Best Bay Area Roster in Years? 3 Takeaways From Day 3 of 49ers Training Camp Practice

Jul 29, 2022, 2:59 PM
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JULY 28: Danny Gray #86 of the San Francisco 49ers works out during train...
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JULY 28: Danny Gray #86 of the San Francisco 49ers works out during training camp at SAP Performance Facility on July 28, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

San Francisco 49ers training camp is back for day 3 as the Red & Gold hit the practice field Friday morning.

The Bay Area team practiced in front of another packed crowd of faithful, sporting only practice jerseys and helmets before putting the pads on starting Monday, Aug. 1. The day started with head coach Kyle Shanahan breaking the news that Sacramento native Arik Armstead sprained his MCL in his right knee, forcing him to miss a few weeks of practice.

An update on his status and timeline, plus much more as we take a look at a few takeaways from Day 3 of 49ers practice.

Armstead’s Injury

The injury bug is back for the 49ers as the first casualty claimed is defensive tackle Arik Armstead, suffering the injury to his right knee during Wednesday’s practice.

Although out for a few weeks, the coaching staff doesn’t believe it’ll hinder his availability for the regular season as the lineman was able to practice through it Wednesday.

“It’s nothing we’re too concerned about but it will take him some time away,” Shanahan said before practice Friday. “He thought it was just a bruise, because it didn’t bother him that bad, but it was hurting him a little after, then got the MRI, so we’ve got to hold him out a little bit.”

After suffering the injury Armstead remained in practice, shedding a block before halting a run by Elijah Mitchell. But now out for presumably the rest of training camp and most of the preseason, the Red & Gold will need to shift to other D-line prospects to fill the hole of their captain.

Defensive tackles Maurice Hurst, Hassan Ridgeway, Kevin Atkins, Alex Barrett and Robert Nkemdiche represent the next wave of options for the 49ers, showing the ridiculous amount of depth at the position.

“It’s crazy a lot of depth. For sure, a lot of talent, a lot of great players,” Armstead said Tuesday. “We have a bunch of guys that can start here or on other teams. It’s going to be fun taking the field with them and getting better. When you add new pieces, you need to build continuity and it will be fun doing that.”

In 2021, the DT racked up six sacks, 11 QB hits and 63 combined tackles in all 17 regular season games. Armstead also had three sacks in the 49ers’ playoff wins at Dallas and Green Bay last season.

Kyle Shanahan’s Best San Francisco Roster Ever?

Yes, it’s training camp but the coaching staff is delighted with the roster at this early juncture as Shanahan raved about the depth before Friday’s practice.

“When I look at just our team and some of the good rosters we’ve had going in, I thought we had a lot of inexperienced at wideout. I think that’s kind of changed,” Shanahan said. “I think our wideouts had been here now, I think we got a pretty real solid group probably as good of a group as we’ve had since we’ve been here. I think we’ve really improved our secondary in the offseason, just getting [Chavarius] Ward, having [Emmanuel Moseley] healthy, how good he looks right now. Hopefully getting [Jason Verrett] back, the fact that we had to play some rookies last year who weren’t quite ready but they still survived and got that experience which will help this year and give us more depth than we had last year.”

Praise up and down the roster from coach but the that’s how good this roster is, with more starters than role players on the D-line especially.

“Hell yeah. I feel like we have 10 or 12 starters on our D-line,” Ward said Friday post-practice.

It’s the first week of camp so maybe a bit overzealous from the players to coaches but that’s how confident this organization is, especially with two true cover corners in Ward and Moseley (we’ll get to them in a minute).

The most interesting note from Shanahan was the lack of wide receiver depth last year because yes, their weren’t a lot of proven playmakers for Jimmy Garoppolo to throw to in 2021. The additions of rookie Danny Gray and veteran Ray-Ray McCloud should help with that if Deebo Samuel, George Kittle or Brandon Aiyuk goes down with an injury.

A complete roster makes a winning roster and that’s what the Red & Gold plan to do in 2022.

Lance Continues To Struggle

None of that winning can happen if their young phenom at quarterback, Trey Lance, doesn’t start improving his performance drastically, having another rough day Friday.

Going 3 for 10 during 11 on 11s, Lance showed his rawness once again, struggling to beat the revamped secondary of Ward and Moseley. His worst ball of the day came on a bad throw that was behind Kittle and picked off by Talanoa Hufanga, who would have scored a pick 6 in a real-game scenario. The young QB was sacked a few times and drew a few procedure penalties, according to David Lombardi of The Athletic.

His second rough outing in a row, is it time to blare the sirens for Jimmy G’s return?

The simple answer: No.

Once again, it’s training camp. Plays aren’t going to be run right, throws are going to be missed, that’s a part of the fun, especially for a player like Lance entering his first season as the starter.

As Lombardi puts it, it’s silly to obsess over practice.

The 49ers beat writer makes a great point, this team is built on defense and the special teams units. That’s by design. And it won’t change over night as Lance has a steep learning curve ahead of him.

You just hope his mistakes can be outweighed by his big-play abilities.

For all things 49ers and NFL, stay locked in here on Sactown Sports.

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