Week 1 for the San Francisco 49ers is just 10 days away, but who suits up against the Arizona Cardinals is still in flux.
#49ers not participating in early portion of practice open to media:
Nick Bosa, Dee Ford, Fred Warner, Ben Garland, Brandon Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel, Kyle Juszczyk, Dre Greenlaw, Dion Jordan. Jordan is new addition to that group.
— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) September 2, 2020
Star pass rushers Nick Bosa and Dee Ford have missed several practices with leg injuries.
First-round pick Brandon Aiyuk, All-Pro tight end George Kittle, and fullback Kyle Juszczyk are all dealing with minor hamstring strains.
Rookie standout Dre Greenlaw entered the concussion protocol just a few days ago and has no timetable to return.
Offensive lineman Ben Garland sprained his ankle and appeared to be in the most danger of missing the start of the regular season.
Newcomer Dion Jordan missed practice for undisclosed reasons.
Furthermore, linebacker Fred Warner recently landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and may not be available by next Sunday.
Injuries are inevitable, but it just so happens that some of the Niners’ marquee names have popped up on the report.
Fingers Crossed for Shanahan
However, head coach Kyle Shanahan was optimistic that most of his guys would be ready to go by Week 1.
Of the group, he singled out Ford and Bosa as the most likely to be available for the season opener.
“They’re not coming back today, but no, I’m not concerned. I’d be very surprised if they’re not ready to go for Week 1.”
Shanahan also hoped to have Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel on the field shortly but was satisfied with the work put forth by their fellow wide receivers.
“We’re counting on those guys to be out there, but what’s been good is the opportunities they’ve opened up for everyone else. We’ve had some other guys step it up,” he said at Wednesday’s media session. Regardless of who we have up next week, I feel we’re going to have guys going in there who know what to do, and guys who give us a chance to win.”
Samuel suffered a Jones fracture more than 11 weeks ago but has shown promising signs of a return.
The #49ers are hopeful they’ll get WR Deebo Samuel back to practice next week, Kyle Shanahan said earlier today. Also sounds as if WR/KR Richie James should be cleared in advance of Week 1 as well, which is ahead of the expected timeframe for him.
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) September 2, 2020
Perhaps this abbreviated offseason is to blame for all these injuries, but the 49ers do not appear to be in serious trouble.
In response to all these dings and dents, the 49ers signed a couple of players for extra insurance.
The team added wide receiver River Cracraft, tight end MarQuies Gray, and offensive lineman Dakoda Shepley on one-year deals.
The most notable addition was wide receiver Kevin White, the number seven pick of the 2015 draft.
The 49ers have signed former Bears WR Kevin White. He’s back.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) August 27, 2020
A combination of height (6’3″) and speed (4.35 40 yard dash) made White a coveted prospect.
However, a multitude of injuries in his time with the Chicago Bears ruined his once-promising career.
Though he is no guarantee to make the team, the 49ers need all the help they can get at the position.
Rumor Mill Churning
Injuries at wide receiver have also led to speculations of the team adding veteran Mohamed Sanu.
The New England Patriots cut him after he played just nine games.
They acquired him from Atlanta for a second-round pick midway through last season, but he did not perform as expected.
Source: The #Patriots are releasing veteran WR Mohamed Sanu. A surprise.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 2, 2020
He appears to be a natural fit with the 49ers because of his familiarity with Shanahan.
In the one season Sanu played for Shanahan in 2016, he posted 59 catches for 653 yards.
However, his skill set matches the profile of many other receivers on this team.
He is a solid yet unspectacular player, and would not be a major improvement over the current roster.NEXT: Should The 49ers Try To Reunite The Legion Of Boom?