49ers Notebook: Injuries, the QB situation and Florida Governor offering max capacity at football games

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As an outbreak of COVID-19 cases takes hold around the NFL and seems to have the season on the brink, the 49ers continue on, with Fred Warner their only scare thus far. The team has other issues causing headaches aside from the global pandemic. Among them are questions over whether their starting quarterback and running back will be available this week.

Injury report

Head coach Kyle Shanahan provided updates on the following players today:

Heading to Injured Reserve

  • Ziggy Ansah (torn bicep, out for year)
  • K’Waun Williams (knee sprain, out at least until Week 8)

OUT of practice:

  • Dontae Johnson (groin)
  • Emmanuel Moseley (concussion)
  • Jimmie Ward (wrist)

Limited in practice

  • Jimmy Garoppolo (high ankle sprain)
  • Dre Greenlaw (quad)
  • Raheem Mostert (MCL sprain)
  • Dante Pettis (knee soreness)
  • Trent Taylor (undisclosed)
  • Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring)

Shanahan’s injury notes:

  • On Jimmie Ward’s wrist: “We weren’t concerned at all just because it was just sore. I mean, that’s why we didn’t talk about it but today it was sorer and the fact that it was getting a little worse and not better, we’re gonna do some tests on it and I’m pretty optimistic about it. we’re doing this more for precautionary reasons right now. But he is going to be held out of practice today so we’ll see.”
  • Deebo Samuel said his foot was sore coming out Sunday’s game, but that seems to have be expected. Shanahan said he’ll continue to be evaluated and likely ramped up:

“Obviously we want to get him to get out there more but with a guy who hurt his foot back in the summer and hadn’t been out there running enough, had to wait for a long time to do that,” Shanahan said. “Then we had him shut down for a little bit a few weeks ago, and it just wasn’t smart to put them out there a ton, but he looked so great in practice, I mean he looked a hundred percent. We went into the game with a plan to go 20 to 30 plays and somehow Wes hit miraculously 25 on the dot, so he was pretty accurate with it. We’d love to get more, but we got to be smart with that and see how this week goes with him.”

Quarterback situation

It’s not immediately clear if Jimmy Garoppolo will play on Sunday, but his presence in practice on Wednesday for the first time since he sustained the high ankle sprain, and it seems realistic that he could play this weekend.

Shanahan expressed increased, but cautious optimism about Garoppolo.

“Well, the fact he’s coming out today and getting a little more reps, it has [given me more optimism],” Shanahan said. “I haven’t seen him yet. He did a good job in walkthroughs and we’ll see how he goes, if we’re going to throw him in there today. That’ll give me more of an opinion at least.”

As far as the backup, or potential starter if Garoppolo can’t go, Shanahan said he’s made a decision. It’s definitely C.J. Beathard or Nick Mullens. One of those two guys, for sure. He declined to specify which one is the No. 2.

“Yes I have [decided], but I’m going to hold that just because there is a difference between them and if Jimmy can’t go,” Shanahan said. “I’d like Miami to find that out on Sunday. But I have decided.”

65,000 fans at Dolphins games? Not quite

It was reported by Andy Slater, a Fox Sports radio host, and later confirmed by other reporters and the Miami Dolphins, that Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, gave the clearance for Florida stadiums to go to full capacity. This would allow the Dolphins’ Hard Rock Stadium to go from the current maximum of 13,000 fans (still a mind-boggling figure) to a full-capacity 65,000 number.

The Dolphins are declining to increase their capacity.  The team’s Vice Chairman and CEO Tom Garfinkel said, “We’ll continue to follow CDC guidelines and put everyone’s safety first and monitor things as we go. Right now with positivity rates where they are, we feel that we can keep people safe in a socially distanced environment, which is our 13,000 capacity manifest.”

According to a source, this was not something the Dolphins requested and the governor’s office did not consult the organization.

Miami-Dade County currently has the highest proportion of COVID-19 cases in the state and has registered more than 173,000 positive tests in total. The state of Florida has had the third-most COVID-related cases at more than 722,000 and third-most new cases per day at 2,251.

Another important note here. The Super Bowl is scheduled to be held in Tampa, Florida in February.

DeSantis has suffered a colossal drop in popularity from his first year in office, attributed to political division and his mishandling of the COVID-19 pandemic. But if he can host the Super Bowl in his state, with full capacity? Maybe he sees that as a win.

Other roster notes:

  • The 49ers promoted defensive end Alex Barrett to the active roster and opened the practice window for Richie James Jr., who remains on injured reserve, but will likely be elevated to the active roster this week. He’s the team’s preferred kick returner, and they had six return yards, and just two returns on 10 attempts last week. His impending activation is the reason Mohamed Sanu was cut.
  • Tim Harris Jr. was restored to the practice squad from the practice squad injured reserve
  • Defensive lineman Josiah Coatney and Adam Shuler were signed to the practice squad. You can read about Coatney here in KNBR’s defensive interior draft preview.
  • DeMarkus Acy, who was on the team’s roster in training camp, was signed to the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad.
 

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