The month of August just got a bit more intriguing for the San Francisco 49ers as the NFL released the team’s preseason schedule on Monday.
San Francisco’s four exhibition contests go as follows: on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs, at home against the Denver Broncos, on the road against the Minnesota Vikings and at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. The specific dates and times for each game will be released in the coming months.
For now, here’s what we can expect in the preseason.
Those are certainly much larger questions that won’t be fully answered in Kansas City, but they still add to the interest of the preseason.
2. The past two summers, the 49ers have spent an extended period in Denver, holding two joint practices with the Broncos before their exhibition contest. Now it’s the Broncos who will be visiting the Bay Area.
Will the trend continue of practicing against the Broncos?
While that is yet to be determined, it wouldn’t be surprising. San Francisco hosted a joint practice with the Houston Texans last year prior to the preseason opener.
It will be the sixth consecutive season that the 49ers and Broncos have met in August and the 39th contest overall. Denver leads the preseason series, 21-16.
San Francisco will get its first opportunity to play in Minnesota’s new home, U.S. Bank Stadium. The two teams last met in Week 1 of the 2015 regular season with the 49ers topping the Vikings 20-3 on “Monday Night Football.”
The third game of the preseason is commonly referred to as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season. That means that we could see Shanahan’s starting offense and defense play for an extended period.
It should also be interesting to see which quarterback starts for the Vikings. Will it be Sam Bradford? Or will Teddy Bridgewater be healthy enough to play? Whomever gets the nod against the 49ers will likely be Minnesota’s Week 1 starter.
This game will also be broadcast nationally by NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” crew.
4. For the 16th time in the past 17 years, the 49ers and Chargers will close out the preseason. It’s also the 31st consecutive year that the two teams have met in the preseason. The matchup in August will be the first game against the Los Angeles iteration of the Chargers.
It will also be the final chance for bubble players to stake their claim for a roster spot with final cuts coming the following day.
There’s still no word on when the regular season schedule will be announced, but the hope is that it will be made official before the 2017 NFL Draft, which begins April 27.