SANTA CLARA — The two least-productive games of Brandon Aiyuk’s brief NFL career have been the first two games of his second season.
Aiyuk has just one reception for 6 yards while playing approximately half of the 49ers’ offensive snaps in victories at the Detroit Lions and Philadelphia Eagles.
As a rookie, Aiyuk never played fewer than 71 percent of the team’s offensive plays in any of the 12 games in which he appeared. He ended his first season with 60 receptions for 748 yards and five touchdowns.
Aiyuk did not show a lot of consistency during training camp even before missing time with a hamstring injury. Last week, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said Aiyuk had a better week of practice before the 49ers' Week 2 game at the Philadelphia Eagles.
Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo spoke up in Aiyuk’s defense on Wednesday, as the 49ers continue preparations to face the Green Bay Packers on Sunday night.
“Honestly, he does a great job in practice every day,” Garoppolo said of Aiyuk. “He brings it, the right attitude, the right mindset. I think it’s honestly just a matter of time.”
Through two games, 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel leads the NFL in receiving with 282 yards and a touchdown on 15 receptions. Trent Sherfield and Jauan Jennings also have touchdown receptions.
Garoppolo said he believes that more-productive days are ahead for Aiyuk, whom the 49ers selected with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
“I know there’s a lot of panic and things like that in the air,” Garoppolo said. “I don’t know. If you were at practice every day consistently and you saw what he could do, it’s one of those things that one week it’s this guy’s game, the next week it’s another. That’s kind of how the offense goes. But I think it’s truly just a matter of time.”