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Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

49ers head into much-needed bye week after loss to Saints

Nov 15, 2020 at 8:41 PM--

With all the physical punishment they've taken over the first ten weeks of the season, it's quite possible no NFL team deserves and needs a bye week more than the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers will now get their much-needed bye week after a 27-13 Week 10 loss to the New Orleans Saints, and with any luck, they'll come back more healthy and refreshed than they've been since early in the season.

"They need some rest," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said following the loss to the Saints. "They need to get away. We'll have a couple of days just to keep guys loose and moving around a little bit so we don't get too far away from football, but this is as much of a needed rest as a team I've been on."

The 49ers have had to deal with key injuries at almost every position, but it's possible some of those injuries could heal up in time for their November 29 game against the Los Angeles Rams. Cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) is one possibility for return after being sidelined since Week 2, while Shanahan was also asked about the possible availability of defensive end Ronald Blair (knee), running back Raheem Mostert (ankle), and running back Tevin Coleman (knee).

"I'm hoping they are. I know they've got a chance at it," Shanahan said. "The fact that they've got a chance leaves me a lot of hope, and I know it would help a lot. We're not going to rush them back if they're not ready, but hopefully they'll be ready."

In the meantime, it'll also be important for the healthy players to get some rest due to the fact many of them have been playing extended reps while others have been injured.

"We've had a lot of guys who have had to be out there a lot -- some rotational players, things like that who have been carrying the load for way too long," Shanahan said. "I've got a lot of respect for some of these guys who have just been hanging on."

One such player is defensive end Kerry Hyder, who has stepped in with players such as Nick Bosa (knee) out for the season and Dee Ford (back) out indefinitely. Hyder told reporters after the loss to the Saints that he's still in good shape but could use the rest as much as anyone.

"I think rest is going to be the most important thing this week," Hyder said. "I've played a lot of plays, but I trained for it, so I'm not feeling bad. But I know this week is going to be big for everyone, not just me -- getting our bodies right for this stretch."

The 49ers face a challenging stretch to close the season that begins with their road game against the Rams, followed by home games against the Buffalo Bills and Washington Football Team and road games against the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals before the season finale at home against the Seattle Seahawks. The chances of the 4-6 49ers rallying to make a playoff push are slim, but at the very least they'll be hoping the bye will help them regroup and finish the season strong enough to avoid a losing record.

"We definitely need it," left tackle Trent Williams said. "We've got a lot of guys that we need to get back. The bye will help us tremendously. It's been a pretty long season -- not just us, but everybody. We've been at the stadium every day since August, I guess whenever we reported. It helps us more than anything because we're so injured. That week, we'll be able to get some guys back who can help us win."

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