The 49ers will go into tonight's fourth and final preseason game doing their best San Diego Chargers impression. That is, most of their prominent starters will not play in the game. Alex Smith, for example, will be on the sideline, the first time he has sat out the fourth preseason game since being drafted. David Carr will start the game.
Other prominent players who will not play, according to Singletary: Vernon Davis and Frank Gore. He said the "young guys" on the offensive line - presumably Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati - will play, but he was unsure whether the rest of the offensive line starters would see any time. Left tackle Joe Staley (knee) and center David Baas (shoulder stinger) practiced sparingly this week, and they are not likely to play. Running back Brian Westbrook has been out with a hamstring injury and will not play.
One interesting question is whether Michael Crabtree will line up against the Chargers. Crabtree missed the entire preseason last year because of a contract dispute and sat out the first three games this year with a sore neck. Crabtree practiced in the week leading up to Saturday's game against the Raiders but felt stiffness in the neck during pre-game warm ups and watched that game, too. There is suspicion that Vernon Davis' beef with Crabtree is over the receiver's sense of entitlement. Crabtree practiced this week. Singletary said that he "may or may not play" against the Chargers.
Singletary said there were five or six spots still undecided on the roster.
-- Matt Barrows