San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan was on KNBR on the Murph and Mac show Friday morning discussing some of the injuries at wide receiver. He said newly signed J.J. Nelson has “come in and done a real good job. He’s been banged up the last two days. We just got some injury stuff on him yesterday, so he’s probably going to be out here for the next month, so you lose another.”
Shanahan didn’t reveal what Nelson’s injury was, but The Athletic’s Matt Barrows called it a knee injury, so signing two receivers on Thursday now makes sense. Someone asked me, “what do they make the receivers do up there?” I wish I had an answer, but these injuries are racking up in a way where even the most pessimistic fan couldn’t predict. The 49ers have been practicing without Deebo Samuel, Richie James, Brandon Aiyuk, and Jalen Hurd. Add Nelson to the list.
As for Kevin White and River Cracraft, Shanahan said, “we’ve done a good job bringing in some guys who can play, so it’s helped us with all the guys who are out right now.” Kyle continued, “but any time you go into a training camp — it started with losing Deebo and Richie James, two guys who did a lot for us last year, who we expected to make the team this year. “Then you lose Jalen Hurd, who we had very big plans for this year. So that’s three of the guys who had a very good chance of making our team. J.J. Nelson has come in and done a real good job. He’s been banged up the last two days. We just got some injury stuff on him yesterday, so he’s probably going to be out here for the next month, so you lose another. Tavon, all those guys have been so tight with all the extra reps they’ve had to take. So you’ve got all these guys who are doing all these reps for the number of guys that are missing, so you’ve got to keep bringing in guys, so those guys don’t fully get hurt. We’ve had to take it easy on a couple of those guys, like Tavon and stuff because they’ve had to pick up the bulk of the reps with all those guys out.”
You could sense Shanahan’s frustration in his voice as the injuries mount up. The point about Austin and the other guys having to play more is a good one, as that’s another way for a player to get injured. Shanahan said he expects to have Aiyuk for Week 1. He’s still hopeful for Deebo. Luckily, Trent Taylor and Kendrick Bourne are both healthy. White and Cracraft may not be camp bodies:
“All these guys that we have brought in are definitely NFL players who have a chance to make our team. We’ve just got to see how the injuries play out. I feel that we have a good group that is in our building that will help us throughout this year.”
No mention of you know who.