San Francisco 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula spoke to the media today to discuss the team's week and their upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
As far as injuries go, as expected, neither LB Michael Wilhoite nor LG Alex Boone will play on Sunday.
WR Torrey Smith will return to practice today. He has been recovering from back issues and the team plans to continue evaluating him. "We'll know more after practice," Tomsula said. Tomsula also stated that factors like Smith's streak of playing in games does not factor into any discussions. "The target was to get him out on the field today," he added.
TE Vance McDonald has been cleared from the concussion protocol and will likely play on Sunday. He missed Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns.
LB Aaron Lynch is still in the concussion protocol but he has practiced all week. He has been going through the same drills as everyone else, but has worn a blue no-contact jersey.
As far as the team's offensive struggles, Tomsula said, "There's a long list of excuses that we can grab." However, he believes that the team has seen some things improve, including individual players.
"We have to be able to finish each others' sentences," Tomsula said when asked about the 49ers' 31st ranked run defense, a far cry from previous years.
Regarding offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, Tomsula stated, "I think Geep does a nice job, I think Geep does a good job." He went on to cite QB Blaine Gabbert's progress as evidence of that.
Despite being eliminated from the playoffs, Tomsula stated that he does not have to motivate his players to go out and play for something. That's not what he does and that's the type of locker room that they have according to the head coach. As has been a trend during his press conferences, he stated that the team just needs to continue their good practices into Sundays. They have failed to do that. "We've got to carry the week into the game," said Tomsula.
You will continue to see Tank Carradine get more opportunities. After losing a good amount of weight, Tomsula would not confirm that he would become an outside linebacker, but instead simply referred to him as an edge player. "He did get more reps on Sunday and he'll continue. And you'll continue to see Tank have more opportunities," said Tomsula.
The 49ers and Bengals will kick off at 1:25 PM on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.