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Golden Nuggets: The 49ers have had 30 players land on the IR through 16 weeks

Your daily San Francisco 49ers links for Thursday, December 31, 2020

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San Francisco 49ers v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Happy New Year's Eve. It’ll be a slow couple of days as Jas and myself are taking the holiday off. Get away from football and enjoy life.

Status quo or one-year reboot? Kyle Shanahan’s answers reveal how 49ers see 2021

The 49ers offense is built around its run game. Last season, for example, the Ravens, 49ers and Vikings were the only teams with more rushing attempts than passes. That ratio has flipped for the 49ers this season, one in which they have consistently hurt themselves with turnovers, forcing them to play from behind.

Still, they’ve had more runs than passes in four of their six wins this season. The exceptions: A Week 3 win over the Giants in which the run-pass ratio was 35-36 and a Week 12 victory against the Rams in which it was 33-35.

There’s a similar dynamic with Garoppolo. He’s not a prolific runner or downfield thrower in the mold of Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes, Buffalo’s Josh Allen and Arizona’s Kyler Murray.

His strengths are a quick delivery and accuracy, especially on short and intermediate routes in the middle of the field. Garoppolo’s 67.1 completion percentage this season ranks 12th among quarterbacks with 100 or more passing attempts.

49ers’ Shanahan regrets giving Seahawks chance to claim Reed

“D.J. made us sick to lose,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan told the Seattle-area media on Wednesday.

Reed made his debut for the Seahawks in Week 8 against the 49ers. He made an immediate impact with an interception of Jimmy Garoppolo to contribute to the Seahawks’ 37-27 victory.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll knew of Reed from the three times he played for the 49ers against Seattle. General manager John Schneider was well aware of Reed from the 2018 NFL Draft. The 49ers selected Reed in the fifth round with the No. 142 overall pick.

“John thought we really had something special in the kid, and recognized there was an opportunity to claim him, and so we went for him,” Carroll said.

Injuries, ominous skies and relocation: 49ers’ nightmare season finally comes to close - San Francisco 49ers Blog- ESPN

Through training camp and the first 16 weeks, the 49ers have had 30 players land on injured reserve. It hasn’t just been the amount of injuries that’s thrown the Niners’ season for a loop, either. It’s the number of foundational players who have missed time.

Of the 10 49ers with the highest salary cap figures, seven have spent time on injured reserve. During the most devastating stretch, the Niners had more than $80 million in salary cap space on IR.

Even now, there are 17 players on injured reserve accounting for nearly $68 million in cap space. That doesn’t include starting center Weston Richburg and key backup defensive lineman Ronald Blair III, both of whom spent the entire year on the physically unable to perform list.

“It’s tough because you start the season your goal is to make the playoffs and make noise,” cornerback Richard Sherman said. “We had high expectations this year but the way the year has gone, it’s really been difficult. It’s been injury after injury. ... All you can do is keep fighting.”

SF 49ers make mistake by retaining Robbie Gould

There are a lot of other things at play here, yes. Inconsistent special-teams batteries in 2019 marked a bad season, at least over the first half. Similar long-snapping challenges hurt San Francisco for parts of 2020, too.

But that kind of money, especially for an SF 49ers team already having over $156 million committed to player salaries in 2021 is an awfully big question mark.

Especially considering the mean salaries for kickers hover between $1 million and $2 million annually.

Instead, it would have been wiser for the Niners to decline Gould’s options for the next two seasons and get both younger and cheaper at the position, which is what cap-pressed teams do to save money for other areas of need.

The only hope now is this latest move won’t come back to haunt San Francisco.

Why the 49ers Have to Pick up Mike McGlinchey’s Fifth-Year Option

For as much slack, criticism, and slander that he has received all season from me, McGlinchey is not a terrible player. I just emphasize his regression because he was supposed to be one of the bright lights on the offense, especially since he’s the “heir apparent” to Joe Staley.

Right now, he is the 49ers’ best option at right tackle. Do they need him to improve his performance? Of course. That is where they will hope the offseason will help him out, especially with his weight, which you can argue is his biggest fault as to why he is struggling this season.

And despite struggling mightily this season, McGlinchey is still not a top concern for the 49ers. That is why picking up his option is the right call. By doing so, they can continue to focus on their real concerns like quarterback, edge rusher, and interior offensive line. Before Weston Richburg sustained a season ending injury in 2019, the 49ers’ offensive line was stout. They were about as consistent as you could get.