Preseason football finally kicks off for the San Francisco 49ers tomorrow at Levis stadium against the Dallas Cowboys. Since this is the first game do not expect many of the starters to get more than a series or two in. This game is strictly for the young and fringe players, but with the latest injuries to so many players on the 49ers this is an opportunity for some depth guys to show their stuff. For some players, they have had a strong training camp so far and it is time for them to translate that performance into a live action game in the preseason.
Here are three players who need a good showing vs. the Dallas Cowboys:
WR Kendrick Bourne
If you have been following along with some of the San Francisco 49ers beat writers, then you'll know that Kendrick Bourne has been playing out of his mind in training camp. It has certainly given him an edge that he will make the 53 man roster and even see a good portion of playing time. However, all of that can change with a couple of bad performances during the preseason.
It all starts tomorrow against the Dallas Cowboys at Levis Stadium. Bourne must ride his momentum into this game in order to cement his status. If he's getting locked up, dropping balls and running questionable routes, then the 49ers coaching staff will have to revisit their decision on Bourne. He is a good player that can contribute, but he's by no means deserving of any lock to the roster. The way the 49ers wide receiver group is shaping, Bourne would be a fifth or sixth wideout.
The locks in the group are of course Deebo Samuel and Dante Pettis, followed by Trent Taylor, Marquise Goodwin (though I have some doubts) and Jordan Matthews. Richie James Jr. is fighting for a spot and it's looking like he'll be the odd man out. For Kendrick Bourne, he does not want to fall under that category, so tomorrow's game is a big one for him.
Safety Tarvarius Moore
Ever since Tarvarius Moore was given first team reps at free safety he has not disappointed. Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh went from doubting his readiness week one, to now seeing it as a likely scenario. That just goes to show the talent of Moore. It is his natural position after all. Now that the first preseason game is right here he'll be able to further cement himself as the starter.
Performing well in training camp is great and all, but a slip up in the preseason will undo all the positive work he's done. Remember, he's competing for the starting spot with Jimmie Ward who he's filling for while he recovers from a broken collarbone. Ward is expected back within a week or so, which makes these opportunities right now so crucial. Ward is only on a one year deal. It behooves the 49ers to play Moore as the starter over Ward for long term purposes. Some strong play against the Dallas Cowboys tomorrow will have Robert Saleh seriously weighing Moore's role on the defense.
RB Raheem Mostert
So many injuries have occurred to the San Francisco 49ers that a lot of back up players are getting the chance to show what they can do. In this case, running back Jerick McKinnon is once again back on injury watch, which gives way to Raheem Mostert to take advantage of the opportunity. There may even be a good chance that McKinnon starts the year on injured reserve.
It just makes Mostert a more valued player at this point. A strong performance in tomorrow's game will have Kyle Shanahan looking at him in a new light. Mostert is great special teams player, but no player wants to be stuck with that label. Mostert filled in well last season as a rotational back. He can continue that production and more with these snaps because if he doesn't, then whenever McKinnon comes back he'll hardly get some offensive run.