Photo credit: 49ers – Terrell Lloyd
The 49ers have quite a few injuries. Most training camp practices, with a roster slimmed down to 80 (and practically 77, with three players on the PUP list) from the 90 in the past, due to new coronavirus rules, have seen more injuries.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan changed Thursday’s practice to a walkthrough in order to prevent more injuries from happening, and provided updates on a number of players:
- George Kittle, who participated at the start of 11-on-11s, went to do individual work on the sideline halfway through Wednesday’s session. Shanahan said his hamstring was tight, and “checked out alright,” but was removed “before something bad happened.”
- Kyle Juszczyk suffered a hamstring strain and is now week-to-week.
- Ross Dwelley has a foot issue, which, due to the severe initial pain he was in, caused the 49ers a significant amount of concern. Shanahan said he’s “improving pretty rapidly right now” and that he’s day-to-day but is unlikely to practice on Friday, when the team moves into Levi’s Stadium.
- Marcell Harris rolled an ankle and missed practice on Friday, but will likely practice Friday.
- Ross Reynolds, who was carted off the field August 23, did not suffer a season-ending injury as it initially appeared. Shanahan said he suffered a bone bruise. “He’s gonna be able to recover from it,” Shanahan said. There’s no timeline for his return.
Here’s a roundup of the team’s injury situation, broken up by current status:
- Ross Reynolds (bone bruise)
Expected to be active Friday:
- George Kittle (hamstring tightness), Marcell Harris (ankle), Richard Sherman (ankle)
- Ross Dwelley (foot), Dee Ford (calf)
- Kyle Juszczyk (hamstring strain), Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring strain), Nick Bosa (muscle strain in leg)
Hope for return in Week 1:
- Ben Garland (ankle), Ronald Blair III (recovery from ACL tear), Richie James Jr. (wrist fracture), Deebo Samuel (Jones fracture)
Expected to be out for at least first six weeks (headed to injured reserve):
- Weston Richburg (recovery from torn patellar tendon), Jullian Taylor (recovery from ACL tear)
- Jalen Hurd (torn ACL), Chris Thompson (undisclosed)
Shanahan said the team has learned on the fly just how difficult it would be to navigate a training camp with 10 fewer players and without preseason games. Because of those lesser numbers, when injuries pile up, players are required to take more snaps, resulting in a “chain reaction” causing further injuries.
It’s safe to say he’d be happy to have a couple preseason games back if it meant expanded rosters and a longer camp. He commended his players for one of their best practices on Thursday despite the growing number of injuries. He was concerned the trend of injuries would continue if they practiced in full on Thursday.
“All of a sudden you’re trying to run a training camp with about 62 players and when you do a training camp practice with 62 players, ones, twos and threes, that’s not going to last,” Shanahan said. “They had a great practice yesterday. They went hard, as hard as they could go and when the guys do that even when they don’t have much left, I think it’s my responsibility to shut them down a little bit, protect them from themselves. So I was really worried if we would have done the same thing today, we could have lost six more people.”
The team signed two wide receivers on Thursday, waiving wide receiver Jaron Brown and waiving/injured list defensive end Jonathon Kongbo in order to sign former No. 7 overall pick Kevin White and River Cracraft, adding depth to a sparsely-filled receiving unit.