The San Francisco 49ers have fired strength and conditioning coach Ray Wright. The news comes from NBC Bay Area’s Jennifer Lee Chan per her Twitter page.
Wright was hired as part of Kyle Shanahan’s coaching staff in February of 2017. The two have had extensive history with both Washington and the Houston Texans. The hire was part of a replenishment of the entire strength and coaching staff as a result of the 49ers’ firing of Chip Kelly.
The 49ers dealt with an obscene amount of injuries for 2018. Many them getting looks at the team’s conditioning in response. While the two ACL injuries suffered by Jerick McKinnon and Jimmy Garoppolo early in the season could have been a case of bad luck, strains, sprains, and frequent additions to injured reserve plagued the team all year long. The 49ers were playing backups of backups at some positions (safety comes to mind) and holding their breath that the remaining starters wouldn’t go down. The injury level in 2017 was also concerning with several players going down at a frequent pace.
There is no word on who the replacement will be. Matt Barrows suggested the next man up is assistant coach Dustin Perry. The 49ers don’t want to hit an injury riddled season so even if Perry is the guy, they may be looking at all angles to make sure they aren’t doing this again.
There weren’t any indications Wright’s job was in jeopardy. Shanahan and John Lynch did say they were going to look into the amount of injuries, but it didn’t go further than that. Here’s what they said in their press conference below:
Kyle Shanahan: “It’s been too big of a deal for two years. Injuries are pretty random, but it’s also affected us huge. So, that’s something that we definitely have to sit back and really look at it from all angles and put a lot of time into. Just try to find a better perspective at it.”
John Lynch: “There’s an old adage in football, I don’t know if it’s exclusive to football, but your best ability is availability. We haven’t had a lot of guys available and that’s something we’re looking into hard. It’s been ongoing. We’ll continue to do that because it’s something that needs to change and I don’t think anyone’s to blame. We have been studying it. We’ll continue to, and try to get a handle on that.”