The 49ers play the Vikings on Monday night in Week 7, which means everything gets pushed back a day on the practice schedule.
Wednesday is a “Tuesday” on a normal week, so the players have today off. That means there’s no media availability, and we’re unlikely to get any injury updates from the team.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter gave a vague update about Christian McCaffrey’s oblique/rib injury, saying that McCaffrey has a chance to play Monday night against Minnesota after avoiding a long-term injury.
There’s no new information regarding Trent Williams’ right lower-ankle injury, or Deebo Samuel’s shoulder injury. Both players will be day-to-day, according to 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan on Monday. Williams hasn’t practiced on a Wednesday all year. Now there’s even more of a reason to give him his weekly veteran’s day off.
One benefit to having an 8-day week is that each player gets an extra day to heal. On Monday, Shanahan explained how knowing the player will help the 49ers determine whether they can play or not:
“Oh, that’s always the toughest thing because you never want to do something to put someone at a huge jeopardy to make it worse. Well first of all, you’ve got to ask the trainers, but then you go to the player and you’ve got to have a history with the player. You’ve got to kind of know how he is and stuff like that. I truly believe that if Trent couldn’t go, Trent’s not going to go. He’s going to do everything he can to be out there. But Trent’s a very intelligent guy who is also very competitive and understands what those decisions are. He said he could come back, I wasn’t expecting him because of how bad the injury looked. The trainers thought that it wasn’t as serious as it looked. Trent was adamant to get back out there and then we keep our eyes on him all game, which [run game coordinator/offensive line coach] Chris Foerster does a real good job of. So does [assistant offensive line coach James] Cregg and [assistant offensive line coach] Joe [Graves], his assistants. Trent, we thought battled during the game, didn’t show any limps. It was a pretty courageous effort by him coming out and those circumstances, especially the player he was going against.”
Where’s the youth?
We haven’t heard about rookie Darrell Luter Jr. since Week 1, when Shanahan said Luter Jr. was on track to return in Week 5 or 6. Here’s the latest on Luter Jr. from Shanahan:
“I haven’t asked that in this last week. I know he is getting closer. I would guess without me asking, that’d be coming up here in the next few weeks.”
Here’s a refresher on the current players who are on the 49ers PUP list or injured reserve:
CB Darrell Luter Jr. - knee
CB Samuel Womack - MCL
WR Danny Gray - AC joint
Edge - Robert Beal - hamstring
Womack sustained an MCL injury on September 13. He did not need surgery. Shanahan’s most recent update on Womack, on September 15 — after making a point to say he’s not a doctor — was that he thinks Womack’s injury would last 6-to-8 weeks.
I didn’t count Cameron Latu Jr., since he didn’t make the final 53-man roster. He’s on season-ending IR. Since Beal Jr. and Gray made the roster, but were placed on IR before the season starts,
Beal Jr. had a hamstring bothering him multiple times during training camp. Prior to roster cuts, general manager John Lynch said the team was “thrilled” to work with Beal Jr., but they wanted to ensure his hamstring was right for the short-term. This season could wind up being a redshirt year for Beal Jr. for his long-term healthy, especially with Randy Gregory in the fold now.
Ray-Ray McCloud has been an exceptional returner, but I thought he made a couple of mistakes as a receiver in place of Deebo against the Browns. I wonder if the 49ers would value Gray’s ability as a deep-threat.
The problem with Gray’s injury is that we don’t know the severity of his shoulder injury. It’s obviously not a level 1, as that takes 2-3 weeks. Gray’s AC joint injury happened on August 20, roughly 3 months ago, would suggest Gray’s injury was one of the highest levels of AC injuries.
Perhaps the 49ers value their current receivers, McCloud and Ronnie Bell, over Gray. Bell played one snap against the Browns, and he lined up in the backfield. Jauan Jennings primarily lines up in the slot. McCloud was de-facto Deebo in Week 6, playing 30 snaps out wide.
We should be receiving updates on each of the 49ers youngsters in the coming weeks.