49ers treat exhibition finale as bye week for regulars

49ers treat exhibition finale as bye week for regulars
August 29, 2014, 7:45 am
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Bruce Miller, Joe Looney, Daniel Kilgore, Ian Williams and Michael Wilhoite were the only starters to see action Thursday. (USATSI)

HOUSTON -- Coach Jim Harbaugh decided to press the fast-forward button on the 49ers’ exhibition season for many of his starters.

Harbaugh said he originally planned to play quarterback Colin Kaepernick and the rest of the offensive regulars in the exhibition finale on Thursday night against the Houston Texans.

But the day before the game, Harbaugh changed his mind.

“I felt like, a short week, traveling down to Houston, (I) just decided to make a battlefield decision and treat it like a bye week going into the first game, rather than play the majority of the starters,” Harbaugh said following the 49ers' 40-13 victory over the Texans.

The 49ers open the regular season on Sept. 7 at the Dallas Cowboys.

Fullback Bruce Miller did not start, but he played four snaps on offense. Joe Looney, who is in line to start at right guard with Alex Boone’s continued contract holdout, started and played 12 snaps at guard before moving to center for 17 snaps. Starting center Daniel Kilgore started and played the first three series.

On defense, nose tackle Ian Williams played five snaps. Inside linebacker Michael Wilhoite did not play defense, but he did on four special-teams plays.


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