49ers

49ers injury report: Game-time decision if Dee Ford will play vs. Steelers

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AP

49ers injury report: Game-time decision if Dee Ford will play vs. Steelers

Defensive end Dee Ford is feeling better after sitting out the second half of the 49ers’ game last week against the Cincinnati Bengals with discomfort in his knee and quadriceps, coach Kyle Shanahan said.

“Hopefully, he’ll be feeling good on Sunday,” Shanahan said. “He said he felt good. He looked good walking through. But I know that’ll go all the way up to Sunday.”

Ford, who is listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, sat out practices Wednesday and Thursday. He was scheduled to take part in limited practice on Friday, but the 49ers dialed back their planned practice to a walk-through at their Santa Clara facility because of the high intensity of the practices earlier in the week.

“I know he’s feeling better now than he has the last few days, but he’s still not fully there, yet,” Shanahan said of Ford. “We’ll see how these last 48 hours go. Hopefully, they go well. If it does, I know he feels confident to go out there, especially with time off the following week.”

The 49ers face the Steelers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. After the game, the club will have a bye week before returning to action on Monday, Oct. 7, against the Cleveland Browns.

Rookie defensive end Nick Bosa (ankle), and safeties Jaquiski Tartt (toe) and Jimmie Ward (hand) are also listed as questionable for Sunday’s game. Bosa and Tartt are expected to play, while Ward is likely to miss his third consecutive game to open the season.

Shanahan said he expects rookie wide receiver Jalen Hurd to be available after the bye week. Hurd has sat out five weeks with a back condition.

“He’s on track,” Shanahan said of Hurd. “We’ll see how it is once we get back from the bye week. I know he has a lot of work to do when we all get away from here a little bit for the four days. It’ll be big the work he puts in when we’re away. We expect him to be ready when we get back.”

The 49ers will not have the services of wide receiver Trent Taylor for at least eight weeks after he underwent surgery to repair a Jones fracture on his right foot. The bone has healed, Shanahan said, but there were issues with some of the soft tissue around the bone on the outside of his foot that has caused a flareup. Taylor is eligible to return to action on Nov. 17 against the Arizona Cardinals.

[RELATED: 49ers place Taylor on IR, re-sign Young]

The 49ers placed Taylor on injured reserve and signed veteran offensive tackle Sam Young. Shanahan said he does not think Young will be active and in uniform for Sunday’s game.

49ers injury report

OUT
RB Tevin Coleman (ankle)
WR Jalen Hurd (back)
OT Joe Staley (leg)
WR Trent Taylor (foot) – injured reserve

Questionable
DE Dee Ford (quadriceps
S Jaquiski Tartt (toe)
DE Nick Bosa (ankle)
DB Jimmie Ward (hand)

Steelers injury report

OUT
FB Roosevelt Nix (knee)
LB Vince Williams (hamstring)
LB Anthony Chickillo (foot)

George Kittle hilariously comments on Christian McCaffrey's Madden 21 rating

George Kittle hilariously comments on Christian McCaffrey's Madden 21 rating

Getting a “99” overall rating in Madden is something to brag about, but Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey deserved a 100 in “Madden NFL 21,” at least according to 49ers tight end George Kittle. That was based on one characteristic alone: His arms.

Not quite the 100 rating as legendary running back Barry Sanders received in the past, but the number 99 attached to him certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

McCaffrey signed a $64 million, four-year contract extension with the Panthers in April which puts his $16 million annual salary among some of the top of the running backs in the league.

McCaffrey was an eighth overall pick in the 2017 Draft and the monetary value attached to him is backed up by impressive numbers. Across three seasons so far, he’s accumulated 2,920 yards with 24 rushing touchdowns.

Kittle needs to give himself some praise too, although he was left off the prestigious “99 Club” list, but ever so slightly as he received a 98 rating. No tight ends were a part of the squad, and perhaps Kittle’s invitation was lost in the mail, but he has all the reason in the world to be a part of it.

[RELATED: These contracts show how underpaid Kittle is]

The 26-year-old was a big part of helping the team advance to Super Bowl LIV in Miami last season. He earned an All-Pro selection on top of two consecutive Pro-Bowl honors. Last season, he also tallied 1,075 total yards and five touchdowns on 85 passes. 

Kittle looks to be the highest-paid tight end ever … perhaps those numbers attached to that contract will be more important, and even more of a way to prove he needs to get that 99. 

Brandon Aiyuk showcases lofty potential with insane one-handed catch

Brandon Aiyuk showcases lofty potential with insane one-handed catch

With Deebo Samuel's injury, more will be placed on Brandon Aiyuk's plate initially as the 49ers look to get off to a hot start in their quest to return to the Super Bowl.

Samuel is expected to be out 12 to 16 weeks with a Jones fracture, although the second-year wide receiver is confident he can be back in 10.

The 49ers drafted Aiyuk with the No. 25 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, believing his ability to create big plays after the catch and take the top off defenses will fit perfectly in Kyle Shanahan's offense. Some might be concerned that Aiyuk only had one solid season of college production and he might start slow as he transitions to the NFL. But the Arizona State product showed off his immense potential with a ridiculous one-handed catch during a recent workout.

Play it again.

[SPORTS UNCOVERED: Listen to the latest episode]

Yes, rookie receivers often take time to transition to the NFL. There is a possibility that Aiyuk will have some early hiccups, but it's clear what the 49ers see in him.

After losing Emmanuel Sanders in free agency, the 49ers were in need of a receiver to come in and pair with Samuel, Kendrick Bourne and tight end George Kittle. Aiyuk has all the tools the 49ers value in wide receivers, from blistering game speed to insane YAC ability. His 80-inch wingspan also makes it easier for him to make impressive grabs on throws that he has to go up and get.

Not everything will be placed on Aiyuk's shoulders if Samuel can't return for Week 1. Kittle remains the best tight end in football. Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor both are back from injuries, and Dante Pettis still has time to reach his NFL potential. The 49ers should be able to spread Samuel's responsibilities around so that the early success of the offense isn't predicated on Aiyuk making a smooth transition to the NFL after a virtual-meetings only offseason due to the coronavirus pandemic.

[RELATED: Shanahan made Belichick's desired move in picking Garoppolo over Brady]

It's fair to wonder how good Aiyuk can be out of the gate. Some see him as the key to the 49ers' success in 2020.

But Aiyuk's talent is clear, and Jimmy Garoppolo is going to love having him in the pattern.