And when players returned to Santa Clara in late July, they had to pass two coronavirus tests before receiving clearance to begin training camp. … [Read more...] about Will 49ers still get a Super Bowl bounce after coronavirus-ravaged offseason?
Spotlight on: RB Jerick McKinnon: Head coach Kyle Shanahan had big plans for McKinnon in 2018 when the 49ers signed him to a four-year, $30 million contract. Now, after spending two seasons sidelined by a knee injury, McKinnon is ready to make his long-awaited 49ers debut. It’s likely the 49ers will use him creatively this season in a third-down role, but his job duties could expand, perhaps as soon as Sunday. Raheem Mostert will have the lead-back role, but his primary backup, Tevin Coleman, who has the sickle cell trait, could be limited or sidelined because of poor air quality. … [Read more...] about 49ers vs. Cardinals preview: 3 things to watch, spotlight on Jerick McKinnon
The Wide 9 alignment favored by defensive line coach Kris Kocurek creates better angles for edge rushers, but also can create bigger running holes for opposing offenses. The 49ers’ second-ranked defense was 17th in rushing yards allowed per game (112.6) and 23rd in yards allowed per rushing attempt (4.5) last year. The 49ers think first-round pick defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw could upgrade their run defense as he replaces All-Pro DeForest Buckner, a superior pass rusher who is about 25 pounds lighter than the rookie. A key will be nose tackle D.J. Jones, who could emerge as one of the league’s best at his position if he can stay on the field after missing eight games (including the playoffs) last year. The second level is capably manned by a speedy linebacker trio of Fred Warner, Kwon Alexander and Dre Greenlaw. … [Read more...] about 49ers’ unit breakdowns: offense, defense, special teams and coaching
“As for how long that (loss to the Chiefs) will linger, I think it will, forever,” Lynch said. “You think of games that got away. You can’t sugarcoat it like, ‘Oh, hey, you’ll forget about this.’ You don’t forget about something like that. The only thing I know to do is turn around and work.” … [Read more...] about 49ers’ ‘unfinished business’: Will bitter loss fuel another Super Bowl run?
Along with wideout Brandon Aiyuk, backup quarterback C.J. Beathard, cornerback Jason Verrett, linebacker Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles, and defensive lineman Kentavius Street, center Ben Garland was listed as inactive for Sunday's contest. Garland was questionable coming into the season opener with an ankle sprain, but ultimately got the scratch meaning center duties will be left to second year offensive tackle Daniel Brunskill and Hroniss Grasu — who was promoted from the practice squad for today’s game. … [Read more...] about 49ers running back Tevin Coleman active against Cardinals, but Niners will have hole on the OL