The San Francisco 49ers defeated the Denver Broncos, 21-20, on Saturday night in a preseason game marred by a massive brawl between fans in the stands.
Entering the game, Broncos first-year head coach Sean Payton said offensive starters, including quarterback Russell Wilson, would play between 20 to 24 snaps. That held true for most of the staters, except for Wilson.
Russell only got one series with the starters, a 13-play drive that resulted in a field goal. Backup quarterback Jarrett Stidham replaced Wilson on the ensuing drive.
Wilson’s performance had nothing to do with the benching. He completed three of his six pass attempts for 24 yards. He also logged three rushes for 25 yards. Another long run got called back after a holding penalty on wide receiver Courtland Sutton.
After the game, Payton explained why he pulled his veteran quarterback.
“It was part of the plan going in. To play him 15 (plays) or so. And then get Stidham some work with the first group before we made the overall change,” Payton said, according to Will Petersen of DenverSports.com. Payton apparently had forgotten about his previous pledge to play Wilson between 20 and 24 snaps.
The Broncos will hold joint practices with the Los Angeles Rams this week before both teams’ final preseason game on Saturday. Payton has yet to comment on if Wilson will start that game or if they’ll sideline him to ensure his health when their regular season starts on Sept. 10th against the Las Vegas Raiders.