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If Javon Kinlaw or Emmanuel Moseley don’t practice again on Thursday then we could be staring at another shootout on Sunday. There’s no replacing a guy Kinlaw’s size up the middle. As for Moseley, he’s the best cornerback the 49ers have left and the lone player with experience in this scheme.
“The prognosis on Monday was what we had, six to eight,” Shanahan said on Wednesday. “On further review, looking at other opinions, there’s a longer surgery you can do that will put him out for the year and that’s the way we’re going to go.”
“When I talked to him and I heard all the other stuff, it’s not a surprise to me,” Shanahan said. “The first prognosis I got was what I told you guys, and that’s all I got at the time. But once I heard more stuff after the press conference, it made sense. I don’t think there was much of a decision to make after hearing some of the stuff.”
“It’s awesome when you do go against a running quarterback and your scout team quarterback has that skill set,” Shanahan said. “When you don’t have that situation, we try to put in some more athletic guys at that spot, but the defense, who is trying to play honest, kind of gets an idea.
“So, it’s cool when they get the same guy every time and you never know what’s going to happen, which will be how it is for them on Sunday.”
“It’s kind of good for rookie quarterbacks when you’re on scout team all year, it’s also the only spots you get to relax and play football,” Shanahan said. “When you get a card that’s handed up, you just look at it and you try to put it into our own play. It doesn’t always match, but you kind of get to experiment and that’s a lot more beneficial if they get that opportunity.”
One theory that has come up in discussions — and this is merely speculation — is that Dantzler adding weight to his frame this offseason caused his speed and agility to decline. Dantzler fell to the third round primarily due to his thin frame and his 4.6-second 40. If you’re already slow at 185 pounds, adding 5-10 pounds in an attempt to become more durable isn’t going to improve your speed.
It could also be an effort thing. Perhaps Dantzler was satisfied with his rookie season and got comfortable, assuming he was locked into a starting spot again this year. Again, I don’t know. According to Patterson, it hasn’t been one specific thing for Dantzler, it’s the entire package.
“It’s just all of the skills that go along with playing corner and being competitive,” Patterson told Barreiro. “So that’s what it comes down to, you gotta go out there and you gotta compete in practice. If you can’t compete in practice and you’re not competitive in practice, then you’re not going to be able to go out and play in the games. Like I said, the good part is he can fix it. He’s talented enough, it’s just a matter of him going out there and fixing it.”
Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Darius Slay, who will be one of many players tasked with containing Kittle on Sunday in Week 2, believes his stiff-arm rating is too low based on what he’s seen.
“As a collective, we just have to attack him and not let him attack us,” Slay said when asked about Kittle on Wednesday. “Probably the best tight end at run-after-the-catch in the league right now. Mean stiff-arm, his stiff-arm should be on 99. He’s a very talented guy, works hard, willing to block and do everything a tight end needs to do.”
Sherfield also received Wednesday plaudits from another coach, special teams coordinator Richard Hightower, who cited Sherfield and defensive end Samson Ebukam as special teams standouts against the Lions.
“We’ve been really pleased with Samson,” he said. “He’s done everything we wanted him to do. When he came here, we thought he would be a good defensive player. We really thought he would be a great special teams player and a really great defensive player. Everything we thought he was, he is. And we’re happy that we have him and Sherfield is the same way. … I quite honestly was sick of blocking him and Sherfield, so now they’re over here.”