The San Francisco 49ers face off against Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday Night Football in the third preseason game. This game is what many refer to as the dress rehearsal as it is pretty much the last time any of the true starters will play in the preseason. There are still some jobs and roster spots at stake. This may be the game where we get to see Colin Kaepernick and some of the other starters on offense for more than one or two drives.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Eric Reid – FS The coaching staff has decided to make Reid earn the job as starting free safety by bringing in Craig Dahl to compete. Reid took most of the snaps with the first team defense and will probably get his first start as a pro. He has shown that he is not afraid to come up and support the run. Reid has also been solid in coverage. Last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, his presence caused Jonathan Baldwin to drop a pass that hit him right in the hands. That drop may have been one of the final nails in the coffin on Baldwin’s career as a Chief. Watch how Reid and Donte Whitner communicate. Reid will need to rely on Whitner to help him get acclimated to the NFL.
Kendall Hunter – RB Hunter will be making his return from an achilles rupture last year against the New Orleans Saints. The 49ers will employ a three headed rushing attack this year. Hunter is a back that will bring some explosiveness to the offense. He is a very nice option in the screen game. Be sure to watch him as he makes his cuts. This game will be important for Hunter both mentally and physically. He needs to get a feel for how his achilles will respond to an actual game day situation.
B.J. Daniels – QB Daniels has earned some extra snaps at practice after his good showing against the Chiefs. He was very decisive with the ball. According to a source from BayAreaSportsGuy.com, Daniels had the quickest release of any 49ers quarterback, averaging just 2.1 seconds per attempt. He is also the only 49ers quarterback to throw for a touchdown. This has been the cause for a buzz among fans regarding Daniels. Let’s see if he can continue to have the hot hand.
Michael Wilhoite – LB Wilhoite has been a pleasant surprise this preseason. He has played very well with the starters as he filled in for Patrick Willis. The thing that makes Wilhoite such a valuable player is his ability to fill in at both inside linebacker spots. He has been everywhere on the field. It will be interesting seeing how he fares agains the tough Viking running backs.
Perish Cox – CB The 49ers may have found something in Cox last week. He was able to get two sacks blitzing from the nickel spot. Cox was able to get into the backfield untouched and finished both plays off well. He has also done a solid job at right cornerback. He has probably earned a spot on the roster due to his play on the defense along with his ability to have an impact on special teams.
Vance McDonald will be making his return after missing the game last week against the Chiefs.
Jonathan Baldwin is said to be able to get some snaps in the game this week.
Nnamdi Asogmugha has played well as of late. He will challenge Tremaine Brock for the number three cornerback position.
Cordarrell Paterson is a player that some had projected to be an option that Harbaugh would trade up for in the 2014 draft.
The game will be hosted by the Sunday Night Football crew. If you are going to the game, do remember that the new NFL backpack rules will be in effect.