Hobbling into the regular season has been a trend for the San Francisco 49ers.
This year looks like the 49ers are breaking that trend as they are poised to have every starter on hand for the beginning of the regular season. That includes Jaquiski Tartt who has been nursing a toe injury. After seeing him back in practice and getting some good work in the preseason finale, Tartt appears on track to start Week 1 for the 49ers against the Detroit Lions. Even Kyle Shanahan is optimistic with how Tartt is looking.
“Yeah, I was real pumped for Tartt to come back this week. He had two really good days of practice. It was looking like a long shot for him at the beginning, but he started feeling a lot better down in LA with the chargers. He was telling us how good he was going to look. And he went out there Wednesday and Thursday and he wasn’t lying. He had a great two days of practice. Didn't want to have to play him as much, but we had to also find out where he was at for this 53.
"We know Tartt, how good of a player is, and how much he can help us. But today was really almost like a third and a half practice if you count a walk through. So, I was just really pumped he was able to go out there. And I think he played about between 25 and 30 plays which was the goal to see if he could get through that and I'll watch the tape. But I was just real happy that he got through it because we saw him playing at high level in practice too.”
The safety position was looking bleak with depth no more than a few weeks ago. In fact, it still is a bit of an issue even with Tartt's return. Tavon Wilson played late in the preseason finale against the Las Vegas Raiders, which possibly indicated that he hasn't sold the coaches yet. It just makes Tartt's return that much more crucial because of how exposed the lack of depth is.
While Tartt's injury exposed a weak spot, it also benefited the 49ers. Talanoa Hufanga was allowed to see significant run in the preseason and play with the starters. The opportunities he has seen has spiked his development, so now the 49ers are in a position where they can feel comfortable with him should Tartt miss time again.
And given Tartt's injury history, it is likely we see him on the shelf at some point this year.