Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

49ers could dominate second half of season with players returning from injuries

Nov 4, 2022 at 8:38 AM--

The San Francisco 49ers sit with four wins and four losses in their bye week. They could dominate in the second half of the season if the team gets back some key players. Let's look at how each player returning could factor into the 49ers' dominance in the second half of the season.

On the offensive side of the ball, several key players are set to return after the bye week. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring), the 49ers' most dangerous weapon, isn't having a spectacular season like in 2021. In 2021, Samuel finished the season as an All-Pro with 1,790 yards (rushing and receiving) and a total of 14 touchdowns. This season Deebo Samuel has 386 receiving yards and 139 rushing yards with three touchdowns. Though his numbers are different in 2022, Samuel is still the x-factor for the 49ers and the key to a Lombardi Trophy. With the addition of running back Christian McCaffrey, head coach Kyle Shanahan will find ways to scheme Samuel open. Expect the veteran wide receiver to have a monstrous second half of the season.

The 49ers will get their best utility player back as well. Kyle Juszczyk will be looking to return after the bye week. The fullback broke his finger during the Kansas City Chiefs game and underwent surgery to repair the damage. Expect Juszczyk to return and help the 49ers dominate on the offensive side of the ball. He can line up in the backfield and out wide like a receiver. So far this season, Juszczyk has only three carries for ten yards, one touchdown on the ground, and 11 receptions for 153 yards in the air. Juszczyk's blocking in the run game is what separates him from most fullbacks in the league. He is the 49ers' "Jack of All Trades."

The 49ers have two offensive players on the injured reserve list that will be a great addition to the team with their returns. Running back Elijah Mitchell (high ankle sprain) said he will be ready to go on November 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers. Mitchell was the 49ers' starting running back to open the season against the Chicago Bears, but was injured after taking a helmet to the knee in that game. Mitchell averaged 6.8 yards per carry on six attempts for 41 yards. Mitchell will be the perfect compliment to McCaffrey. The one thing I know is that Kyle Shanahan should not have any problems trusting his running backs. The best attribute from Mitchell is his ball security and big play ability. Mitchell and McCaffrey will be a handful for defenses to stop. These two backs could be the Batman and Robin of the NFL.

The offensive line has struggled from time to time in the first half of the season. The line hasn't had their best player, Trent Williams, out there for three games in the first half of the season. Arguably, the 49ers have a new best player on the offensive line in guard Aaron Banks. Banks has not allowed one sack this season.

Each game seems to be a different weak link on the offensive line. In the last game, right tackle Mike McGlinchey gave up a pair of sacks in the first half against the Los Angeles Rams, along with a couple of penalties. Some say McGlinchey may be the weakest link. Well, have no fear because the 49ers will get tackle Colton McKivitz off the injured reserve list. Though McGlinchey is the starting right tackle, if he continues to struggle, I could see the team leaning toward the direction of McKivitz. McKivitz has only played 45 snaps this season, 43 at left tackle and two at tight end. McKivitz is the perfect swing to fill in at either tackle. If he had a great week at practice, I wouldn't be surprised if Shanahan made the shift.

The 49ers are loaded with talent on the offensive side at every position. The offense is trending upward, and that's a great thing. Once the offensive players return, this offense will be even more dangerous.
  • Written by:
    Wayne Breezie is a 49ers content creator. He had his first guest appearance on Ronbosports in 2012. He began writing for a Facebook group called the League of the 49ers. Next, he began writing for Nothing But Niners in 2017. In 2018, Wayne Breezie made his debut on YouTube’s Nothing But Niners show. In 2019, he started his podcast called Nitty Gritty Niners. After putting the pen down for several years, Breezie saw an opportunity to write for His first published article was in January of 2022 with 49ersCap, and he currently writes and produces weekly podcasts.
The opinions within this article are those of the writer and, while just as important, are not necessarily those of the site as a whole.


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