Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon are rehabbing a pair of knee injuries suffered early in the 2018 season. While their progress has been promising, one may assume San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan is going to treat those two with kid gloves and not let them on the field in meaningless preseason games.
Of course he isn’t.
Shanahan was on Adam Schefter’s podcast to talk about the draft, the 49ers, and other NFL business. Of course the question on Garoppolo/McKinnon came up, but Shanahan isn’t afraid to put them on the field.
If their bodies can, I think that’s a good thing for them. They want to test it out and I feel that’s more of a mental thing. If your body can take it, the doctors say it and they feel comfortable with it, I think it’s good to go out in a real gameday situation and get that confidence, because we’re not going to let someone tackle them in practice. And so a lot of times guys want to go out and get tackled just so they can get that mental breakthrough so when they go into Week 1, they’re not thinking about it.
While putting them on the field in preseason opens them up to another injury, if they’re healthy, get them out there. One of the bigger factors in Garoppolo/McKinnon’s knee injury is the mental side of things and getting them on the field and blasted by a defender could be the best thing that happens to them, provided they get up without further injury.
It’s doubtful Shanahan gives those two a full game to play or anything insane with playing time, but it will be nice to at least see the bubble wrap off Garoppolo and McKinnon when preseason games roll around and not be seeing them on the sidelines in street clothes.