The San Francisco 49ers kicked off their week of practice with some news from their upcoming opponent, the Las Vegas Raiders. In Week 17, the silver and black are making a switch at the quarterback position, benching veteran Derek Carr and announcing Jarrett Stidham as the starter for Sunday's contest. The third-year quarterback has made one appearance for Las Vegas this season, completing 8-of-13 passes for 72 yards in a 24-0 victory by the New Orleans Saints in late October. In his first-career start, Stidham will go head-to-head with the league's top-ranked defense.
"I know he's a talented thrower. We've seen him play before," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "He can make every throw, similar to Carr in that way, but he hasn't been out there a lot. So, hopefully we can confuse him, make it tough for them."
As the 49ers get into the thick of their gameplanning for Week 17, the team is not making the mistake of underestimating their penultimate opponent of the regular season. Las Vegas played in 12 one-score games in 2022, and despite the Raiders plan to start a greener quarterback, they've got their fair share of offensive weapons including wide receiver Davante Adams (1,290 receiving yards/14.7 yards per reception) and running back Josh Jacobs (1,539 rushing yards/5.0 yards per carry).
"I see some great players who can beat you," Shanahan said. "That's why I think they've had a chance in so many games this year and have been close. They're just a few, the ball bouncing a different way to being locked in as a playoff team right now."
Linebacker Dre Greenlaw echoed similar sentiments when asked about the opposition.
"They're a good team," Greenlaw said. "It hasn't been the team they hoped for, but they have a good team. They do a lot of good things and have a really great running back, good tight ends, good catchers, one of the best receivers in the league."
The 49ers offensive line will also have to contend with one of the league's elite defensive ends in Maxx Crosby. The veteran has amassed 82 total tackles and 11.5 sacks on the year.
"He's as good of a player as we've faced all year," offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey said. "He certainly presents a lot of problems for a lot of people. He's so multiple in how he rushes and how he plays the run. He's complete."
Injury and Participation Updates from Wednesday's Practice
San Francisco's starting quarterback Brock Purdy returned to the field as a full participant at practice for the first time since suffering separate rib and oblique injuries in Week 14.
Defensive lineman Nick Bosa and punter Mitch Wishnowsky sat out of practice Wednesday due to illness. Javon Kinlaw (knee) also sat out of practice as part of the plan to get the defensive tackle back up to speed after spending most of the season on the Injured Reserve list. Per Shanahan, he has not suffered any setbacks with his knee thus far.
Additionally, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), defensive lineman Kevin Givens (knee), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (ankle, knee) and tackle Trent Williams (not injury related - resting player) were sidelined from practice.
The head coach shared that Samuel has a chance to rejoin the team on Thursday depending on his Wednesday workout. No. 19 was participating in individual rehab work at the SAP Performance Facility during the portion of practice open to the media.
Defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot, ankle), defensive lineman Kerry Hyder Jr. (ankle), running back Jordan Mason (hamstring), running back Christian McCaffrey (knee) and cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle) were all limited in Wednesday's workout.