49ers injury report: Joe Staley could return to practice this week

49ers injury report: Joe Staley could return to practice this week

The return of 49ers left tackle Joe Staley could be coming sooner than later.

Staley sustained a fractured fibula in his left leg on Sept. 15 in the second half of the 49ers’ Week 2 game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Staley was immediately given a six-to-eight week time frame for his return.

Staley could be available for limited practice as early as Wednesday when the 49ers begin preparations to face the Carolina Panthers on Sunday at Levi’s Stadium. He has been pushing a weighted sled at the 49ers' practice facility and increasing his workout regimen with strength and conditioning coach Dustin Perry.

“I think he’s going to try to get out there and practice a little bit this week,” 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. “We’ll see how it goes over these next two days. Just talking to him, I think these next two days are big, and we’ll see how he feels on Wednesday.

“I do think there’s an outside chance, but hopefully we can get him out on the practice field a little bit this week to where if he feels good and everything then he can go. But if not, at least he gets a little bit of work in because it’s going to be hard to get a real practice in the following week because of the Thursday night game vs. Arizona.”

Rookie Justin Skule has made four starts at left tackle in place of Staley. After the Week 8 game against Carolina, the 49ers have a quick turnaround to play Thursday, Oct. 31, at Arizona.

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Meanwhile, the 49ers are not as confident that cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon will make a push to play on Sunday. A week ago, Shanahan said he believed Witherspoon had a legitimate chance to play against the Panthers.

“Had a little bit of a setback last week, not big, but I think it’ll be pushing it this week,” Shanahan said. “There’s still an outside chance, but not as much as I felt last week.”

Witherspoon sustained a right foot sprain on Sept. 22 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was expected to miss at least a month. Emmanuel Moseley has taken over for Witherspoon and played very well in his first three NFL starts.

Why 49ers' Jeff Wilson enjoyed celebrating game-winning TD vs. Cardinals

Why 49ers' Jeff Wilson enjoyed celebrating game-winning TD vs. Cardinals

Jeff Wilson has done a lot with a little bit of playing time this season.

The 49ers running back has scored five touchdowns in seven games in 2019, finding the end zone on 10 percent of the offensive snaps in which he has lined up. His latest TD was the winning one in San Francisco's 36-26 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday at Levi's Stadium.

It came on Wilson's lone offensive snap of the day, and he celebrated appropriately.

"It was just like all the pain I ever felt, all the mistakes I ever made, all the good times I ever had, just all that came out and went," Wilson told KNBR's "Papa & Lund" show Tuesday (H/T 49ers Webzone). "This game meant a lot to me. Obviously, just not playing the whole game, just to get one play, and then the play, you get in and score, and it's for a big moment for the game, it was just all so surreal to me."

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The 49ers got by with a little help from their depth in Week 11, as backup tight end Ross Dwelley hauled in a pair of touchdowns in place of George Kittle and rookie wide receiver Deebo Samuel played on more offensive snaps than anyone else at a skill position. Kittle and running back Matt Breida returning likely would push Dwelley and Wilson, respectively, down the depth chart for San Francisco's Sunday night matchup with the 8-2 Green Bay Packers.

If Wilson manages to get another scoring opportunity, the 49ers know they can trust him to deliver in a big moment and be ready to celebrate.

Watch Kyle Shanahan tell 49ers they can 'get so much better' after win

Watch Kyle Shanahan tell 49ers they can 'get so much better' after win

The 49ers' 36-26 win over the Cardinals on Sunday left many of us out of breath -- especially head coach Kyle Shanahan. But that didn't stop him from giving a speech to his team.

Shanahan detailed what members of the squad did including those who got pretty beat up as one does during a game of that intensity.

But the team will only get better from here, he said.

"It's not even close," Shanahan added

And they'll need to.

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San Francisco has a tough few games ahead of them starting with a Sunday matchup against the Green Bay Packers and then the Baltimore Ravens who have been the most exciting team in the NFL.

If they can continue to follow through as they did against the Cardinals with some absentee big names, amazing things can happen. But it won't be easy.