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Brandon Aiyuk was laboring through the 49ers Week 2 matchup with the Rams while dealing with a shoulder injury sustained in the early moments of the game. Playing just a shade over 30 snaps, Aiyuk tried to tough out the injury. Adrenaline most likely helped Aiyuk through, but the 49ers have a quick turnaround with a game on Thursday night.
Aiyuk is a huge part of the 49ers offense, but is it worth pushing Aiyuk on a short week to face the visiting New York Giants? The Giants are coming off a comeback victory over the Arizona Cardinals. Week 1 saw the Giants thoroughly embarrassed on national TV at home versus Dallas.
The 49ers have playmakers across the offense. Christian McCaffrey and Deebo Samuel were more than enough to help the 49ers close out a victory in LA. There is also that George Kittle guy. Thursday seems like the perfect time to involve Kittle more and alleviate some of the workload for McCaffrey.
The short week and the opponent are the biggest factors when deciding on a star player’s status. The 49ers are flat-out better than the Giants, even with Aiyuk’s absence. The same can be said for the following matchup with the Arizona Cardinals.
Brian Daboll is using a bit of “gamesmanship” with the 49ers by declaring Saquon Barkley feels much better today following his sprained ankle at the end of the game Sunday in Arizona. The injury was initially diagnosed as a multi-week injury, and now miraculously, Barkley may be a “game-time” decision. I doubt Barkley plays, and that’s a devastating loss for the Giants.
Looking ahead and past opponents is the easiest way to let games get away from you, but it’s hard for fans to not look forward to Week 5 against Dallas.
Rest up this week, Brandon. We know you’re a competitor, but there’s no need to risk further injury against the Giants.
What do you think? Should the 49ers rest Aiyuk on Thursday night?
Should Brandon Aiyuk play on Thursday?