The San Francisco 49ers will be without a major component to their offense in 2018 as they travel to take on the Houston Texans in Week 2 of NFL Preseason action.
The game is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. ET. If you don’t have cable or can’t get to a TV, here’s a rundown of all your live stream options, which vary depending on if the game is televised in your market or not:
If The Game is Televised in Your Market
First, check to see what local channel the game is on in your area–it will be either ABC, CBS, CW, Fox or NBC. Then, if you sign up for one of the following cable-free, live-TV streaming services, you’ll be able to watch a live stream of one, some, or all of those channels, depending on the service.
For example, for fans in San Francisco or Sacramento, where the game is on CBS, Amazon Prime is the best option. But if you’re in Houston or Austin, where the game is on ABC, Hulu with Live TV is your best option.
Here’s a rundown of all the streaming services, what they include, and how to sign up and watch:
(Note that local channels are available live in select markets)
Local channels included: CBS
If you have Amazon Prime or want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all CBS content (both live and on-demand) via the CBS Amazon Channel, which also comes with a 7-day free trial.
Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the CBS channel, you can then watch a live stream of your local CBS channel on your computer via the Amazon website, or you can watch on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Local channels included: ABC, CBS, CW, Fox, NBC
In addition to its massive Netflix-like library of on-demand movies and TV shows, Hulu also offers a bundle of 50-plus live TV channels, which includes ABC, CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. You can sign up for “Hulu with Live TV” right here, and you can then watch a live stream of any of those channels on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Hulu app.
If you can’t watch the game live, “Hulu with Live TV” also comes with 50 hours of Cloud DVR storage (with the ability to upgrade to “Enhanced Cloud DVR,” which gives you 200 hours of DVR space and the ability to fast forward through commercials).
Local channels included: CBS, CW, Fox, NBC
A streaming service that is largely tailored towards sports fans, FuboTV includes CBS, CW, Fox and NBC. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial right here, and you can then watch a live stream of those channels on your computer via the FuboTV website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the FuboTV app.
If you can’t watch the game live, FuboTV also comes with 30 hours of Cloud DVR (with the ability to upgrade to 500 hours), as well as a “72-Hour Lookback” feature, which allows you to watch games and shows up to three days after they air even if you forgot to record them. The main FuboTV channel package also comes with NFL Network, which will air a replay of every preseason game.
Local channels included: Fox, NBC
Fox and NBC are both included in the “Sling Blue” channel package. You can sign up for a free 7-day trial, and you can then watch a live stream of either channel on your computer via the Sling website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the Sling TV app.
If you can’t watch live, you can get 50 hours of cloud DVR storage as an additional add-on. “Sling Blue” also comes with the NFL Network, which will air a replay of every preseason game, so you can also watch that way if you miss it live.
If The Game is Not Televised in Your Market
You can watch every out-of-market preseason NFL game online via NFL Game Pass, which costs $99.99 for the season (or four installments of $29.99). Once signed up, you can watch games on your computer via the Game Pass website, or on your phone, tablet or streaming device via the NFL app.
Offseason acquisition Jerick McKinnon, who is being relied on to be a lead back for the first time in his career, is set to miss the remainder of preseason with a knee injury and not be in the fold for the 49ers until Week 1 of the regular season. After McKinnon was initially diagnosed as a muscle strain, the team has decided it is safer to hold him out until September.
In response, San Francisco went out and signed veteran Alfred Morris this week, who will compete with 2017 draft selections Joe Williams and Jeremy McNichols for snaps this week.
Both teams held a joint practice Thursday, and 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan commented on how his team looks heading into Saturday:
The Texans continue to chant the same mantra: “get healthy for 2018.”
Deshaun Watson saw the field last week in limited action, only throwing one pass which resulted in a four-yard gain. The organization remains cautious with Watson as he looks to be ready sooner than later coming off a torn ACL last season.
The health of Houston’s defense is also a major storyline. Defensive end J.J. Watt appears to look good during training camp, and the former Defensive Player of the Year needs to remain healthy in 2018.
Houston’s other priced defensive front seven player, Jadeveon Clowney, continues to impress as he prepares to enter the final year of his contract. Clowney had a strong showing in joint practice Thursday.
Thus far, the two sides have not reached an agreement on a contract extension, and he is a candidate for the franchise tag should a deal not be reached during the regular season.