Why 49ers' Kyle Shanahan doesn't blame Jimmy Garoppolo for interception

Why 49ers' Kyle Shanahan doesn't blame Jimmy Garoppolo for interception

Jimmy Garoppolo’s worst play Sunday in the 49ers’ 20-7 victory over the Los Angeles Rams was not met with any second-guessing from coach Kyle Shanahan.

Early in the second quarter of a 7-7 game, the 49ers had a third-and-goal situation from the Rams' 1-yard line. Garoppolo tossed a pass into the end zone, which Rams cornerback Marcus Peters intercepted.

The play was designed to go to 49ers tight end George Kittle, who lined up in the slot and was matched against Los Angeles strong safety John Johnson. But Kittle could not shake free from Johnson’s grasp.

On the same side, Garoppolo first looked toward wide receiver Deebo Samuel on a quick hitch. But when Samuel moved forward into the end zone, Rams cornerback Marcus Peters dropped off him and gained position for the leaping interception in front of Kittle.

Shanahan said the 49ers got the defense he was anticipating from the Rams to make that play call a success.

“Kittle couldn’t get away from the guy grabbing him,” Shanahan said. “He threw it up to Kittle, thought Kittle had him beat, but he just couldn’t get away from him grabbing him.

"Then, another guy who was guarding someone else came into it. I wasn’t too upset with Jimmy on that play. That was the call that I made and liked the look. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the call.”

It was the only pass all day that Garoppolo intended for Kittle that he did not catch. Kittle, who sustained a groin injury in practice on Friday, caught eight passes for 103 yards to surpass the entire Rams’ passing output on the day.

Shanahan admitted to some concern about Kittle’s availability. The 49ers listed him as “questionable” on their official injury report.

[RELATED: Kittle grinds through groin injury in 49ers' big win]

“Usually when I ask Kittle if he’s hurting, he always tells me, ‘No,’ so when he was in a little bit of pain, (I) definitely had some concern,” Shanahan said. “It was legit. I think you could see that in the game when it started to bother him as the game went.

"But he was able to finish it for the most part, except for I think the last series. Hopefully, he will rest up -- we’ve got two days off -- and he will be good to go.”

Kittle played 65 of the 49ers' 78 offensive plays from scrimmage.

Ex-49ers first-round pick Joshua Garnett cut by Lions after six months

Ex-49ers first-round pick Joshua Garnett cut by Lions after six months

Josh Garnett's NFL career has hit another snag.

The former 49ers first-round pick was cut by the Detroit Lions over the weekend as the team reduces the roster to 80 players. Garnett signed with Detroit in February after spending the 2019 season out of the NFL.

San Francisco traded up to select Garnett at No. 28 overall in the 2016 NFL Draft, as the Stanford product was one of the nation's top offensive lineman. Garnett won the Outland Trophy in his senior season with the Cardinal, given annually to the NCAA's best interior lineman.

[RELATED: McGlinchey hopes 49ers, NFL players hold selves accountable]

Garnett started 11 games as a rookie with the 49ers, but was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury just prior to the start of the 2017 season. Garnett was unable to secure a starting spot in 2018 and played just seven games.

After denying his fifth-year option, the 49ers made Garnett one of the organization's final cuts before the 2019 campaign.

Just 26 years old, it remains to be seen where Garnett might find his next home in the NFL.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

49ers' Mike McGlinchey hopes NFL players hold themselves accountable

49ers' Mike McGlinchey hopes NFL players hold themselves accountable

The 49ers are scheduled to open the 2020 NFL season on Sept. 13 against the Arizona Cardinals.

They will compete head-to-head against the teams on their 16-game regular-season schedule, but 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey also is mindful that all players – even those on different teams – are on the same side in trying to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Typically, almost anything goes in the midst of a pileup at the line of scrimmage, where the same defensive linemen and offensive linemen might be waging one-on-one battles in close quarters for more than 60 snaps a game.

This season, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, more might be at stake on game days than just the outcome of a football game.

“You really hope guys are really pros about everything that’s going on this season because it’s not just your teammates and your teammates’ families,” McGlinchey said Monday in a video call with Bay Area reporters. “Once you start playing games, you’re affecting the entire league at that point.

“Hopefully, everybody can have the discipline and control and the accountability to one another that we can make this thing move as smoothly as possible, especially in the trenches when we are up close and personal.”

[RELATEDHow Jimmy Garoppolo, Trent Williams feel about fan-less games]

The hopes of the NFL being able to carry out an entire season will be contingent on teams reducing the spread of the virus. Oakley has developed a clear plastic face shield designed to block the direct path of droplets while allowing for airflow and soundwaves for communication.

McGlinchey said he will try it out at some point in training camp once helmets are allowed during practices, but he will not switch to the new protective device if he believes it hinders his ability to breathe.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]