HOUSTON – Less than two hours before kick-off, the San Francisco 49ers announced that three veteran players will not play in the team's preseason opener against the Houston Texans.
Linebacker NaVorro Bowman, tight end Vernon Davis and defensive tackle Darnell Dockett will not play in the game.
The 49ers also announced the following changes to the starting lineup:
- Garrett Celek for Davis
- Shayne Skov for Bowman
- Nick Moody for Michael Wilhoite
There was a chance Bowman could return to the field for the exhibition opener, but it sounds like the 49ers will continue to take a careful approach with the star linebacker who hasn't played in a game since January of 2013. Bowman told reporters on Thursday that he wasn't back to full strength just yet, but he was encouraged by his strides in training camp.
"I'm satisfied with how much work I've put in, how far I've come, how fast I'm able to recover and cover guys," the sixth-year pro said. "But there are still hurdles that I need to cross. I'm just going to keep working until I get there. But it's looking up for me."
The veteran trio joined 11 other 49ers, who were previously announced by coach Jim Tomsula, as players who would not participate in the preseason game.
Running backs Reggie Bush and Kendall Hunter, wide receivers Bruce Ellington, Dres Anderson, DeAndre Smelter (Non-Football Injury List), center Daniel Kilgore (Physically Unable to Perform List), linebackers Nick Bellore (NFI), Wilhoite (NFI), Philip Wheeler and Aaron Lynch, plus defensive back Jimmie Ward, will not play in the game.
For the Texans, Jeff Adams was announced as the starting left guard for Xavier Su'a-Filo.
Inside linebacker Akeem Dent (PUP), guard David Quessenberry (NFI) and outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney (PUP) will not play in the game.