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49ers in Five: How Kyle Shanahan is preparing the team for a short week vs. Titans

No full practices this week, and one other change

Everything you need to know in about five minutes

The 49ers have to cram six days of preparation into a four day bag this week for Thursday Night Football, and to help with that it appears that Kyle Shanahan is taking a page out of Benjamin Franklin’s playbook. Franklin famously said, “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” In yesterday’s conference call, Shanahan explained how he’s changing the schedule to give the team as much sleep as possible.

“What my experience, what I’ve been told, I think the best thing for recovery is sleep. So that’s why, I think we pushed back all the schedules later so they can sleep in more. That’s what we really stress about all the time when you get home. That’s why I was so adamant yesterday with just how to handle after the game. I almost wouldn’t have minded if we flew out there right away. It’s not the easiest with COVID and stuff, but just completely dedicate your mind and your body and everything to these four days because you’re still doing all the work mentally and everything and the game’s still going to be the same, but you’ve got to cram it all in. And the only way you do that is with extra sleep and rest.”

First of all, if Benjamin Franklin really spoke in rhyme like that I’ll bet he was not popular at parties. Second, getting everyone as much rest as possible going into Thursday night is going to be critical against a physical Titans team. That’s part of the reason the 49ers won’t have any full practices before Week 16’s game.

Even without Derrick Henry, Tennessee has still been able to dominate games on the ground, as evidenced by their 201 rushing yards and 39 minutes in time of possession against the Steelers on Sunday. One thing working in San Francisco’s favor is that wide receiver AJ Brown might not be ready to go by Thursday night.

If the 49ers are going to be able to withstand that kind of attack, they’re going to need every possible advantage in the next three days. It looks like Kyle Shanahan is doing his best to give it to them.

You can hear more about this and the latest injury updates in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Download it everywhere you get your pods.