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Jeremy Reper-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan downplays concern over 49ers’ rest disadvantage in 2024

May 22, 2024 at 7:15 AM

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Following the release of the 2024 NFL schedule, much attention was drawn to the San Francisco 49ers' rest differential of minus-22, once again the worst in the NFL. Rest differential measures the difference in rest days between games for a team and the rest days of each of its opponents throughout the season.

ESPN's Brian Burke highlighted the 49ers' rest differential for the upcoming season, noting it as one of the three worst since 2002, alongside the 2012 Philadelphia Eagles and the 2005 San Diego Chargers.

Contributing to the team's rest differential is the fact that, for the second season in a row, the 49ers will face four teams coming off bye weeks.

The media is placing more emphasis on this statistic than the 49ers themselves. How much consideration has head coach Kyle Shanahan given to this perceived disadvantage? He only became aware of the metric shortly before speaking to reporters on Tuesday.

"I promise I didn't really think about it," Shanahan told reporters. "And he gave me some questions before, he said we have four of them coming off a bye. I was like, 'Isn't that what we had last year?' So maybe we had less. I don't know what we had last year, but I feel like we had a lot last year, too. So I try not to think much of it."

With nearly 16 weeks until they open their 2024 campaign against the New York Jets, there's no sense in worrying about something that cannot be changed. Shanahan isn't concerned about some random metric, especially when the team faced a similar disadvantage last season and still achieved the best record in the NFC and reached the Super Bowl.

When asked whether the rest differential was a big deal, Shanahan made it clear that he wouldn't lose any sleep over it.

"I know what our preference would be," Shanahan said. "But you never know whether that affects you or not until you get there. And there's lots of things that go into the year, lots of things that can hurt you on the schedule. I'd rather it be a different way, but there's a lot of things that could be worse, too."

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