Plus, a few injury updates
Kyle Shanahan spoke to the media Monday afternoon and provided a few injury updates. Cornerback K’Waun Williams has a calf strain and will miss “a few weeks.” The 49ers have a decision to make about Williams and whether to place him on the injured reserve or not. Williams is most likely to return to the roster after the team’s bye week in Week 6.
Josh Norman is day-to-day with a lung contusion. The 49ers will get back CB Davontae Harris, who had been on the injured reserved list. Between Harris and recently signed Dre Kirkpatrick, the team may not have to make a corresponding move to replace Williams.
Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst is expected to return to practice Wednesday along with Harris. During training camp on the roster, Hurst was one of the better defensive linemen and should provide a significant boost to a team that could use an interior pass rusher.
He’ll also help keep players like Javon Kinlaw and Arik Armstead fresh. Kinlaw has played 72% and 63% of the snaps during the past two weeks, while Armstead played 69% of the defensive snaps and 36% on special teams, which would be a career-high for him.
Shanahan said he’s hoping running back Elijah Mitchell will make his way back and be available Sunday for the Seahawks game. His exact words regarding Mitchell were “hoping for better signs.” Mitchell is considered day-to-day.
Javon Kinlaw will remain day-to-day with his seemingly ongoing knee injury. The same is true for Arik Armstead with his adductor injury. In addition, George Kittle has a calf injury and is also day-to-day.
Fourth down/Clock management
These have been two of the biggest talking points during Monday for Shanahan. Here’s what he said about scoring with 37 seconds left in the game:
“I’m not going to tell Juice not to score…we definitely weren’t expecting to score on that play.”
Saying “you weren’t expecting to score” on a play is certainly a sentence. Shanahan also pointed out how difficult it was for the 49ers to score inside the red zone earlier in the game and make sure they scored. That line of thinking makes sense, and you shouldn’t have any issue with the Niners putting points on the board.
As for not going for it on 4th & 1 earlier in the game, Shanahan said, “I should have stayed with my original feeling.” Part of the reason Shanahan said he second-guessed himself was due to thinking Trey Sermon lost a yard and a half on the previous third down.
Sermon rushed for no gain.
Shanahan said the team expected the Packers’ defensive approach but boiled it down to the offense not converting any third downs: “We need to play a much cleaner game… there were too many times where we hurt ourselves…thought we gave them too many opportunities.”