The San Francisco 49ers and Los Angeles Rams have the dubious honor of being the only two teams in the league who have made their healthy 2016 first-round picks inactive for Week 1. As pointed out by Field Yates of ESPN, Rams quarterback Jared Goff and 49ers guard Joshua Garnett are the only two rookie first-round picks who are healthy scratches in Week 1.
It’s worth noting that the 49ers did have two picks in the first round, and that defensive end DeForest Buckner, their top pick, is active so they have that going for them.
Goff being inactive is certainly a bigger deal than Garnett. The Rams traded up to the first overall pick for the right to draft Goff, but reports indicated he is coming along slower than the Rams hoped. Goff doesn’t have a complete grasp of the offense and as a result, he’s inactive on Monday. Case Keenum is the starter and Sean Mannion is the backup.
Punter Johnny Hekker will serve as the emergency third quarterback, and Goff is in street clothes.
The 49ers also traded up to draft Garnett. The 49ers like what they have seen from Garnett, but he missed valuable training camp time while finishing school at Stanford. Garnett figured to overtake Zane Beadles for the starting job at left guard at some point this season, but he’s inactive for Week 1. The 49ers have focused on Garnett playing on the left side, and it wouldn’t be accurate to say he was beaten by Andrew Tiller at the right guard spot.
Still, it’s worth noting that both players were acquired via trade-up, and both considered cant-miss players by their teams. But in the second Monday Night Football match in Week 1, neither player will be playing under the bright lights.