49ers wideout Dante Pettis was a second-round pick last year and showed some flashes of promise in his rookie campaign, picking up 27 catches for 467 yards (good for an excellent 17.3 yards-per-reception) and five touchdowns. But he has consistently failed to come up with contested catches in training camp, and he was the only first-stringer from the 49ers’ initial depth chart to play in the club’s preseason opener Saturday.
The consensus has been that Pettis is a surefire starter for San Francisco this year, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said Pettis is not guaranteed a starting job, as Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. Shanahan acknowledged that Pettis has a great deal of room for improvement, and he said he put Pettis in the game because he wanted the second-year pro to compete and to start elevating his game.
Now for more from the 49ers:
- We heard yesterday that receiver Trent Taylor underwent surgery on a broken foot and would miss some regular season action. As Nick Wagoner of ESPN.com reports (via Twitter), Shanahan says that Taylor sustained a Jones fracture but that the team caught the injury before he suffered a complete break, so he may miss only four to six weeks. There is some hope that Taylor will be able to suit up for Week 1, but that still seems unlikely.
- We have conflicting reports on the severity of the injury that OT Shon Coleman suffered Saturday night. Colemean suffered a lower right leg injury, and Matt Barrows of The Athletic says that while Coleman will get an MRI Monday, the injury is expected to be a season-ender (Twitter link). Branch hears the same (via Twitter), but Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that Coleman’s recovery will take several months. RapSheet classifies the injury as a dislocated ankle.
- Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Areas says the 49ers will need to look for another swing tackle in the wake of Coleman’s injury, and he suggests that the team could re-sign Garry Gilliam to fill that role (Twitter link). Gilliam served as San Francisco’s swing tackle in each of the past two seasons, and though he remains a free agent, he has received interest from other clubs.