Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

John Lynch says 49ers believe in Brandon Aiyuk but need more ‘urgency’ from receiver

Rohan Chakravarthi
Oct 16, 2021 at 11:45 AM--

Brandon Aiyuk has been the talk amongst 49ers fans after his slow start to the season. He has only caught eight passes for 90 yards over the team's first six games, despite breaking out as a rookie, having caught 60 passes for 748 yards and five touchdowns, leading the team in all three of those categories in 2020.

Last week, John Lynch spoke about his second-year receiver and stated that Aiyuk "hasn't made the strides [the 49ers] have expected him to," sparking a controversy about whether the team's been misusing him, or if there's really something different about Aiyuk.

Still, Lynch, who spoke with NBC's Matt Maiocco, has given his utmost confidence in the 25th overall pick in the 2020 Draft, as he knows that the team's at their best with his best version out on the field.

"First and foremost, I know that it's critical for us to have him at his best for us to be at our best," Lynch told NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco. "We drafted him where we drafted him for a reason. He's an extremely talented young man. He's an extremely hard-working young man."

The issues began during the offseason, where Aiyuk suffered a hamstring injury, limiting the time he had to practice as the quarterbacks were getting accustomed to their receivers.

"Sometimes you run into some speed bumps, and he did with his health in training camp," Lynch said. "And we had some other people playing at a high level. And so, this league is about working through that."

Regardless, San Francisco's general manager knows the ups-and-downs that players have during their time in the NFL and still believes Aiyuk can be a key contributor to this 49ers football team, although urgency is what he wishes to see from the 23-year old.

"I just sat up there in Canton. People don't know I didn't start until my third year," Lynch shared. "That was a little more commonplace back then, but I was trying to find myself as a player. You're working through things.

"What I can tell you is we still very much believe in Brandon. Brandon still very much believes in himself and us. We've just got to put it all together, and again, the urgency of that, it needs to come. We have other people who are hungry and have earned opportunities as well. And so, we're always going to put out the players that give us the best chance. But we do understand that it's extremely important for us to have Brandon Aiyuk at his best for us to ascend to where we want to go."

With the 49ers sitting at 2-3 and heading into their bye week, perhaps the extra rest and preparation will give Aiyuk, and the 49ers, a chance to get back on track and finish the season strong.

You can watch the rest of Lynch's interview with NBC Sports Bay Area's Matt Maiocco down below.

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