The San Francisco 49ers return to practice today, which means George Kittle and Jason Verrett do, too. We’ll have quotes from Kyle Shanahan as he meets with the media early this morning and New York Giants head coach Joe Judge has a conference call.
Shanahan met with Mostert to figure out how he could be with Devon when the baby is delivered. Those discussions are expected to come to fruition this week.
But even with the disappointment of the injury, the bright spot for Mostert is he should get the chance to be there for the birth of his son — expected on Thursday — and be reunited with Devon and his oldest, Gunner. It’s the latest step in his journey both on and off the field.
“He’s such a professional,” Juszczyk said. “He’s such a leader in our room and you can just see it in his confidence, the way he carries himself and the way he plays. Everything he does, there’s no hesitation anymore. He’s confident in what he does and just proud and happy for him.”
Kerry Hyder Jr.
Hyder, who has been impressive off the bench thus far, is due for a major workload increase as he likely slides into the starting lineup, at least until the injured Ford is back from his back injury.
Through two games, Hyder is already at 85 snaps and has a sack. If his usage continues, he’s on pace for 680 snaps.
Hyder was an intriguing signing this offseason. After three disappointing years, one missed completely due to injury, he reunited with 49ers defensive line coach Kris Kocurek. Kocurek coached both Hyder (2014-16) and Ansah (2013-17) in Detroit.
No. 2: SF 49ers should place Jason Verrett back on IR
Jason Verrett is one of those classic “what could have been?” stories. A promising first-round pick of the San Diego Chargers back in 2014, Verrett achieved Pro Bowl status the following year and looked every part the lockdown defensive back the Chargers envisioned him to be.
Since the start of the 2016 season, Verrett has played in only six regular-season games, including one with San Francisco in which he saw a mere two snaps in Week 3 back in 2019. After that brief stint, the 49ers placed Verrett on injured reserve, and he didn’t make an appearance for the rest of the year.
Should the Niners need to open up a roster spot for a player like Ross Cockrell, moving Verrett from a weekly inactive list to injured reserve makes much more sense. Besides, health questions surrounding Sherman, as well as Ahkello Witherspoon’s question marks, prompts the roster decisions to be better made here.
It’s a frustrating storyline for Verrett. But John Lynch would be better served by using that roster spot on someone else.
Shanahan told the media Monday that there is an outside chance Garoppolo could play in Week 3 when the 49ers face the New York Giants. The quarterback’s ankle sprain isn’t as serious as initially believed.
There is some trepidation by 49ers players and staff about playing on the MetLife Stadium turf again Sunday after the 49ers had six players suffer leg injuries on the same surface against the Jets.
Even if Garoppolo is medically cleared to play, there is a chance Nick Mullens will be under center anyways to give Garoppolo another week to heal and not risk further damage on the sticky turf.
Kocurek must work to maximize the value of potential bargain pickups like Ansah. The front office may also be interested in players like 38-year-old Cameron Wake or 34-year-old Clay Matthews to pick up some of Ford’s slack. Either edge rusher Dion Jordan or tackle Darrion Daniels will likely soon be promoted from the practice squad.
The 49ers must mix-and-match their line into continued effectiveness or their season will be in serious jeopardy.
It isn’t realistic to think the 49ers can return to their peak defensive line performance from 2019, which featured both Bosa and Ford ripping through their respective edges to crunch quarterbacks in the blink of an eye and Buckner often pushing the middle of the pocket. But it’s not required.
For perspective, the 49ers finished No. 2 in NFL defensive DVOA last season. That certainly gave them significant margin for error, but history suggests that strong offensive play can keep a team in contention — as long as its defensive efficiency doesn’t completely plummet.
Lorenzo Y. asks: I remember seeing a lot of talk in training camp about how Mike McGlinchey got leaner and lost weight. Do you think this may have affected his play in the first two games? He seems to be getting beat more than usual this year.
McGlinchey — or as Richard Sherman calls him, the “Big Slim” — does look thinner this year. But he said he only lost “five-ish” pounds in the offseason. He was 309 pounds coming out of Notre Dame in 2018. The real reduction occurred a year ago. He was just under 300 pounds for most of the 2019 season.
McGlinchey got pancaked by defensive end Tarell Basham (another guy scheduled to be a free agent) on the play in which Mullens threw an interception Sunday and his pass protection hasn’t been as sharp as it was during the stretch run last season. Still, he has yet to allow a sack. I mentioned Fackrell above. He’s the type of pass rusher against whom McGlinchey should excel.