A depleted linebacking corps has provided Shayne Skov an opportunity.
The Stanford product played in a team-high 66 snaps during the team's first preseason game against Houston. With NaVorro Bowman held out, it was Skov who drew the start.
"[Shayne] ran the defense really well," defensive coordinator Eric Mangini said, via ESPN. "He's a very, very smart guy, does a great job with adjustments. Very rarely do you have to coach Shayne twice on the same mistake. He sees it, he understands what the coaching point is and, typically, it doesn't happen again."
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As of now, Skov is listed second on the depth chart behind Bowman. For a unit that lost key players in Patrick Willis and Chris Borland, and waived Aldon Smith during the offseason, the timing could be right come fall for him to play an extended role.
Skov has already been cut twice by the 49ers and once by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and understands what is at stake.
"I think I'll be battling until the day my career is over," Skov said, via ESPN. "You have to have that mentality, whether you're drafted or not, actually, in this league to stick around."