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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Shanahan: 49ers will be smart with Buckner and Ward

Aug 25, 2017 at 8:52 AM--

On Friday morning, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan reiterated what general manager John Lynch had said the night before regarding their players returning from injury: the 49ers will be smart with players like DeForest Buckner and Jimmie Ward, who both returned to practice in a limited fashion this week.

Shanahan said on KNBR's "Murph & Mac" show that Buckner would be ready to go if the team was preparing for a regular season game, but that his status for Sunday's exhibition matchup against the Minnesota Vikings has not yet been determined.

Buckner has been dealing with an ankle injury while Ward has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Buckner left the 49ers' first preseason game, a matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, with the injury. Ward missed that game and Sunday's matchup against the Denver Broncos.

"Jimmie, just like Buck, we want to be very careful with that," Shanahan said. "Anytime you're dealing with a hamstring, it can seem 98-percent and you go out and just do one quick reactionary move and then you lose a guy for another month. Jimmie's done a real good job in the practices. He's done a real good job. I do feel if we were going against Carolina, he'd be ready to go but we are definitely going to be smart with him too and wait until he's 100-percent."

Shanahan went on to say that Ward's status against Minnesota is "doubtful."

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C.J. Beathard

The 49ers head coach also confirmed that the battle between Matt Barkley and C.J. Beathard for the second quarterback job is still taking place – both in games and in practice.

"I think that will come down to the wire with both of them," Shanahan said. "They should both get a lot more playing time here in these next few games."

Fans have been very impressed with Beathard, who is about to enter his first NFL season after being drafted by the 49ers in April. Shanahan shared his thoughts on the rookie quarterback's progress.

"I think he's still a work in progress," Shanahan shared. "C.J.'s come in. He's been as expected. C.J.'s got abilities to make throws. He'll hang there in the pocket and he does go through progression. I've been excited about C.J. as a guy. You try to get an idea about these guys throughout the draft process and stuff but you never really know until you get around somebody on a day-to-day basis and C.J.'s been a pro.

"He attacks it every single day. He's pretty obsessed with football and he's got a pretty good mind where he's always asking the right questions. He's always attacking it. Usually, when you have someone like that who's got the ability and the game isn't too big for them, the more they play, the more reps they get, the better they become."

Erik Magnuson

Reports from the team's beat writers started circulating when a video of undrafted rookie guard Erik Magnuson working with the starting offensive line in practice was discovered. Shanahan warned that not too much should be read into the video.

"He's not starting for us right now," Shanahan declared. "When we go through a carded practice of 10 plays in a period, you have the ones go for all of them – at least, as a coach you say that. And you know you're not going to keep those guys in 10 plays in a row. It's important to rotate those guys in to prepare the backups for when they're going to play. So, you have a bunch of random guys in there. So, it's not like you always have the five O-linemen you're going with. It's not like you always have the two or three receivers out there that are starters. You mix guys in throughout a period and I really wouldn't look too much into that."

Sen'Derrick Marks

Shanahan said the signing of defensive lineman Sen'Derrick Marks wasn't a message to his current players that there is now more competition within the group.

"It's not necessarily a message, but they can take it that way," Shanahan said. "The reason you do it is because you see an opportunity to improve your team and that's something that we'll do at any time, whether it's the offseason, beginning of camp, end of camp, or anytime during the year. If you see something that you think you can improve your team on, then you try to go for it.

"We worked out three D-linemen and I've played against Sen'Derrick a number of times and he's been a good player for a while and he did a good job in the workouts. We wanted to get him in here, give him, really, nine days to show us what he can do, and give him a chance to make this team or have someone that he's competing with, bring up their level."

You can listen to the entire interview with Shanahan below.


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