LAS VEGAS — The 49ers lost their preseason opener 34-7 to the Las Vegas Raiders, but coach Kyle Shanahan believes their wide receiver group got valuable experience.
Six wideouts saw time on the field during the exhibition game with Trey Lance, Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen under center. Four pass catchers took the bulk of the snaps, with rookie Ronnie Bell leading the pack.
"I thought they did a good job,” Shanahan said after the game. “I mean, we sat a number of guys, and we wanted to put some pressure on those guys, play them a little bit more than you do in a preseason game, especially Ronnie Bell and Tay Martin getting all that playing time.”
Martin joined Bell in taking the majority of offensive snaps, followed by veterans Willie Snead IV and Chris Conley. Isaiah Winstead and Dazz Newsome each got a handful of plays on the field.
Full offensive snap count:
Bell: 49 (82 percent)
Martin: 31 (52 percent)
San Francisco 49ers
Snead: 30 (50 percent)
Conley: 24 (40 percent)
Winstead: 8 (13 percent)
Newsome: 5 (8 percent)
Bell finished the night catching three of his six targets for 58 yards while also fielding three kick returns for 57 yards and two punts for one yard. Maybe the most disappointing pass that Bell couldn’t haul in for a reception was from Allen in the middle of the fourth quarter.
The quarterback’s 20-yard pass went off of the rookie wideout’s outstretched hands and into Raiders cornerback Sam Webb’s awaiting arms for an interception. Still, the head coach saw positives from the play.
“His best route was the one he served up to him on the pick, so that was unfortunate," Shanahan said of Bell. "But those guys did show some good things. I thought Ronnie did some really good things in the return game, had that good jet sweep, made some good passes.”
Conley snagged three of his four targets during the contest for 47 yards, all from Lance. Maybe the most impressive connection between the two was a 17-yard grab in the 49ers' fifth drive of the game. Lance found the receiver in the vicinity of three defenders on a third-and-10 situation to move the sticks.
"Yeah, Chris has done a great job, man, just being consistent,” Lance said after the game. “One of those guys that's always on it, and that showed today. I think he took advantage of his opportunities.”
The 49ers have another week of practice before hosting the Denver Broncos at Levi’s Stadium on Saturday evening at 5:30 p.m. PT.