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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

49ers Notebook: Shanahan talks Verrett; No guarantee Kinlaw returns for Week 11; Ebukam ‘has a chance’ for Sunday; Reinforcements coming

Nov 11, 2022 at 3:33 PM--

On Friday, San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters about Jason Verrett's injury. The veteran cornerback suffered a season-ending Achilles tear during Wednesday's practice. It's yet another injury to add to the lengthy list of season-ending injuries sustained throughout his nine NFL seasons.

Shanahan admitted that he offered to stop the practice after Verrett's injury, knowing how much his players were impacted by seeing their teammate's season end again.

"That happens, it seems like once a year, when a cart has to come out there, and it's always rough," Shanahan said. "And it's always hard to kind of go on practicing when it's towards the end ... but it was different with J.V. because just everyone knows, I know people have talked about it, but everyone knows his history and how much he's done and how focused he's been to get back and how he's done everything the right way and everyone at the same kind of time was thinking exactly what he was thinking. They knew how long of a journey it was, how fast it ended, and everyone stopped right away.

"That's tough when a guy gets carted off just to sit there and say, you're as sad as everyone else. Now it's time to go practice, but that is what you need to do. You need to go practice after that, but it was cool that the players recognized that. Everyone was so emotional. I just asked them what they wanted to do, and it was quiet for about three seconds, and then everyone said, 'Let's finish.'"

San Francisco officially placed Verrett on the injured reserve list on Friday.

No Kinlaw timeline

Defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw is eligible to begin practicing after Sunday night's game against the Los Angeles Chargers. That means he could be available for the 49ers' international game in Mexico City against the Arizona Cardinals. That isn't guaranteed, though.

"It's stuff we're discussing, just me thinking of it right now," Shanahan shared. "All the flying and stuff and the altitude up there, I think things would have to go really well for us to make that decision."

The potential delay doesn't mean Shanahan expects his third-year defensive lineman to miss the remainder of the season.

"Yeah, I'm expecting him to [return]," Shanahan said.

Ebukam has a chance to play on Sunday

The 49ers listed defensive end Samson Ebukam as "doubtful" for Sunday. With Kinlaw on injured reserve and Arik Armstead ruled out, the team could be without three of its four starting defensive linemen against the Los Angeles Chargers.

The 49ers coach was asked about Ebukam's quad injury, which occurred during Monday's bonus practice.

"Just it was on air," Shanahan said of the injury. "He took a step forward, and right when he did, I believe his quad just felt something in there, and he's still got a chance for Sunday.

"Samson's never missed a game. That's why I'm not ruling him out because he's been like this before where you think he's not going to do it, but he does. It's bothered him too much, and that's why he is doubtful."

Here come the reinforcements

The 49ers will likely see eight players who weren't available two weeks ago against the Los Angeles Rams return in time for Sunday night's game. They include wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (finger), linebacker Dre Greenlaw (calf), and wide receiver Jauan Jennings (hamstring). The four were not on Friday's injury report.

In addition to those four, Shanahan confirmed that the 49ers plan to activate four players off the injured reserve list ahead of the game. Running back Elijah Mitchell (knee), linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair (knee), offensive lineman Colton McKivitz (knee), and defensive end Jordan Willis (knee) saw their practice windows open this week and appear ready to return to the football field.

Assessing Drake Jackson

If Ebukam can't play on Sunday, defensive lineman Drake Jackson will likely see his workload increase.

"I can't wait," Jackson said after Friday's practice. "It's going to be a fun week, more opportunities to go make plays for my team. So I'm really excited for that."

Shanahan was asked to assess his rookie defensive lineman after eight games.

"I think he's contributing to us," Shanahan responded. "I think he's a very talented player who does help us out, and I see much more room to grow. I think the more powerful he gets, the more physical he can get, grow into his body. There's a lot more there, but I've been happy with him.

"He's coming along nice, and again, we're not halfway there yet, so there's plenty of room to get a lot bette,r and the challenge is also to not get worse."

Jackson is satisfied with his progress thus far and is looking to continue trending upward.

"I would say I'm happy just with what I've been doing," Jackson said. "I've been getting better every day, and that's all I can ask for in a league like this. Just doing what I can for my team, my D-linemen, my guys. I would say I'm just really trying to get better each and every day, and it's working."

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