49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan had a brief conference call with the media Monday afternoon and said Trey Lance looked better with his fundamentals and footwork in the game Sunday than Preseason Game 1. He said took well to coaching.
Outside of that, the talk mostly surrounded the latest injuries surrounding San Francisco. Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst has a high-ankle sprain. Linebacker Mychal Kendricks is dealing with a turf toe injury. Shanahan said both players are expected to miss about a month.
It should be noted that Shanahan said “at least” a month for both players. As a result, expect to see some roster shuffling as the Niners need to get down to 80 players from their current 85 before the deadline on Tuesday at 1 p.m.
It’s unfortunate for Hurst’s case, as he was a lock to make the roster. Now, this short-term injury could open up the door for a player like Zach Kerr, who was on the roster bubble, to take advantage of his opportunity.
Senio Kelemente has a back injury and is day-to-day. CornerbackAlexander Myers was cleared of a concussion.
Late last night, the return to Santa Clara has shifted the schedule, and the head coach will meet with general manager John Lynch later this evening to discuss roster moves. Shanahan said it’s tough to make any roster moves when you get back so late.
Shanahan said the plan is to play his starters, even the veterans who haven’t played in the preseason that are healthy like George Kittle, during the preseason finale against the Raiders next Sunday. That game will still be used as the “dress rehearsal” for the season.
Shanahan was asked about his fifth-round picks. When asked if Talanoa Hufanga has put himself in a position to start: “I think the way he’s played during the last two weeks, I think he’s definitely given himself an opportunity.”
When asked whether Jaylon Moore would get an opportunity to work at right guard:
“We’re trying to figure out who our best eight or nine guys are on the roster. Due to some of the injuries at camp, we haven’t been able to (play him at guard.) I think that’s been a good thing for him.”
Down the line, once the 49ers get healthier at offensive tackle, we could see Moore receive reps at guard. As for now, Moore has impressed: “I’m happy with where he’s at.”
My galaxy brain take for the 49ers is that Kyle Juszczyk should be the third-down back. If you noticed on Jimmy Garoppolo’s first dropback, Juice ran a nice route, caught the ball, and immediately got up the field.
I asked Shanahan if they had considered using Juszczyk in that role, and while he gave somewhat of a cliche answer citing how his fullback is more of a do-it-all guy, Shanahan did say it starts with protection when figuring out who could play in that role.
Remember when John Lynch said that Shanahan was drawing up plays for Lance on the plane ride back from Ohio State’s pro day? Shanahan didn’t confirm or deny, but he had a tangent about how no plays are necessarily “new” anymore:
“Personally, I don’t think there are new plays in football. So when someone acts like they created a new play, it was probably done 40 years ago.”
Shanahan cited the run-and-shoot offense as well as the veer and even found a way to work in former Nebraska QB Tommie Frazier.
Practice is Wednesday, which should be the last or second to last time the media is allowed to observe.