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Jimmy G, new 49ers WR Sanu working on rapport virtually

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Jimmy Garoppolo will not have much time before the 49ers’ next game to build a rapport with newly added receiver Mohamed Sanu.

Garoppolo is taking advantage of every available tool in hopes of contributing to a smooth transition for Sanu, should the receiver play Sunday against the New York Jets.

Shortly after agreeing to terms with the 49ers on a one-year contract, Sanu was on a plane Tuesday for the Bay Area. On Wednesday, he took his first coronavirus test at the 49ers’ facility in Santa Clara.

If everything goes as planned with three negative tests, Sanu will be able to enter the building and take part in practice on Friday. In the meantime, he is participating in all the offensive and wide receiver meetings via video conferences.

Sanu should be able to acclimate quickly back into Kyle Shanahan’s offense after playing for him in 2016. Shanahan was then in his final year as Atlanta Falcons’ offensive coordinator before moving on to become 49ers head coach.

“Mohamed is watching all the meetings and doing everything he can do to stay engaged with the game plan, with the offense and pick up the little nuances that are different from when he was in Atlanta with Kyle,” Garoppolo said.

The 49ers will have a brief walk-through practice Friday in Santa Clara before traveling to the East Coast. Until he is able to actually throw a pass to Sanu, Garoppolo has spent time studying Sanu on video.

“It's really just about watching film, learning his body language,” Garoppolo said. “It's going to be weird not getting a live rep with him, but we'll make it work somehow.

 

“I think it's just the more film you could watch on a guy and see how he runs routes for certain defenses. I think it’ll make you more comfortable with him.”

Garoppolo has been familiar with what Sanu can bring to an offense since he arrived with the 49ers in the middle of the 2017 season. Garoppolo remained in the building overtime with then-quarterbacks coach Rich Scangarello to take a crash course on Shanahan’s offense.

Sanu was a player Shanahan featured by moving him around in the formation to handle all different tasks.

That season, Sanu caught 59 passes for 653 yards and four touchdowns. He even took a couple of direction snaps and ran read-option plays with Tevin Coleman in the backfield.

RELATED: Shanahan believes Sanu can help 49ers right away if needed

Shanahan on Wednesday praised Sanu’s toughness, competitiveness and ability to adapt to all the different positions

“I've seen a lot of tape on him, just from watching Kyle’s offense in the past and things that he's done in it,” Garoppolo said.

“(I’ve) heard tremendous things from all the coaches, so we're excited to get him in here. It'll be a quick turnaround, but he's been in this offense before, so hopefully he could pick things up right where he left off.”