49ers

Aiyuk's work ethic can allow him to overcome minor injury

49ers
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SANTA CLARA -- Kyle Shanahan confirmed rookie receiver Brandon Aiyuk is week-to-week with a mild hamstring strain, and that was good news to the 49ers head coach. 

When Shanahan saw the the Arizona State product grabbing the back of his leg after a deep go route, he immediately thought it was a serious hamstring pull. Finding out it was only mild strain was a relief. Shanahan believes that because Aiyuk came into camp prepared, he has a chance to be ready for Week 1. 

“If Aiyuk didn’t come in the way he did come in, he’d be screwed,” Shanahan said. “That’s what’s been cool about him. He’s given himself a chance to overcome something like this.” 

Without minicamp or OTAs, rookies are behind the eight ball. Aiyuk has been conscientious about learning the playbook and keeping his body in shape during the extended offseason. Shanahan believes he will stay mentally checked in but that’s still not the same as live reps. 

RELATED: Report: 49ers working out more receivers after Aiyuk injury

Best case scenario is that Aiyuk comes back in one or two weeks. That would still give the rookie about 10 days of team drills prior to the season opener against the Arizona Cardinals on Sept. 13. Shanahan believes those reps will be vital. 

“But no matter how mentally you stay into it, when you’re here in the huddle and you go out full speed, it’s a little bit harder," the coach said.