Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan still has confidence in Trent Taylor, explains reduced opportunities

Oct 26, 2020 at 4:53 PM--

Trent Taylor was a training camp star for the San Francisco 49ers in August. That hasn't carried over into the regular season for the fourth-year wide receiver.

Taylor has just six receptions for 45 yards through seven games this season. He's hauled in just one reception for eight yards since Week 3. Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters today and was asked about Taylor's reduced production. The coach explained that the team still has faith in the receiver, but other factors have produced fewer opportunities.

Shanahan made it clear, though, that Taylor is not dealing with an injury, as was the case over the last two seasons.

"Yeah, Trent is healthy," Shanahan said. "I definitely could find more ways to [get him more involved in the offense]. I've got a lot of respect for Trent, and I have a lot of confidence in Trent. I thought he got a couple of more opportunities earlier on this year, but we think [Kendrick Bourne] has played at a high level, and we thought he played at a very high level last year, too. And once [Deebo Samuel] and [Brandon Aiyuk] got healthy, and they got back, it was a tough decision."

Taylor's best season came during his rookie campaign when he caught 43 passes for 430 yards and two touchdowns.

This season, Aiyuk leads all wide receivers with 280 receiving yards. Bourne is close behind with 271 yards. Samuel was returning to form after missing the first three games but suffered a hamstring strain during Sunday's 33-6 win over the New England Patriots.

"We didn't want to have to take Bourne off the field," Shanahan continued. "We thought he had earned that, and he does some good things in what we call the F role that Trent does too. So, it wasn't really as much about Trent. It was about Aiyuk and Deebo coming back, and we felt that KB had earned the right to stay out there.

"Trent has still been our fourth guy, using him and Richie (James), depending on the spots, and we get them in there. But any time that does happen, you lose a lot of your opportunities. But I know Trent's ready. Once his opportunity comes up, my confidence in Trent hasn't changed at all. It's just been more about the other guys."

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