Mississippi

Charles Omenihu, Drake Jackson can shine with Samson Ebukam likely out

SANTA CLARA — Defensive lineman Charles Omenihu is lined up for his second start as a member of the 49ers.

And rookie edge rusher Drake Jackson could also get more playing time as the 49ers are likely to play Sunday night without starting defensive end Samson Ebukam.

Ebukam’s winning streak, which has included all 98 regular-season and playoff games in his six-year career, is expected to come to an end.

“I play quite a lot first and foremost, so it’s just more of an opportunity to get behind the quarterback, play the run and show that I’m a beginning defender in this league,” Omenihu said after practice on Friday.

Omenihu has played in 20 games with the 49ers since joining the team in a trade from the Houston Texans midway through last season. He started the 49ers’ Week 6 game against the Atlanta Falcons when Nick Bosa was out with a groin injury.

Now Omenihu is likely to step in for Ebukam, who is listed as doubtful with a quadriceps load. Ebukam, who is second on the team with 3.5 sacks, was also plagued with Achilles disease.

Omenihu and Jackson each have three sacks this season. Both should see extra time against the Los Angeles Chargers.

“I can barely wait for it. It’s going to be a fun week, more opportunities to play for my team,” Jackson said. “I am really looking forward to this.”

Not an easy task for the 49ers defensive line against quarterback Justin Herbert. The Chargers have conceded the fewest sacks (10) in the NFL this season.

“But they didn’t play us either,” Omenihu said, “so take that with a grain of salt.”

The 49ers are sixth in the NFL with 26 sacks, led by Bosa’s 8.5.

Los Angeles had to rule out wide receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams through injuries. Running back Austin Ekeler will likely continue to be their primary target in the passing game. Ekeler ranks third in the NFL with 60 receptions.

RELATED: Five 49ers to watch as Deebo rejoins a potentially powerful offense against Chargers

The Chargers have relied more on the short passing game since Herbert sustained a fractured rib cartilage in Week 2.

“If your running back leads at receptions, it means they’re throwing it fast with short passes and short throws,” Omenihu said. “They did a good job of getting the ball out of (Herbert’s) hands and not letting it hit.

“He has a known injury right now so it wouldn’t be wise for them to keep him on the ball for too long.”

Download and follow the 49ers Talk Podcast

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button