Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Addition of Emmanuel Sanders isn’t changing the way Panthers coach Ron Rivera plans for the 49ers

Oct 23, 2019 at 10:05 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers have a new number one wide receiver following a Tuesday trade for former Denver Bronco, Emmanuel Sanders. That hasn't necessarily changed the way the Niners' next opponent, the Carolina Panthers, are preparing for Sunday's game at Levi's Stadium.

Panthers head coach Ron Rivera jumped on a conference call with Bay Area reporters on Wednesday morning and shared that little is changing as far as game-planning goes. Either that is the case, or Rivera doesn't want to tip his hand on how he plans to attack the 49ers this weekend.

"[The preparation] is pretty much the same," Rivera told reporters. "Again, we're going to look at the things they do and try to prepare for those things."

Rivera was asked if he needs to go back and look at Broncos film of Sanders to prepare for facing the veteran receiver on Sunday.

"Again, (49ers head coach) Kyle (Shanahan) tends to do what he does," Rivera responded. "So, again, as I said, the biggest thing that we'll do is prepare for what we're expecting him to do against us."

One player who Rivera and the Panthers are planning for is George Kittle. The coach was more willing to discuss the 49ers' Pro Bowl tight end.

"I think the biggest thing when you watch the way they use Kittle is it's a lot like we use Greg Olsen," Rivera said. "This is a guy that can attack you right through the middle of your defense and go vertical. This is a guy that can work laterally along your defense and catch the ball underneath. This is a guy that can work outside.

"The thing that we've got to do is just recognize where he is and understand how they're trying to use him. I think he's a quality football player, does a great job for them."

The 49ers (6-0) and Panthers (4-2) kick off from Levi's Stadium on Sunday at 1:05 p.m. PT, and Sanders is expected to play in the game.

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