49ers

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan provides injury updates on key players

49ers coach Kyle Shanahan provides injury updates on key players

After two seasons of an inordinate amount of injuries, the 49ers could be peaking health wise at the right time.

Coach Kyle Shanahan gave an injury update via conference call Sunday following the team’s third preseason game, and the news was positive. Several players will be returning to practice, and some will even be cleared to play in Thursday’s game facing the Chargers. 

The only player who sustained an injury facing the Chiefs was Kyle Juszczyk. X-rays on his hand came back negative after it collided with a helmet. The team had not planned to have him play on Thursday regardless. 

Most of the players who were injured prior to the game remained in Santa Clara instead of traveling to Kansas City so they could work with the training staff during the short week. 

Here’s the list of players and what Shanahan had to say about their status for the week: 

Nick Bosa (ankle)

"He’s still rehabbing and doing well," Shanahan said. "We know there’s a chance for him in Week 1, and that’s what we’re hoping for, but that would get a little bit more clear I think after this week.”

Bosa sustained an ankle sprain on Aug. 7 during practice when an offensive lineman fell onto his lower leg. The 49ers, at first, feared a significant injury. But there was an amount of relief when Bosa was evaluated and it was discovered he had not sustained a high-ankle sprain. Bosa, the No. 2 overall draft pick, had gotten off to a strong start in training camp.

DB K’Waun Williams (knee) 

“I think we’ll up his stuff a little bit this week. I don’t know if we’ll be able to have a practice to involve him. We’ll see here over these next two days. We plan to get him back on the field in individual and stuff, but I don’t know if he’ll be ready for practice.” 

Williams has been solid as the slot cornerback for the 49ers. While his job isn’t in jeopardy if he can’t immediately return to the field, it does have an impact on the other defensive backs. If he needs more time to recover from arthroscopic surgery on his knee, Jimmie Ward might need to assume that role, which would open up a spot for Tarvarius Moore at safety. 

S Adrian Colbert (hamstring) 

“We expect him to come back and be able to play this week.” 

Colbert had an impactful end to his rookie season, but has yet been able to live up to the expectations of the coaching staff, partially due to injury. What he really needed was to make the most out of every snap in the preseason to earn a spot.

He has one more shot left during the preseason after missing the game in Kansas City. 

OG Joshua Garnett (finger) 

“Should be able to practice and play.” 

The depth on the offensive line is thin after losing swing tackle Shon Colman for the season. Garnett has needed to prove his worth of being a former first-round draft pick, but there is a little likelihood that he will be cut without better options on the roster. 

C Weston Richburg (knee) 

“Hoping to activate Richburg this week so they can get him into practice this week. It depends on how it went, when we left him behind. I was told over the phone that it went well. 

“We’ll see tomorrow when we bring him out onto the field. If he’s good enough to go with some people, then we’ll get him off of that so at least he can take some snaps with our quarterback and get a guy in front of him instead of just a bag and a trainer.”

The 49ers need Richburg healthy to protect their franchise quarterback, but they also are thinking long term. With Mike Person available to play at guard, Ben Garland had a respectable showing with the first team in Kansas City and could stand in until Richburg is completely healthy. 

RB Raheem Mostert (quad) 

"Mostert, he had that quad over the weekend so I don’t know how he is today, but hopefully he will be able to get back this week. I don’t know if he will tomorrow.”

Because of Mostert’s special teams abilities his roster spot is not in jeopardy, but it could affect how the team looks at Jeff Wilson Jr., and Austin Walters. 

RB Jerick McKinnon (knee)

“McKinnon, we are hoping to get out there a little bit this week not necessarily in the game, but practice.” 

The team will not rush McKinnon back as they have enough depth in the running backs room to be effective until he can return. Expect Matt Breida and Tevin Coleman to carry the bulk of the work. 

[RELATED: 49ers plan to keep three QBs but always listen on trades]

Other players fighting for a roster spot at positions with depth that should be able to practice and then play facing the Chargers are LB Elijah Lee (thumb), DL Jullian Taylor (back) and DL Ronald Blair (groin) 

TE George Kittle (calf), DE Dee Ford (knee) and WR Jalen Hurd (back) will all likely return to practice but are not expected to play in the game on Thursday. 

Watch ex-49ers assistant Keanon Lowe disarm gunman at Portland school

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AP

Watch ex-49ers assistant Keanon Lowe disarm gunman at Portland school

It's a video that has gone viral of a moment an Oregon coach disarmed a student who entered a school possessing a firearm.

Keanon Lowe, a former 49ers assistant coach, now serves as the head football coach and security guard at Parkrose High School in Portland, Ore. He's also a hero after preventing a shooting when he embraced a gunman and caused them to surrender his weapon:

The gunman walked into one of the buildings at the school with a shotgun hidden under a jacket he was carrying in his arms on May 17.

“I just wanted to let him know that I was there for him," Lowe told reporters. "I told him I was there to save him. I was there for a reason and that this is a life worth living.”

Lowe is also a former standout star wide receiver at the University of Oregon. 

“The universe works in amazing ways," Lowe added. "I’m lucky and I’m happy that I was in that classroom for all those kids and I was able to prevent that tragedy."

Nobody was injured in the events.

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How 49ers' George Kittle went from 'scrawny' receiver to elite tight end

How 49ers' George Kittle went from 'scrawny' receiver to elite tight end

George Kittle wasn’t always the hulking, 250-pound tight end that set the NFL single-season receiving mark for a the position in just his second NFL season.

When he showed up at the University of Iowa, Kittle was a 6-foot-2, 185-pound high school wide receiver with a strong work ethic. 

It was in Iowa City that Kittle’s body underwent a dramatic transformation.

"If you look at any of his high school photos, it will blow your mind," Kittle's mom Jan said.

"He was scrawny when he came to Iowa,” Kittle’s wife Claire said. “But I think that's kind of just how a lot of people are. So they grow into their body and they become the man that they're supposed to be.”

“He certainly embraced our program, he worked very hard,” Iowa Strength and Conditioning coach Chris Doyle told NBC Sports Bay Area. “Had to change his eating habits and change his lifestyle from that regard to kind of grow into just the process of becoming a Division I football player.”

In addition to growing several inches during his time with the Hawkeyes, Kittle put on a whopping 35 pounds during his college career.

“It's overwhelming every single time I see him,” Emma Kittle, George’s older sister, said. “Because he’s still George, and like my little brother. But like physically, he is a man.”

He certainly plays like a man on the field, as the 26-year-old has blossomed into one of the NFL’s top tight ends, even earning a second-team All-Pro designation after his breakout 2018 season.

The Kittle family certainly is not short on impressive athletes, as his father Bruce was also a tight end at Iowa and sister Emma was a Division I volleyball player at Iowa and Oklahoma. His mother Jan lettered in both basketball and softball at Drake University.

[RELATED: Kittle among players to watch vs. Washington]

While puberty may have set in a little later than most for George, his dedication to his craft has manifested itself as he now stands as the No. 1 receiving option on an undefeated 49ers team.

“I've witnessed everything that he's done so far and like all the hard work,” Emma said. “And so to see him succeeding at this level is like, he was born to do this. He was born to have the spotlight on him. He was born to have this type of pressure, like to carry people to work this hard.”