Another day of 49ers practice, and it’s another day where we report injuries. Let’s start with the big one as defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is currently in Los Angeles, having his knee examined to determine the next steps.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan said it’s possible that Kinlaw may need season-ending surgery. That is...not great. Kinlaw came into the league with injury questions and one year in, and he’s likely to be shut down for the year before we’ve reached the midway point.
Shanahan says quarterback Trey Lance will be back practicing today. He’ll get “a few reps,” and they’ll assess how much more his knee can handle. He wants to see if Lance is healthy first before he determines whether he should play more or not. He added that Lance hasn’t practiced in two weeks.
You can tell Shanahan is tired of the same quarterback questions being framed in a different way. Unironically, when talking about Bears QB Justin Fields, Shanahan talked about how Fields continued to get better each week.
Here’s is the full quote:
“I really liked Justin. I thought he was extremely tough, very talented... thought he was a great guy... he’s got the size, got the speed... throws a great deep ball, got a big arm, can make every throw, and he’s getting better each week.”
Dre Greenlaw could return next week. Shanahan said he’s confident Jeff Wilson Jr. will return, though it could take a couple of weeks. Kevin Givens’s practice window is open for him to return to practice.
Shanahan said he expects George Kittle to come back next week and that he’d be “surprised if he didn’t” return.
“I want Aiyuk to keep getting better. I don’t think he’s quite back to what he was last year. I think he’s closer to that point right now than what he was a couple of weeks ago.”
Shanahan said Aiyuk doesn’t look the same from a size standpoint (heavier) than he did last year. He mentioned it might be affecting Aiyuk down the field but acknowledged once Aiyuk plays better, so will the rest of the offense.
The 49ers aren’t doing anything else during their defensive back drills but focusing on fixing their pass interference issues and finding the ball in the air. He said it’s “way too bad” right now. Shanahan said the team is scrapping all footwork drills to focus on everything related to the ball.
He walked through each pass interference from the last game and how they were different. A point of emphasis will be to stop grabbing wide receivers and looking back for the ball.
Azeez Al-Shaair is in the concussion protocol and will miss today as well. Dee Ford (concussion) will miss as well. Trent Williams (ankle) and Deebo Samuel (calf) won’t practice today. Shanahan doesn’t seem concerned that Samuel will miss Sunday’s game.