The San Francisco 49ers closed out the preseason with their annual matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers. San Francisco fell, 23-21, in a game largely played by backups and third-stringers. There aren't many, but here are a few takeaways from Thursday night's contest.
1. There were a few notable players who saw action against the Chargers. Solomon Thomas played and dominated during his lone series. Thomas recorded two tackles for loss against the run and added a quarterback pressure. The 49ers would love for him to mimic that production during the regular season.
2. Reuben Foster (concussion) was able to make it through the league's protocol in time to play on Thursday. Foster played for two drives. His night was highlighted by an emphatic tackle behind the line of scrimmage, blowing up a screen pass for a 6-yard loss. We won't see Foster again until Week 3 of the regular season.
3. Joshua Garnett started at right guard and Jonathan Cooper started at left guard for the 49ers offense. Mike Person didn't play, indicating that the coaching staff had seen enough of him throughout the preseason to make a proper evaluation. Shanahan wouldn't commit to a starter postgame. All three have a strong chance to make the roster.
4. Ronald Blair made one final push for a roster spot. He recorded a team-high five tackles and one sack. He was active and disruptive throughout his time in the game. San Francisco's defensive line is very deep which means that Blair is firmly on the bubble.
5. Tyvis Powell (SS), Antone Exum (FS), Greg Mabin (CB) and Tarvarius Moore (CB) started in the secondary. Powell, Exum and Mabin are all on the bubble. Moore's spot is safe as the team's third-round pick. Mabin and Powell could be safe as second-stringers at their respective positions. Exum's case will be interesting as it depends on if the 49ers decide D.J. Reed suffices as the backup at both nickel and free safety.
6. C.J. Beathard started at quarterback for the 49ers but played just one series. He took a big hit on a third-down sack which may have caused Shanahan to pull him earlier than expected. Beathard didn't register a pass attempt. He's locked into the backup job behind Jimmy Garoppolo.
7. Nick Mullens played until nearly the end of the third quarter. Big Nick completed 10-of-17 pass attempts for 106 yards. He added three carries for 19 yards, which included a 4-yard touchdown run. Mullens had a strong preseason overall and is a likely candidate to be on the 49ers practice squad for a second straight season.
8. Richie James had an impressive close to his first NFL preseason. He came down with a 27-yard reception down the right sideline and posted a 23-yard punt return during the third quarter. He finished the game with six receptions for 71 yards. James has made a strong bid for a roster spot.
9. Jullian Taylor recorded a sack. He'd been quiet since the preseason opener against the Dallas Cowboys. He'll likely be the backup to Arik Armstead to open the season.
10. Jack Heneghan was the star of the show on Thursday, leading two touchdown drives on his only two series. He finished with 58 yards on 8-of-9 passing and added 17 yards rushing. Jeff Wilson and Jeremy McNichols capped the drives with touchdown runs of two yards and six yards, respectively..