One thing about this team is that there is never a dull moment. On Thursday, the NFL announced the 49ers were penalized one week for violating offseason practice rules.
How did the NFL find out? From a video posted on social media. We don’t know which specific video, but you’re not allowed to have contact and Demodore Lenoir’s video of him shutting down Austin Watkins during a 1-on-1 battle feels like the culprit.
The 49ers per Pelissero’s report won’t be allowed to do a week of rookie development because of a video that surfaced on social media from rookie minicamp that indicated San Francisco wasn’t following the offseason practice rules. That video showed some contact between two players when contact during that time is not permitted.
This is entirely separate from the team cancelling the final two OTAs and mandatory minicamp. Shanahan on Wednesday in a press conference said the team had been planning for awhile to cut the offseason program short for a number of reasons.
I found Shanahan’s transparency and open concern about falling short of the 85% mark to be a notable shift in how vaccines have been discussed in pro sports circles. His admission is certainly more newsworthy than the drivel from Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold and Washington defensive end Montez Sweat, two guys who filibustered questions on Wednesday about getting vaccinated because they clearly don’t plan on getting vaccinated.
And yet, from what I’ve gleaned, most of the national football headlines are about Darnold and Sweat, and most of the local football headlines are about the cancellation of Niners mini-camp/San Francisco’s recent slate of tough injuries. Writing matter-of-fact updates about the vaccine hesitancy of high-profile athletes has its place, but it’s clear at this point that team- and leaguewide vaccination trends matter much more.
Ford only appeared in one game last season while dealing with a neck and back injury suffered back in September. He spent much of the offseason rehabbing at the 49ers team facility in Santa Clara before continuing his rehab offsite under the guidance of a specialist.
“He’s been here since the beginning of February doing everything,” Shanahan said. “Had about three and a half months here. And a week before everyone came back, he went back to Kansas City with his back specialist. He made a lot of progress in the months that he was rehabbing here. We knew we weren’t going to put him through OTAs because we don’t want his back to act up.”
“He’s a freak athlete. It’s kind of fun to watch that. It is,” Kittle told the Silvers. “He’s got a cannon for an arm too. That’s fun to watch too. It’s a different style of quarterback play, for sure. But at the same time, Kyle Shanahan has a very dense playbook, and he is human. He’s the third overall pick, but he is human. But he has the opportunity to be pretty good, though. I like him.”
“Mohamed Sanu is a player that we have history with, not just last year briefly, but in Atlanta for 2016. And, I think Mohamed Sanu serves as a good vision for a lot of the young guys because this dude came back in great shape and with something to prove,” McDaniel said. “You can tell that he doesn’t expect anything that to be given to him, and he’s trying to earn his spot on this team. So it was very exciting to see him perform. He was doing very well. And, if he comes back to training camp in that same shape, he’s going to be a guy that is going to be tough to beat out for that final 53 roster.”
“Yeah, I mean, I think the simple, like you said, no one in the world doesn’t want a guy like that,” Shanahan said. “I mean everyone knows the player he is. But it’s not as simple as that. You’ve got to build a team and it’s not just year to year, you’ve got to build it for the future. And, you know, you just think about how hard it is going into drafts. You know, you never know what you’re going to be able to do in free agency, who you’re going to lose, who you’re going to be able to bring in. You’ve got lots of guys on one-year contracts, things like that.
“Everyone knows we don’t have a first-round pick, but what happens when you don’t have a second-round pick and a fourth-round pick and you lose the number of guys in free agency, which you never can for sure count on? And then you end up going into a draft and you’ve got to get six new spots, but all you have is a third and a fifth-round pick.