The 49ers, and pretty much every other team in the NFL, sure could use Chase Claypool on their team right now.
But it sounds like the rookie receiver is more than happy the Pittsburgh Steelers drafted him this year instead of the 49ers. Claypool praised the Steelers coaches and practice habits Wednesday while talking with reporters, at the expense of the 49ers.
“I was talking to my friend on the Niners and they’re still wearing full pads on Thursdays,” Claypool said. “We haven’t done that since camp, so having a coach that understands how long the season is, the wear and tear on your body, it’s super helpful for getting you through the season and getting you to be able to play well in the playoffs.”
Claypool's comments came after quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle were ruled out for multiple weeks after sustaining injuries in the 49ers' 37-27 loss last Sunday to the Seattle Seahawks. Both players could be out for the remainder of the season.
Yet another 49ers player was added to the injury list in their 34-17 blowout loss to the Green Bay Packers on Thursday night, too. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Friday morning that safety Jaquiski Tartt left Thursday's game early with turf toe, which could shelve the six-year pro as well.
Claypool didn't specify who his "friend on the Niners" is but it's easy to guess in this case. Claypool played four seasons at Notre Dame with 49ers receiver Chris Finke, who has spent the season on the practice squad. Claypool has 375 receiving yards and five touchdowns over seven games as a rookie this season.
While it's not completely fair to blame the 49ers' long list of injuries on their practice routines, Claypool's comments certainly raise some eyebrows.