Sudfeld, 49ers beat Vikings 17-7 in battle of backups
Nate Sudfeld led a 14-play, 79-yard drive for a go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Minnesota Vikings 17-7 in a preseason game featuring mostly backups Saturday night.
Sudfeld started and went 13 of 17 for 102 yards in the competition with rookie Brock Purdy to back up starting quarterback Trey Lance. JaMychal Hasty caught the touchdown toss from Sudfeld and rookie Danny Gray hauled in a 2-point conversion after a busted coverage by Minnesota.
Robbie Gould converted each of his three field-goal attempts for San Francisco.
It was largely a sloppy performance for both teams after nearly all the projected first-team players were held out. The teams were coming off a week of joint practices.
There were four combined turnovers, three by Minnesota, with three fumbles — with each team losing one. San Francisco averaged 4.6 yards per play and the Vikings were held to 3.9 yards per play in their first home game with Kevin O’Connell as head coach.
Second-year quarterback Kellen Mond started for Minnesota, but was intercepted on the first drive of the game. Mond finished 10 of 20 for 82 yards and was also picked off on his final throw of the night.
Sean Mannion was 10 of 15 for 65 yards as he and Mond battle for the backup job to Kirk Cousins. Rookie Ty Chandler had 19 yards rushing, including a 3-yard TD on an eight-play, 60-yard drive engineered by Mannion.
Purdy finished 14 of 23 for 128 yards for San Francisco and had some strong moments, but he dropped an exchange with running back Tyrion Davis-Price with the 49ers at the goal line.
Lance, a Minnesota native, didn’t play, nor did Jimmy Garoppolo.
49ers: Several 49ers have been banged up and didn’t play, though any projected starters likely would have been out anyway. Those included DT Arik Armstead (knee), CB Emmanuel Moseley (hamstring) and S Jimmie Ward (hamstring). Ward is expected to be out a while. … RB Elijah Mitchell (hamstring) was held out. RB Trey Sermon (ankle) started and had five carries for 8 yards. … Another hamstring injury occurred in the game with WR Austin Mack going down in the first half and not returning. … Backup OT Sam Schlueter, an undrafted free agent from Minnesota, sustained a knee injury.
Vikings: CB Andrew Booth Jr., a second-round rookie, left in the first half with an ankle injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game. … TE Irv Smith Jr. (thumb surgery) remains on track to be ready for the regular-season opener. He’ll be eased back into practice soon, O’Connell said this week. … OL Chris Reed, who’s been in the mix at center and right guard, has an elbow injury. He didn’t play Saturday after not practicing this week. … RG Jesse Davis was held out of practice Thursday, wearing a sleeve on his right knee. He didn’t play.
SORRY, NOT THIS TIME
In total, the teams declared 54 players out before the game, 27 for each team.
For San Francisco, only three players listed with the first-team offense and defense played. Guards Aaron Banks and Spencer Burford started on offense. Tackle Javon Kinlaw was the lone defensive starter, though nickelback Samuel Womack III also played.
The lone projected starter for the Vikings to play was defensive end Armon Watts.
49ers: Wrap up the preseason on Aug. 25 at Houston.
Vikings: Play at Denver on Aug. 27 in the preseason finale.