players on the 49ers to showcase themselves and find their way on the 53 man roster. Here are three battles that will be worth watching for the last game.
Scott Tolzien vs. Josh Johnson for the third string QB role.
Kaepernick most likely solidified himself as the second QB behind Alex Smith last weekend. Both of these players need to fight for a guaranteed spot on the roster as one could be cut. Tolzien has looked more promising in recent weeks, but the competition isn’t over for Johnson to make a name for himself in the last game.
Perrish Cox vs. Tramaine Brock vs. Darcel McBath for CB.
All three of these players are fighting to be the next cornerback behind Carlos Rogers, Tarrell Brown and Chris Culliver. With Culliver still injured, each player will get an opportunity to prove they’re worth something. Cox in particular has had a good preseason since signing with the 49ers. Brock had a rough game against the Broncos and Darcel McBath has been seen in a limited role. All three can compete for the fourth CB on the depth chart.
Michael Thomas vs. C.J. Spillman vs. Trenton Robinson for S
While Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner are the guaranteed starters, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio wants to see a safety step it up to give more certainty to the depth chart. Trenton Robinson and Michael Thomas right now have the upperhand. C.J. Spillman has looked good in practice, but not as well during the games. There will be several eyes watching this battle to see who is ready to step in if needed for Whitner or Goldson.
Here are also some individuals to be looking out for
Johnson comes in for his first preseason game after sitting out the last three. He’s been battling an injury but looked good in training camp. Johnson was in practice for Tuesday in a limited role and expected to get playing time for the Chargers game. With the competition and depth at OLB thin, the 49ers hope Johnson can emerge to help out this position.
While Delanie Walker and Vernon Davis are guaranteed to be tight ends on this team, the 49ers can always use a third tight end. DE/TE Demarcus Dobbs has been limited in practice and it’s unsure whether he’ll play on Thursday or not. Reuland has made a few outstanding grabs so far in a few games with the 49ers. If Dobbs isn’t playing, Reuland will have the opportunity to show his talents as a TE.
James has been injured recently and hasn’t had a lot of playing time so far this preseason. Harbaugh said he should be ready to go for the last preseason game and this is his chance to shine. While Anthony Dixon and Rock Cartwright are battling at this position too, James needs to prove why he was drafted by the 49ers with all the depth they have. He could be a specialist at returning kickoffs and punts besides being an RB.