Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


49ers coach Kyle Shanahan confident Nick Bosa will be the ‘exact same guy’ in 2021

Dec 31, 2020 at 8:36 AM--


Head coach Kyle Shanahan sounded a little irritated during his Thursday morning interview on KNBR. Who can blame him? This season has been one to forget for the San Francisco 49ers. The team entered the season with high expectations, coming off a trip to the Super Bowl, and looking to get back to another.

Now, the 49ers are just trying to get past Sunday so they can finally go home. The team is limping toward its Week 17 "home" finale against the Seattle Seahawks at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. The 49ers are there because COVID-19 restrictions banning contact sports in their home county kicked them out of Santa Clara, California.

The 49ers have been in Arizona for the entire month. It's not how players and coaches had hoped to end the year or spend the holidays.

Then there have been the injuries. The 49ers roster has been devastated by them. It is almost unrecognizable when compared to the depth chart entering Week 1. And the injury bug hit San Francisco early — in Week 2.

Mark Willard asked Shanahan to describe, in his mind, what happened to his team when he reflects on this season.

"The second week of the year, we didn't have the same team," Shanahan responded. "I think we had a pretty unprecedented amount of injuries by Week 2. And then I thought that was rock-bottom, and it wasn't. It was the starting of about 30 other bad things that kept happening, all the way to getting kicked out of our homes by our county to come out here for a month.

"You add all that stuff up, and I can say a lot. But compare this year to last year, and what happened, it's two totally different teams, two totally different situations. I think that's pretty easy to see."

One of those Week 2 injuries was star defensive end Nick Bosa suffering a torn ACL. Shanahan was asked about the challenges of returning from such an injury and the expectations for the former first-round pick heading into 2021.

"I think of it as people get ACLs all the time, and so, each one is different," Shanahan said. "I mean, I think you've seen that a ton over your sports career. People get ACLs, and they come back and are fine the next year. Some people have come back and have been different.

"I have every reason to believe, Nick Bosa, the way he works, the way his body is made, he'll be the exact same guy next year. So, besides that, I don't do much more thought than that."

Added Shanahan: "Now, I'm ready to get to this offseason. Hopefully, we get some opportunities to build our team, add some people, make it better. And I know all the guys who got hurt this year, just like always, they're doing everything they can to get back, and I know Nick will lead the group with that."

You can listen to the entire conversation with Shanahan below.






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