Health A Concern With One Game To Go
August 27 2002
By Bryan Hersh of 49ers Paradise
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With so little time left before the 49ers open the regular season, and still one pre-season game between now and then, the Ďhealthí of the team has become the biggest topic. The 49ers are banged up, more so than they have been in recent memory. Jeff Ulbrich, Terry Jackson, Chad Ward, Reggie McGrew, Vinny Sutherland, Jeremy McDaniel, John Keith, Kevin Curtis, Jeremy Newberry and Ron Stone are just a few of the key names on the 49ers injury list. With so many players banged up, donít expect much from the final pre-season game.
I donít think Mariucci would be questioned if he sat his starters out the entire game. The game against the Chargers will be the teamís third in nine days. Players need to give their bodies time to heal before going back out on the field, otherwise there is a greater chance of injury. Sitting the entire starting team really isnít that far fetched an idea.
A more likely scenario is the starting team playing a series, maybe two, and then being pulled from the game. While one can make an argument for shedding the rust, it hardly seems worth the risk when you consider the consequences. The 49ers took a pounding against the Raiders, and having some extra time to heal, particularly for the starting squad may prove instrumental in getting the team ready for the regular season.