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05/12/2019 1:28 am  
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (4-12)New faces: DE Dee Ford  , DE Nick Bosa, LB Kwon Alexander, RB Tevin Coleman, WR Deebo Samuel, WR Jalen Hurd, CB Jason Verrett.Key losses: WR Pierre Garcon Trent Taylor Jersey White , P Bradley Pinion, DE Cassius Marsh, LB Malcolm Smith, G Joshua Garnett.Strengths: Few teams invested more in defensive line than 49ers with Bosa, Solomon Thomas, DeForest Buckner Arik Armstead Jersey White , Arik Armstead all taken in first round in past five drafts. Ford also former first-round pick in Kansas City, providing San Francisco with many options at both edge and interior as long as Ford and Bosa stay healthy following minor injuries in training camp. Buckner one of best inside rushers with career-high 12 sacks in 2018.Weaknesses: Niners set record for futility with two INTs last season and did little to add to secondary alongside Richard Sherman. Ahkello Witherspoon struggled in second season in NFL opposite Sherman, where he was targeted frequently. Also big questions at safety where Jimmie Ward is perpetually hurt and Jaquiski Tartt yet to emerge as impact player. Second-year player Tarvarius Moore moved back to free safety in offseason and showed speed to cover large areas of field and could work way into lineup.Fantasy Players To Watch: TE George Kittle. Kittle set NFL record for tight ends last season with 1,377 yards receiving. Coach Kyle Shanahan has ability to scheme Kittle open and few are better running after catch. While Kittle had most of his success last year after QB Jimmy Garoppolo got hurt, healthy season from starting QB should only help his production.Vegas Says: Win Super Bowl 45-1. Over/under wins 8.Expectations: After 10 wins combined in first two seasons under Shanahan, pressure on 49ers to become contender. Healthy season from Garoppolo should provide boost to offense. Garoppolo made only 10 starts in career and needs to show he can get through entire season healthy. RB Jerick McKinnon out for second straight season after setback in attempted return from last year’s torn ACL. Niners could use more dependable play at receiver Roger Craig Jersey , where second-year player Dante Pettis and rookies Samuel and Hurd could be best options. Defense needs to improve on anemic performance of seven takeaways from 2018. Pass rush should be improved with Bosa and Ford, but questions remain how well team can stop run and whether secondary’s good enough to shut down passing offenses. After missing Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings, wide receiver Doug Baldwin returned to limited participation in practice for the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday.Baldwin was held out of Monday’s game due to a hip issue that flared up following the team’s win over the San Francisco 49ers the previous week. Baldwin played 54 of 58 offensive snaps against the 49ers but was unable to practice all last week before being deemed inactive against the Vikings.With Baldwin out, Russell Wilson was held to the fewest passing yards and lowest passer rating of any game in his seven-year career as Seahawks starting quarterback by Minnesota.Baldwin has missed three games this season and has dealt with injuries to both knees, hip, groin and elbow injuries throughout the season.Linebacker K.J. Wright also returned to limited participation in practice for the first time since being sidelined with a knee injury coming out of the team’s loss in Los Angeles to the Rams last month. Wright was away from the team two weeks ago getting treatment on his knee the team hoped would enable him to turn the corner in his rehab. Wright has been limited to just three games played all season due to a knee injury in the preseason that required surgery and forced him to miss the first six games of the year. He’s missed the four games since again being sidelined.Wright isn’t expected to play this week but is progressing toward a return. With Mychal Kendricks Nick Mullens Jersey White , who Seattle signed in September to help mitigate Wright’s absence, out for the year after injuring his knee against the Vikings on Monday night, Seattle would love to get Wright back for a likely playoff trip.Right guard D.J. Fluker (hamstring), running back Rashaad Penny (knee), safety Maurice Alexander (concussion), defensive tackle Shamar Stephen (foot)  , defensive end Frank Clark (elbow) and defensive tackle Jarran Reed (oblique) all missed practice on Thursday.Fluker likely won’t play for a second straight week and Alexander is running out of time to clear concussion protocol in time to return.


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