San Francisco 49ers edge rusher Clelin Ferrell suffered a knee injury in Week 18 against the Los Angeles Rams. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said that Ferrell’s injury wasn’t an ACL or MCL and that the team would have the specifics once they receive Ferrell’s MRI on Monday.
Despite the 49ers having a bye week, Shanahan said there’s a chance that Ferrell could end up missing a playoff game. Tayler Hawkins suffered a wrist injury toward the end of the game. Other than that, the 49ers came out of a glorified scrimmage healthy.
Shanahan said that the team elected to go the safe route with tight end George Kittle and linebacker Dre Greenlaw:
“No, they definitely were trying to go, but Kittle’s having some back spasms. So once that was happening in pregame we shut him down. Dre had some Achilles tendonitis, so that was acting up a little bit more before the game. We had heard about it, and once we heard that, we were safe with him.”
Each offense possessed the ball for over five minutes on their opening drive. That ate up all but two minutes of the first quarter. It worked out well, as the rest of the starters didn’t have to play much afterward.
Shanahan explained his plan coming into Sunday for players like Nick Bosa and Trent Williams:
“No, I told Trent and Nick we were trying to go around 10 to 15. It was perfect, the opening drive being about 10 plays. So that was great for Trent. It was weird with the defense, I felt like they had that opening 11-play drive, and then I think we got a pick on the first play. There was only like 12 plays until that very end of the two minutes when they’re trying to get Puka [Nacua] the ball. But once some time went, I got them out there at the end of the second quarter, and no one came back after half.”
The 49ers’ biggest worry was escaping Week 18 without any significant injuries. Ferrell is still to be determined, but the mission was accomplished. Shanahan said he spent most of the game holding his breath, hoping to avoid an injury:
“The whole game. You want to get a win, but you also want to make sure of that. It’s unfortunate to have that with Cle. Most of everything else went pretty clean, though.”
The 49ers will now flip the switch to playoff mode. During his postgame press conference this week, Shanahan said the team will practice “real hard” multiple times. The plan is to have two tough practices and one day of team conditioning this week.