Key questions need answers as 49ers face Vikings in preseason game 

click to enlarge Colt McCoy entered training camp as the Niners' No. 2 QB, but two unproductive preseason games resulted in more competition at the position. - PETER AIKEN/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO
  • Peter Aiken/Getty Images file photo
  • Colt McCoy entered training camp as the Niners' No. 2 QB, but two unproductive preseason games resulted in more competition at the position.

The real season is only two weeks away and the Red and Gold are still looking for answers at two key offensive positions.

Here's a quick breakdown on the backup quarterback and wide receiver races as Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings roll into Candlestick Park for the 49ers' third preseason game tonight:

The battle to back up Kap: Former Cleveland Brown Seneca Wallace signed with the 49ers on Thursday, another indication of how unstable the team's quarterback situation is beyond unquestioned starter Colin Kaepernick.

Wallace sat out the 2012 season after starting six games with the Browns in 2011. If he's asked to step in for Kaepernick at any point this season, the 49ers' Super Bowl aspirations will disappear faster than a JaMarcus Russell paycheck.

Unfortunately, coach Jim Harbaugh is left with few options at this point. In two games, Colt McCoy, whom the team traded for in the spring, and last year's third-stringer, Scott Tolzien, have yet to lead the offense on a touchdown drive in 19 possessions. McCoy, the assumed backup heading into camp, has thrown two interceptions while producing a 25.3 quarterback rating.

The one bright spot thus far has been the play of seventh-round pick B.J. Daniels, who orchestrated a 13-play, 90-yard touchdown drive in the waning minutes of last week's game against the Kansas City Chiefs.

"It was an encouraging performance," Harbaugh said of Daniels.

Daniels was 6-of-9 with a 128 rating and he might light a fire under the feet of McCoy and Tolzien if he continues to perform this week.

This is only a preseason game, but the 49ers really need to see someone step up and grab a hold of the understudy position this week.

The never-ending receiver hunt continues: After more than four weeks of camp, the only certainty at wide receiver is that Anquan Boldin will start and Marlon Moore will probably line up on the opposite side of the field.

A.J. Jenkins is gone and so is Richardo Lockette. Enter Jon Baldwin.

The Chiefs' 2011 first-round pick will make his debut wtih the 49ers tonight and Harbaugh is hoping that a change of scenery is all the former former college star at Pittsburgh needs to finally satisfy his potential.

Baldwin is loaded with raw talent at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds. He ran a 4.5-second 40-yard dash and registered a 42-inch vertical at the NFL combine in 2011.

If he can thrive under Boldin's mentorship, he could tide the 49ers over until Michael Crabtree returns later in the season.

Preseason game

49ers vs. Vikings

WHEN: Today, 5 p.m.

WHERE: Candlestick Park

TV: KNTV (Ch. 11)

RADIO: KSAN (107.7 FM)

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Paul Gackle

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