The San Francisco 49ers will close out the preseason schedule on the road, facing the Houston Texans on Thursday night. The team closed out a short week of practice in The Bay with a final padded practice on Tuesday.
Shanahan's Plan for the Preseason Finale
The 49ers third and final preseason game versus the Texans should look much different than last weekend's contest in Minnesota. Head coach Kyle Shanahan first shared his tentative plan for the full slate of preseason games during training camp and confirmed Tuesday that he would be sticking to it. As was the case in the preseason opener, Trey Lance and the expected starters will log limited reps together in Thursday's finale.
"I want them (expected starters) to get out there," Shanahan said. "I plan on playing those guys, but I haven't exactly decided how much. I know they won't go past the first half. It'd be the first half at the most."
Lance's first preseason outing consisted of just two offensive series in which the second-year quarterback finished 4-of-5 for 92 yards and touchdown, earning a perfect 158.3 passer rating. No. 5 also led an opening drive that resulted in a field goal. When it comes to this final preseason outing, Shanahan's expectations for his starting quarterback are simple.
"I want to see him execute his job as well as he can," Shanahan said. "I want to see him get the team in and out of the huddle right, call the plays right, get the ball to the right spot and when he can't get it there, make sure he doesn't have a turnover and possibly makes a play."
View game photos from the San Francisco 49ers preseason matchup vs. the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Practice Highlights from the SAP Performance Facility
Lance continued to find success in red zone drills as he has through much of training camp. Tuesday, he connected with tight end George Kittle in the end zone for a touchdown.
With Elijah Mitchell rehabbing a hamstring injury, more of the running backs are taking reps with the expected offensive starters. JaMycal Hasty, Tyrion Davis-Price and Jeff Wilson Jr. all saw action with the first team offense. Offensive lineman Jason Poe also stepped in with the ones, taking reps at the left guard position.
Looking Ahead to the Season Opener
With several players returning to practice this week, the 49ers are trending in the right direction in terms of health, but there are still a few players who are nursing injuries. Shanahan gave some updates regarding their recovery progress.
Per the head coach, Mitchell, who has been dealing with a hamstring injury, is "on schedule" to return to the team in time for Week 1.
Right tackle Mike McGlinchey's timeline is less clear. While the team remains optimistic about his return, he may miss out on some regular season playing time.
"I think there's a chance because they haven't told me 100% for sure," Shanahan said. "We took it real slow with him and then he had that setback in the game (Green Bay Packers vs. 49ers). It wasn't the exact same injury, but it was still on the same leg, so we wanted to take it slow with him and we rested him last week. We're going to rest him this week, and we'll ramp him up next week and see how the pain tolerance is."