Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan discusses the ups and downs of the 49ers’ injury-plagued season

Nov 13, 2020 at 6:02 AM--

"Injury-plagued" probably doesn't begin to describe what the San Francisco 49ers have gone through this season. Injury-ravaged? Snake-bitten? Cursed?

Whatever you want to call it, head coach Kyle Shanahan knows it is unprecedented. Just look at the different sets of offensive weapons he's had available from week to week this season. It's a challenge to find consecutive games during which San Francisco has enjoyed consistency on the depth chart.

That has made it difficult for the 49ers to maintain chemistry and build upon any momentum.

"I thought we had that going a little bit at the Rams week into the New England week," Shanahan said on KNBR's Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks show. "That was about three weeks in a row where we got Deebo (Samuel) and (Brandon) Aiyuk out there together, and (Kendrick) Bourne out there together, and (George) Kittle out there together.

"But ever since the Rams game, at the end of that, we lost Raheem (Mostert) and (Ben) Garland, which I still felt alright because we were able to bring in Jeff Wilson the next week, who I thought would do good. It was still nice to get Aiyuk and Deebo together for another game.

"But then after that New England game, we're feeling really good, but after you get in the locker room, there's a little mixed emotions knowing you just lost Deebo and Jeff Wilson again. But I said, 'Hey, we can survive that. We're getting Tevin Coleman back the next week.'

"Then you go to the Seattle game, and you lose Tevin Coleman in the first series. Then you lose Kittle. Then you lose Garoppolo. And it's like, 'Alright, well, we've got Aiyuk for next week.' And then you go into the next week (vs. Green Bay), and you lose him, Trent Williams, and Bourne (to the reserve/COVID-19 list)."

The 49ers sit in last place within the NFC West with a 4-5 record. While Shanahan's squad isn't eliminated from playoff contention, it will be an uphill battle with the New Orleans Saints as the first hurdle to overcome.

"So, it's kind of been tough," Shanahan continued. "To go from where we were at in New England, and then just 10 days later, to be in that situation, it was a lot for our team. It's always a lot when you don't play well, and the scores are the way they were. But our guys have come in after these three days off, we've manned up, we've had two good days of practice. We're going to have another one tomorrow, we're going to get on that plane, get out to New Orleans, and we're going to go out there and fight our ass off.

"I'm looking forward to the game. I know our guys are going to compete. And then after it, I'm really excited to give the guys a number of days off so they can just recover and come back after this bye week, and we can find a way to make a run at this with six games to go."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.

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