If you’re wondering how the San Francisco 49ers season has gone, starting right guard Tom Compton, who some weren’t sure would make the roster to start the season, suffered a concussion during Thursday’s walkthrough practice. Here is Shanahan discussing Compton’s injury and the challenge of coaching through the protocols this season:
Did Tom Compton suffer an injury in practice?
“Yeah, it was unfortunate because it was walkthrough and ended up getting a concussion. We didn’t notice it out at practice or anything because we were going at half speed, but he reported it after. That’s why we didn’t get it to you guys yesterday, but found that out yesterday after.”
Colton McKivitz will make his first career start against Aaron Donald and a Rams defensive line that does not give up yards at the second level or allow running backs much of anything in the open field. As a defense, the Rams are second in adjusted sack rate. McKivitz won’t have to worry about too many blitzes, as Los Angeles brings five or more at a below-average rate, but that means the fifth-round rookie must win his 1-on-1’s.
How difficult has this week been, just in terms of trying to get through practice and managing all of the meetings and all of the protocols that you’re in right now?
“It’s been a challenge. The meetings have been the easier part. I think everyone in the league is getting used to Zooming. We got to do it a lot in the off season, so that just added some travel time and a few more minutes in the day, but that wasn’t bad at all. Just the challenges of being off a week, which everyone has on a bye week. That’s why you usually do a few things, but we weren’t able to because of the COVID stuff. The biggest challenge was coming back, having a week off and knowing how much work we had to get to get crisp and really only getting in on Wednesday.
So yesterday finding out, losing those three players, about 15 minutes before practice started kind of made us scramble a little bit. So, guys wanted to get work in, but we had to be smart. We were just too low on guys and if we would have gone full speed, it would have really hurt a certain group of players. So, we had a walkthrough for everyone, just to get us through it. We were able to have one full speed period a day of seven on seven. So, that’s been the challenge. I think you can look at it as we needed some rest, so it makes you a little bit fresher and stuff, but you never want to get too much rest either. So, it’s a fine line. We’re just trying to balance out, back and forth with it.”
I asked Shanahan what the mood has been like in the locker room as the team has battled injuries and had to deal with COVID. As Kyle said above, it’s been a challenge to field practice.
Shanahan said the mood has been “different” and “a little unusual.” He said the team couldn’t go anywhere as you have to get tested each day. Here is his exact quote:
“So, I think the mood was kind of, it was tough for the players wanting to work out places and do things, which was very tough. I keep saying maybe it’ll work for us because we did need some rest. We’re all excited to get back in here and get together, but we’re not in here. So, we’re all meeting on Zoom calls and stuff, which has been fun. We all get on there and mess with each other for about 10 minutes, almost, before we start a meeting. So, you can tell guys miss hanging out with each other and stuff.
Once we got out to the field for walkthrough, guys were eager to get out there, but we have had a week off. Everyone’s got some cobwebs from that, coaches included. When you’re not together and talking ball and doing it each day, you need some time to get it back. That’s what today’s about. Just had a decent walkthrough and plan on going out there and working again and just making sure we’re ready to go by Sunday.”
It’s been a bizarre season for the NFL and everyone involved. We haven’t mentioned how it’s throwing off the players’ routine, schedules, and everyday interactions. The team that avoids the most injuries in most seasons are the ones who prevail at the end. This season is different when you add COVID-19 into the equation. The 49ers haven’t avoided either, and it’s reflected in their record.