Shanahan expects Elijah Mitchell to suit up Sunday
49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media ahead of Wednesday’s practice to provide an injury update. The following players won’t practice today:
Did not participate:
Maurice Hurst (calf)
JaMychal Hasty (ankle)
Trent Williams (vet day)
Josh Norman (rib)
Jaylon Moore (knee)
Deebo Samuel (shin)
Elijah Mitchell (finger)
Shanahan said, “I think he’ll go Sunday,” when speaking about Mitchell, who had surgery on his finger Tuesday. That’s great news for the 49ers.
When asked why Trey Sermon doesn’t play, Shanahan said he took advantage of his opportunities when he got a chance to play, but “he didn’t do enough for us to put him ahead of Elijah or Jeff,” and “you don’t want to put a rookie in as a third-down back.”
The 49ers received good news along the injury front as LB Dre Greenlaw, and S Jaquiski Tartt’s practice windows opened. Shanahan said he’s hopeful both players are good to go by Sunday. Depending on how they practice, they’ll be active. But that doesn’t necessarily mean either player returns as the starter.
Shanahan said it’d be hard to unseat Azeez right away. It may take Greenlaw a while to pass him up.” Outside of a bad game against the Cardinals two weeks ago, Al-Shaair has been excellent. He’s fast, physical, and sets the tone inside with his hard-hitting.
Plus, Greenlaw has been out for so long that the team will be careful with rushing him back into the lineup. Shanahan said the Niners wanted to get Greenlaw back last week but didn’t want to rush him just for Dre to have a setback.
Tartt won’t automatically start at safety, either. Shanahan said the 49ers were trying to get Talanoa Hufanga reps on defense before Tartt went down with an injury. It sounds like both safeties will play if Tartt is active. Shanahan said he loves the way Huf doesn’t hesitate on defense: “You can see it in everything he does.”
Shanahan said that he wanted to see all 11 players on defense trigger the way Hufanga does. That’s quite the compliment for a Day 3 rookie. There’s a role for both safeties on defense.
The 49ers are getting healthy at the right time. Even if Greenlaw doesn’t start, he makes the defense better in their base packages.