San Francisco 49ers

Snap analysis: Light work for 49ers defense; TEs dominate offense

San Francisco 49ers tight end Garrett Celek (88) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings strong safety Andrew Sendejo (34) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015.
San Francisco 49ers tight end Garrett Celek (88) is tackled by Minnesota Vikings strong safety Andrew Sendejo (34) during the first half of an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Sept. 14, 2015. AP

There could be a few names added to the injury list when the 49ers come into work today following Monday's 20-3 win over the Vikings. But the early indication was that only one player, running back Reggie Bush, was hobbled and that his calf injury, initially at least, was not considered severe.

That's good news considering the 49ers have a quick turnaround, and a long, 3,000-mile trip, to play their next opponent, the Pittsburgh Steelers. More positive news: The team's defense played only 56 snaps, which is on the light side for a game. For example, the unit averaged 66 snaps a game last season.

The team's starting secondary -- cornerbacks Kenneth Acker and Tramaine Brock, and safeties Antoine Bethea and Reid -- played all 56 snaps. Linebacker NaVorro Bowman left the game for one snap to deal with a hit to the groin. He finished second to Bethea (8 tackles) on the team with seven tackles. (I thought Bethea was the defensive MVP on Monday).

Other notes:

* Jaquiski Tartt led the defensive rookies with 20 snaps. First-round draft pick Arik Armstead played 12 snaps.

* Eli Harold had a sizable role on special teams (10 snaps) but played only five snaps on defense. That meant Ahmad Brooks (49) and Aaron Lynch (47) played the bulk of the game. If the defense had been out there longer, Harold's snaps likely would have gone up.

* Ian Williams’ and Glenn Dorsey’s 36 snaps led the defensive linemen. Quinton Dial played 28. The team has a steady rotation there, and barring injuries, it’s hard to see any one player getting worn down.

* The starting offensive line -- Erik Pears, Jordan Devey, Marcus Martin, Alex Boone, Joe Staley -- played all 73 offensive snaps. So did quarterback Colin Kaepernick, which is notable considering the first-quarter hit he took from safety Harrison Smith.

* All four 49ers tight ends were in uniform and all four played on offense, though Blake Bell only was in for just a snap. Vernon Davis played all but one of the offensive snaps. He was targeted a team-high six times and finished with a team-best 47 receiving yards. Garrett Celek was next-best in yards (40) as he continues to build on the momentum from preseason. He played 51 snaps; Vance McDonald played 37 and had one catch for five yards. At least for Week 1, Celek -- not McDonald -- was the team's No. 2 tight end.

* With the tight ends getting so much work, fullback Bruce Miller didn't get into the game until late and played 11 snaps. He tied for a team-high 15 snaps on special teams.

* Quinton Patton received the most No. 3 receiver snaps -- 14 to Bruce Ellington's 3. Ellington, however, caught the two passes on which he was targeted. Patton was targeted once on an incompletion. Torrey Smith played 44 snaps and caught the game's first pass. But he didn't have any catches after that. Tight ends combined for 161 snaps; wide receivers for 120.

* Bush's injury may not be long term, but it's hard to see him playing against the Steelers. If that's the case, the 49ers likely will activate running back Mike Davis, who was not uniform Monday. Jarryd Hayne? Without Bush, he still could be needed on punt returns. Hayne also was in for 10 offensive plays and averaged 3.3 yards on four carries. (Hey, it was better than Adrian Peterson's 3.1-yard average).

* Bradley Pinion handled all five kickoffs. Four were touchbacks. The Vikings took the ball deep in their end zone on the fifth but made it only to the 15-yard line.

The San Francisco 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings in their 2015 NFL season opener at Levi's Stadium. Video by Manny Crisostomo,

San Francisco 49ers RB Carlos Hyde talks to the media after the game where he had 168 rushing yards and two touchdowns in 20-3 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

​The San Francisco 49ers beat the Minnesota Vikings 20-3 and after the game Colin Kaepernick, Jarryd Hayne and Adrian Peterson meet on the field. Video by Manny Crisostomo,

Matt Barrows: @mattbarrows, read more about the team at

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