Hold the eulogies.
The 49ers aren’t dead yet. They have the week off, and then some key players could return. According to Kyle Shanahan, the 49ers are “hopeful” they'll get back running back Raheem Mostert, wide receiver Deebo Samuel and cornerback Richard Sherman after the Bye. And then, they’re hopeful running back Jeff Wilson Jr. will return the following week when the 49ers face the Buffalo Bills.
Meaning the 49ers could have an entirely different identity and makeup after the bye. Which would be good, considering they’ve lost three games in a row.
“It’s a huge boost,” Shanahan said Tuesday. “Getting guys you can depend on who have done a lot for us. You guys can see how Deebo has been in games he has played this year, how Sherm has been.
“I also want to say, which I echoed to the guys today to, that we’re not going to win just because these guys are coming back. These guys haven’t played football in a while. Usually when they do come back, it takes them a week or so to get into it and really affect a game. We’re going to win based off whether the guys we have get better or worse. And I think we have some guys giving everything, but I still think guys can take it to another level. There are a number of guys out there, like Brandon Aiyuk. He has been playing great -- he can take it to another level. So can Jason Verrett. So can Jimmie Ward. So can Javon Kinlaw. So can Trent Williams.
“But getting Deebo back, getting Raheem back, Sherm, that stuff is going to help big. That’s some juice we need, but we also don’t have much room for error with where our record is right now. So I can’t count on those guys to come in and change everything. I just want those guys to get healthy and be a part of it. We have to really make sure that this week makes us better. Not just rest, better. Sometimes that’s tough to do when you’re not practicing or doing anything. That’s why I’m hoping the guys are handling it the right way. I’ll make sure when I see them Friday and Saturday we do our part and we come in next week rested and pumped up and ready to finish 2020 the right way.”
That’s one hell of a motivational speech from Shanahan. Let’s see if Aiyuk, Verrett, Ward, Kinlaw, Williams and the rest of the healthy players respond to it.