The San Francisco 49ers are one of 10 teams who haven’t yet played their first preseason game, but will open their exhibition schedule against the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday night.
If it were up to coach Kyle Shanahan, the Niners wouldn’t be playing the game.
‘You absolutely don’t need four’
On Thursday, Shanahan told media that he has no need for as many exhibition games as the NFL has right now.
“You absolutely don’t need four preseason games,” Shanahan said. “I’d rather have zero than four. Preferably, I’d like to have one to evaluate the people who are trying to make the team and just one to knock a little rust off.”
Shanahan also would like to see more practice and joint practices against other teams.
The 49ers will not play many of their top-line players on Saturday; they lost No. 3 overall pick Nick Bosa for the preseason to a high-ankle sprain earlier this week. Running back Jerrick McKinnon and cornerback Jason Verrett are also nursing injuries and are unavailable.
Mullens, Beathard to split quarterback reps
Jimmy Garoppolo, who is returning from a torn ACL suffered in Week 3 last year, isn’t expected to play against the Cowboys either.
C.J. Beathard and Nick Mullens, who both started in Garoppolo’s stead last year, will see time, though Shanahan wasn’t saying which will start.
Beathard, a third-round pick in 2017, started five games last year but San Francisco was 0-5 in those games, as Beathard threw eight touchdowns but seven interceptions (he was also sacked 18 times).
Mullens, an undrafted free agent in 2017, started eight games, and the 49ers were 3-5 in those games. He had 13 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, and was sacked 17 times.
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