San Francisco 49ers vs. Detroit Lions: Chris Biderman’s five players to watch
The only undrafted rookie on the 49ers roster might be in the starting lineup on Sunday against the Detroit Lions.
Najee Toran, who was elevated from the practice squad this week, could be making his first career start due to injuries to the team’s top-three options at right guard, Kyle Shanahan said Thursday.
“Right now, we’re still waiting on some guys to get healthy,” Shanahan said during an interview on KNBR (680 AM). “So we’re not sure going if they’re going to be able to by Sunday. ... (Toran) has gotten most of the reps throughout the week. I’m expecting him to be our guy here Sunday unless we can have a miraculous recovery by the other guys.”
The 49ers lost their top two players on the depth chart during the loss Week 1 to the Vikings. Starter Mike Person was carted to the locker room in the first half with a foot injury. His replacement, Joshua Garnett, left the game early in the third quarter with a dislocated toe. Neither player has practiced this week.
One potential option has returned to practice, though it appears unlikely he would start against Detroit. Erik Magnuson began participating during individual drills this week after suffering a hamstring injury during the second preseason game. He said Wednesday he was told it was a six-to-eight week injury. This weekend would mark four weeks since he left the game against the Texans.
Toran (6-foot-2, 305 pounds) started 24 games in four seasons at UCLA before signing with the 49ers following the NFL draft. He worked with the reserve offensive line throughout the preseason and was brought back to the practice squad over players such as Andrew Lauderdale, Coleman Shelton, Chris Gonzalez, Pace Murphy and Darrell Williams Jr.
The 49ers after final cuts signed versatile offensive lineman Matt Tobin and traded for Browns tackle Shon Coleman.
Still no Goodwin, Colbert or Smith — Receiver Marquise Goodwin was working back from a deep thigh bruise on the side field during practice Wednesday. He appears unlikely to play Sunday after leaving in the first half of the loss in Minnesota. Goodwin was held without a catch.
Safety Adrian Colbert spent his second straight day doing conditioning after being listed with a hamstring injury. He has not practiced this week, opening up the possibility Jimmie Ward starts at free safety against the Lions. Ward is making $8.5 million on his fifth-year option, the most among defenders, despite not beginning the season with a starting job.
Linebacker Malcolm Smith (hamstring) sat out practice again, leaving the 49ers thin at linebacker after Brock Coyle was placed on injured reserve this week.
The team’s remaining options, with Reuben Foster serving the last game of his two-game suspension, are Elijah Lee and Terence Garvin, a former Seahawk who signed this week. Mark Nzeocha is also an option. He was moved from inside to outside linebacker this offseason.