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What to watch for as the 49ers report for their offseason workout program

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The San Francisco 49ers report to their offseason workout program on Monday, which means we begin the process of answering all sorts of roster questions. The offseason workout program is less about getting answers and more about figuring out the questions still to be asked. And so, it’s time to figure out what we know and what we don’t yet know heading into the program.

Reuben Foster

Well, we have our answer to one question. The second-year linebacker will not take part in team activities pending the outcome of his legal process. What we do not yet know is what kind of work the 49ers will do with him to provide him the so-called structure we regularly hear he needs to avoid trouble.

Holdouts

There is no official word, but according to Cam Inman, there are no “surprise holdouts” on the first day of the offseason program. The 49ers have a host of players either due to hit free agency next year, or otherwise potentially in line for a new contract. For now, everybody seems to be on the same page.

Anybody out of shape?

The first two weeks of the offseason workout program is strength and conditioning work. Most players have been working out in some form or fashion on their own the past three months, but who will be out of shape when things get going? There’s bound to be at least a handful of players who are not quite where they need to be. Football shape is different than being in good shape, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there were at least some players in not so good shape. Trent Brown is always a big question in this regard, although that brings us too...

Injuries

Players are going through physicals, which is where we’ll start to get more answers on the injury front. We know that Richard Sherman will not be taking part in on-field work until probably training camp. He is rehabbing his Achilles injury, and while he might be ready by minicamp, I’m guessing the team will hold off rolling him out.

The other injury questions cover the players who finished the year on injured reserve, or otherwise had offseason surgeries. For example, Brock Coyle played out the season, but then had surgery on a torn labrum that likely will keep him off the field for most if not all of the offseason workout program.

Some of the players on this list have been medically cleared already, including Erik Magnuson. We know Joshua Garnett was on IR mostly to re-shape his body, with the injury something that would be fine by the end of last season. Other players like Trent Brown are unlikely to participate in the early part of the workout program. For the rest, we’ll find out as players hit the field.

RB Raheem Mostert
RB Joe Williams
WR Pierre Garçon
WR Aaron Burbridge
WR Victor Bolden
TE Cole Hikutini
OT Trent Brown
OT Garry Gilliam
OG Joshua Garnett
OG Erik Magnuson
DL Arik Armstead
LB Malcolm Smith
LB Jimmie Gilbert
LB Donavin Newsom
S Jaquiski Tartt
S Chanceller James
DB Jimmie Ward

Expectations

There’s not even really a question here at this point. It’s more about how the players and coaches are approaching this program. A year ago, people were excited about the new coaching staff, but expectations for the season were still relatively low. A year later, expectations are sky high following Jimmy Garoppolo’s wild finish to the 2017 season. The team won five straight to close out the season, and oddsmakers are expecting sizable Super Bowl futures bets on them.

This year’s program will be about getting ready for the coming season, but part of that preparation is making sure heads aren’t getting too big. A 6-10 team does not always have a lot to crow about going into a new season, but given how last season ended, there is plenty of reason to be excited for 2018. The question is how the team approaches things in these early days of the program. I don’t have a specific question exactly, but it will be interesting to see what Kyle Shanahan has to say about how people are responding after things get going this week.