CHARLOTTE – With the 49ers activating six wide receivers for today’s game against the Panthers, their only surprise player they choose to steer clear of is running back Marlon Mack.
Mack, who was signed in the second week after Elijah Mitchell’s knee injury, has not had a carry or a surprise attack in either of his past two games.
Jeff Wilson Jr. (255 yards, 2.5 yards per carry) is still in line to handle the brunt of a background carry, though the Niners have mostly spelled it out with Deebo Samuel, a South Carolina native who debuted in Charlotte.
Other backfield options include veteran Tevin Coleman, Rookie Jordan Mason (one carry) and linebacker Kyle Juszczyk. Samuel is the second rusher (19 stands, 113 yards); Injured quarterback Trey Lance is third and fourth in acceleration (16 holds, 67 yards) and is done for the season after breaking his right ankle three weeks ago.
Coleman was promoted from the coaching staff for the second week in a row, although 49 players only used him once in Monday night’s 24-9 win over the Super Bowl champion Rams.
Running back Ty Davis-Pryce is leading from a high ankle sprain in the home opener on Sept. 18, and could be back as early as next Sunday in Atlanta.
The six appropriate wide receivers: Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, Jauan Jennings, Ray-Ray McCloud, Danny Gray and special teams ace Malik Turner.
WARD TO START?
If Baker Mayfield improves his 31st-ranked achievement percentage today, it will be against a 49er-ranked defense who juggles his starting lineup with the Panthers.
Free Safety Jimmie Ward is expected to make his first appearance of the season after missing the first four games, a long absence he did not expect after injuring his hamstring on August 14. General Safety Talanoa Huvanga.
The 49ers defensive front will be without both interventions at the start: Arik Armstead (by foot) and Javon Kinlaw (knee). Armstead missed his September 25 defeat in Denver, and Kinlaw wasn’t fit for Monday’s win over the Los Angeles Rams, but neither was sent to the injured reserve list.
Kevin Givens and Hassan Ridgway are expected to start from the inside, with Achim Spence out of the coaching staff to assist in the rotation, along with versatile defensive endings Keri Haider Jr. and Charles Ominiho.
CamInman (@CamInman) October 9, 2022
The Panthers are without multiple defenders at the start: full back Frankie Lofo, Salameh Xavier Woods and Jeremy Chen, the latter of whom went into injured reserve last week. Subs: Corey Littleton, Juston Boris and Miles Hartsfield.
Panthers also disabled Laviska Shenault Jr.’s wide receivers. and Rashard Higgins, Cornerback Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, Stantley Thomas-Oliver III, tight end Stephen Sullivan, and offensive lineman Cade Mays.
Arriving from their coaching staff are the safety of Marquis Blair and wide receiver Derek Wright.
OTHER NINERS MOVING
It also wasn’t a good fit for the 49ers, leaving Trent Williams (ankle), tight end Tyler Kroft (knee) and Tarvarius Moore safety (hamstring) left out.
Jaylon Moore will be his third different left tackle in as many matches. Last game starter Colton McKewitz went into injured reserve on Saturday with a left knee sprain. Blake Hance is Moore’s instant backup and Daniel Brunskill is the number one swing in the cabin, according to running coordinator Chris Forster described Thursday.
Goalkeeper Nick Zakel will suit his potential start in the NFL.
This is the 49ers’ first game of the season on synthetic FieldTurf, which the Panthers converted outdoors in 2021 after having had turf since the stadium’s inception in 1996. The stadium also hosts MLS’ Charlotte’s, owned by David Tepper, who bought the Panthers in 2018 artificial turf for $2.3 billion.