Shanahan explains why Aiyuk is 'still work in progress'

Brandon Aiyuk

It was a rocky start to the season for Brandon Aiyuk.

The 2020 first-round pick saw zero targets and limited snaps in the 49ers' Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions. While his snaps have increased, Aiyuk saw just two targets in Week 2 and three in Sunday's Week 4 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. The Arizona State product was targeted six times in Week 3.

On Monday, head coach Kyle Shanahan explained that Aiyuk is improving but the 49ers still want to see more out of the young wideout.

“Yeah, I have. He's trying to work on being more consistent and it's still a work in progress," Shanahan said. "We're going to keep pushing him hard at that. Not a lack of effort. B.A.'s working at it and I expect him to keep trying to get better here.”

On the season, Aiyuk has been targeted 11 times while recording six catches for 58 yards and one touchdown.

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The 49ers' offense has been slow out of the gate early in the season. While Deebo Samuel is off to an incredible start, leading the NFL in receiving yards with 490, Aiyuk's disappearing has hampered the 49ers' passing game.

While tight end George Kittle has yet to find the end zone, he ranks in the top five in routes run, targets, receptions and yards for a tight end this season. It's only a matter of time before the 49ers star puts some touchdowns on the board.


But the 49ers need Aiyuk, who had a stellar rookie season, to return to being a reliable option in order to give the passing game another dynamic run-after-the-catch threat.

The 23-year-old is working hard, but with the 49ers at 2-2 and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo hobbled with a calf injury, the 49ers need the Aiyuk of 2020 to show up soon before it's too late.

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