Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone.
Kyle Shanahan: It’s exciting Josh Rosen chose to join the 49ers
“And to also know that we got a guy in here who did get drafted in the first round, who’s got some ability with his arm, it was exciting,” Shanahan said, via Dalton Johnson of NBCSportsBayArea.com. “We were going to get someone, and we need that body. And to get someone with his ability was pretty cool.”
“The way I’m looking at it is the way I just told you in terms of we needed to bring [in] a guy. For it to be a guy who was a first-round pick just [two years ago], that’s a bonus,” Shanahan said. “So, I’m excited to have a guy in here with that ability that we are going to look at.”
Rosen will at least be in familiar confines if he has to play, as the 49ers will take on the Cardinals in Arizona in Week 16.
Brandon Aiyuk within striking distance of prestigious 49ers rookie record held by Jerry Rice
Aiyuk is closing in on Jerry Rice’s franchise record for receiving yards in a rookie season, needing 195 yards over his final two games to surpass Rice (who set the mark in 1985 with 927 yards). Aiyuk is averaging 66.6 yards per game, so he won’t catch Rice at his current pace. If Aiyuk had been able to play all 14 games, he would have surpassed Rice by now in all likelihood.
Aiyuk still has an opportunity to pass Rice and set the mark, but he has his own goals to achieve. The mindset Aiyuk has toward the game is certainly reminiscent of the greatest wide receiver ever.
“Going into a game, my mindset is that I’m going to have 200 yards — and then go from there,” Aiyuk said to reporters Wednesday. “The mindset is not to worry about that record, but to have the perfect game, which I have yet to do.
San Francisco 49ers TE George Kittle (foot) to come off injured reserve
“He’s probably one of the healthiest guys we have right now,” Shanahan said. “He had two good weeks of practice, feels great after it. We wouldn’t put him out there at all if there was any risk of re-injuring this or he wasn’t healed. But we’ve got a lot of guys going out there and everyone has got stuff on the line every time they step out. Whether you have two games left and you’re not in the playoffs or whether it’s the first game of the year, that’s what these guys do. If they’re healthy enough to do it, that’s what you do on our team.”
TALKIN’ ABOUT PRACTICE
Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins has taken some criticism in Arizona media circles for his lack of time on the practice field. But it’s hard to argue with his game production: He leads the NFL with 1,324 yards receiving and was recently selected to his sixth Pro Bowl.
Hopkins good-naturedly called out some of those critics earlier in the week. He said he doesn’t listen too much to local media but that his grandfather informs him of some of the highlights.
“Tell those people who say I don’t practice to come watch me play the game,” Hopkins said with a grin.
5 Players to Watch in the 49ers’ Week 16 Matchup with Arizona
Patrick Peterson, Cornerback, Arizona Cardinals
Longtime shutdown corner Patrick Peterson has had a rough 2020. Outside of a nice performance against D.K. Metcalf Week 7, he’s been burned a lot.
Pro Football Reference credits Peterson, a free agent after the season, with 51 completions, 651 yards and five touchdowns.
His 2020 won’t get any easier as he will likely man San Francisco rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk, who is on a hot streak.
Aiyuk has either caught a touchdown, or had 100 receiving yards in each of his last seven games. In that span, he has 47 catches for 580 yards and five touchdowns.
Although Peterson is not the lockdown corner he once was, he is still very experienced, and offers an intriguing and favorable matchup for Aiyuk.