Why 49ers 3rd-round picks were inactive vs. Bears

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The 49ers took a pair of skill position players in the third round of this year’s draft. Both running back Tyrion Davis-Price and wide receiver Danny Gray inactive when San Francisco opened their season Sunday against the Chicago Bears.

Head coach Kyle Shanahan after the game told reporters special teams was the factor that left Davis-Price and Gray in street clothes for their first NFL action.

“When it comes down to our third back it’s about who went in on special teams more, and Mason did a better job throughout the week” Shanahan told reporters.

When asked if the same was true for Gray Shanahan said the situation was “the exact same.”

Both players are down a bit on the depth chart, so the likelihood they were going to make an impact on offense was relatively low. That’s why the club turns to special teams where undrafted rookie RB Jordan Mason and practice squad WR Malik Turner are able to contribute. Both Mason and Turner were active Sunday.

This will be something to keep an eye on moving forward, especially with RB Elijah Mitchell nursing a knee injury that forced him out of the game in the second quarter. Davis-Price would presumably dress in any game Mitchell is sidelined.

For Gray it could be a matter of game plan. A sloppy, wet game in Chicago didn’t look like a good time to unleash the speedy WR and his downfield ability.

Last season RB Trey Sermon was a third-round pick and a healthy Week 1 scratch who eventually saw some action due to injury while working his way into a special teams role. That could be the path both Davis-Price and Gray have to take to be active with any regularity. Until then San Francisco will prioritize players who can give them special teams snaps when they’re not getting time on offense.

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Thoughts and notes from 49ers Week 1 disaster vs. Bears

Story originally appeared on Niners Wire