San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said this week he expected cornerback Richard Sherman to miss a couple of weeks after suffering a Grade 2 hamstring strain on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Even that timeframe seemed optimistic.

Sherman doesn't expect to be out that long.

If it were up to Sherman, he would be out there with his defensive teammates this weekend trying to stop quarterback Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons offense.

The decision, of course, isn't Sherman's. It belongs to the medical, training, and coaching staffs, and they will likely rest their starting cornerback this weekend to ensure he is healthy enough for the team's playoff, and hopefully, championship run in January.

"I could play in this game (against the Falcons) if we had to have it," Sherman told reporters after Thursday's practice. "Kyle and them are more cautious than I am. ... I told them I just needed a couple of days. I needed a couple of days, and I feel great today. I ran 19 miles an hour, 20 miles an hour today. That's really all you need to play."

Sherman recalled other Grade 2 hamstring injuries he has played through over his career and doesn't believe that this one feels nearly as serious.

"I've had these before," Sherman said. "I've played through them. This will be the first one I'm not getting to play through."

Added Sherman: "I could play this week if we had to have it but they're just being precautious, and it will give me another week to heal. ... The coaching staff says I can't go, then I can't go, but I expect to be able to go the following game."

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