Following two joint practices and a preseason victory, the San Francisco 49ers returned to Santa Clara after their week-long road trip in Costa Mesa, Calif. Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media following Sunday afternoon's 15-10 win and provided injury updates, gave a preview of what to expect in the 49ers preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders and assessed the development of rookie quarterback Trey Lance.
1. Trey Lance's Progression
Between his preseason debut and Week 2 showing, Shanahan has seen improvement in the rookie quarterback. The head coach noted that some of Lance's fundamentals were still a "work in progress." One of the areas of focus is keeping the quarterback from reverting back to his old habits mid-game – something the 49ers hope will continue to work itself out as the rookie takes more live snaps in the preseason.
"I think anytime you get thrown into the heat of the battle, especially these young guys who haven't played a lot, you always kind of resort to what you've done and your technique is off a lot," Shanahan said. "He did that a ton in the first game and was much better in the second game. I hope he will continue to get better in this third game."
Beyond his rocky start against the Chargers, which featured an interception and a few struggles with ball placement, the rookie found a groove and led two scoring drives in his 34 snaps on Sunday. Lance finished his night completing 8-of-14 passes for 102 yards, two touchdowns and a pick. While the stat line doesn't tell the full story, the rookie showed signs of being able to move the ball both effectively and efficiently.
"I just liked how he responded throughout it," he continued. "Trey hasn't played a lot of football in the last year or so. I think he's thrown one interception since high school. To watch him go out there and throw a pick, to have a couple of close ones, those are some things that he isn't used to. And I know it got him down pretty bad, but to watch him go out there and recover was nice for me to see because I haven't seen him have to play through much stuff like that watching all of his college tape.
"To be able to see him do that on this stage and to do it out there and be able to leave him out there for a few series and let him kind of fight through that, I really think after that he started getting his best rhythm that he's been in these two games."
2. Week 3 Dress Rehearsal
The shortened preseason has changed up the 49ers approach to their slate of games. Typically, the final contest heavily features players who might be on the roster bubble looking to cement their names on the 53-man roster. Instead, Week 3 will serve as the 49ers dress rehearsal ahead of the season opener on Sept. 12.
The 49ers plan for their healthy veterans, who have been sitting out the first two preseason games, to see snaps against the Raiders on Sunday. It hasn't been specified yet how many snaps the head coach is eyeing, however, if similar to years prior, the first-team offense could see a whole half of football for the first time this preseason.
3. Injury Updates
Defensive lineman Maurice Hurst and newly signed linebacker Mychal Kendricks both left Sunday's game during the 49ers first defensive series and did not return. According to Shanahan, both are expected to be out for "at least a month." The length of their recoveries is likely to play into the 49ers looming roster decisions.
Senio Kelemete received X-rays following the contest for a back injury. The offensive lineman is "day-to-day," per Shanahan.
Cornerback Alexander Myres passed concussion protocols after leaving the game early.
4. Roster Cuts
The 49ers must trim their roster from 85 to 80 players by Tuesday's 1 p.m. deadline. The team will then have exactly one week to cut down their numbers for the initial 53-man roster on Tuesday, Aug. 31 at 1 p.m. PT.