The good news for the San Francisco 49ers is that they’ll have Richard Sherman, Deebo Samuel, and Raheem Mostert on the field Sunday, and perhaps a few other key contributors. The bad news is the Niners could be without both Brandon Aiyuk and Trent Williams for the second time in four games.
“In Jimmy’s first full season healthy as a starter, he took us to the damn Super Bowl,” McGlinchey said Wednesday. “... Jimmy’s a winner and he’s a leader on our football team, and nobody pays attention to that stuff because we know what we have in No. 10, and he hopefully will not go anywhere for a long time.
“I think that’s the same message that anybody on our team will say, and you can talk to anybody in our organization, and they know the trust and faith that we have in No. 10, and the kind of man and kind of player he is.”
Coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch both have put their public support behind Jimmy G this season through this tough season, but Lynch also has sent scouts to get in-person looks at some of the nation’s top collegiate quarterbacks in the upcoming draft class. The 49ers’ flirtation with free agent Tom Brady this offseason also made many question whether Garoppolo indeed is viewed as the future of the franchise.
The Rams are on a short, jumbled week of preparation after not getting home from their win over Tampa Bay until Tuesday morning. They also canceled practice Friday and held their team meetings virtually after two members of the organization received COVID-19 test results that required further testing.
Los Angeles has largely avoided major injury problems in McVay’s tenure, but three key players are sidelined Sunday: left tackle Andrew Whitworth, leading tackler Micah Kiser, and starting safety Taylor Rapp.
Joe Noteboom filled in solidly for Whitworth last week despite minimal NFL experience at the position, but the Niners will attempt to test him. Kiser likely will be replaced by Troy Reeder as LA’s middle linebacker, but the middle level of the defense already was its weakest spot.
Verrett’s Pro Football Focus grade of 78.3 ranks as the fifth-highest among cornerbacks with over 300 snaps. He was among three 49ers players named to the analytics site’s 2020 Midseason All-Pro Team.
“Jason Verrett is one of the comeback stories of the season,” wrote Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus. “He had played just four snaps on defense since the beginning of the 2018 season, and 327 since the start of 2016, but he has surpassed that total this year alone while establishing himself as one of the best cover guys in the league.”
Kaepernick’s crime is apparently worse in the eyes of NFL owners than beating up elderly men, repeat DUIs, making bomb threats at airports, domestic violence, running illegal dog fighting rings and illegal firearm possession.
Kaepernick’s “crime” is that he spoke out against systemic racism, police brutality and a corrupt criminal justice system.
People say he’s been out of the league too long now, but Miller and Smith were out longer. Others say he’ll be a media distraction, but Antonio Brown got a job in 2020 after the most bizarre offseason in NFL history. They say Kaepernick will rip apart a locker room and alienate teammates, but he was given the Len Eshmont award, in 2016 after a vote by teammates. Some insist Kaepernick isn’t talented enough to be in the NFL, which is laughable considering Ben DiNucci, Brett Rypien, Ryan Finley, Matt Barkley, Chase Daniel and Mason Rudolph have all thrown passes this year.
The 49ers should bring Sherman along slowly and use him only sparingly. That means in obvious passing situations. His calf injury put him on the shelf for a significant amount of time. The 49ers won’t admit it or Sherman, but that calf injury is the same leg he suffered a torn Achilles. There has to be something to that because a calf injury doesn’t just keep a player out for this long.
Kyle Shanahan himself knows that as he is being careful with how they handle Sherman’s return.
“If Sherm’s back there and back to himself fully a hundred percent, we’ll get him out there fully,” said Shanahan at his presser on Wednesday. “I’m glad we got him in a week before the break we had here, just so we could get him acclimated a little bit. Didn’t get to see him at all on the week off, so we’re going to get out here in a little bit in the next hour and practice, and we’ll see how this week goes.