Jennifer Lee Chan

49ers' Dee Ford aggravated knee injury; Nick Bosa getting healthier

49ers' Dee Ford aggravated knee injury; Nick Bosa getting healthier

SANTA CLARA — Defensive end Dee Ford miss the second half of the 49ers' 41-17 rout of the Bengals after he aggravated the knee injury that bothered him during the offseason

Coach Kyle Shanahan explained that no decision has been made about Ford’s availability for the 49ers' matchup with the Steelers on Sunday, but the team will monitor his situation throughout the week. 

“Yes, yep, the same area,” Shanahan said. “Quad, knee area. He’s still hurting today. We’ll see how he is for practice on Wednesday. I don’t have anything new to update today, but practice will definitely be in question for Wednesday.”

Ford was announced as questionable to return late in the second quarter of Sunday's game. He later spent some time on the stationary bike and then stood near the substitues with his helmet on, prepared to go back into the game if needed. With the 49ers in firm control of the game, Ford ended up not playing in the second half. 

The 49ers used each of their nine active defensive linemen on a fairly even rotation in Cincinnati. The heat and humidity were a factor in trying to keep everyone one fresh on the field.

Out of 70 total defensive snaps, here are each player’s totals

Arik Armstead -- 43
DJ Jones -- 37
Ronald Blair -- 35
DeForest Buckner -- 34
Solomon Thomas -- 33
Nick Bosa -- 31
Dee Ford -- 25
Sheldon Day -- 24
Jullian Taylor -- 21

While Ford is ailing, No. 2 overall draft pick Nick Bosa seems to be taking a positive step. After missing most of the practices in Youngstown, Ohio, Bosa’s ankle seems to be on the mend.

“He came out healthy,” Shanahan said. “Healthier than the week before. Sometimes when you come back with a high ankle sprain you always get a few setbacks in those games. I know he did versus Tampa, but he didn’t complain of any yesterday. 

“Didn’t play as much. We were playing him less on purpose and then we took out most of our starters there in the fourth quarter. I think it worked out well. He was able to affect the game and get out healthier than he did the week before.”

[RELATED: Why Shanahan is sticking with Skule]

Shanahan explained that as usual they will monitor all of their player’s health. Their practice time and game time will be planned accordingly.

The early Week 4 bye can't get here soon enough for the 49ers.

Why Kyle Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Justin Skule

Why Kyle Shanahan is sticking with new 49ers left tackle Justin Skule

SANTA CLARA —Without viable options on the open market to take the place of left tackle Joe Staley, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said that rookie Justin Skule will get the nod for now. 

The 49ers picked up two impressive wins on the East Coast but came home with a big loss. Staley will miss approximately six to eight weeks with a fractured left fibula. Unfortunately for the 49ers, they already lost swing tackle Shon Coleman for the season with an ankle injury. 

Washington Pro Bowl tackle Trent Williams is holding out for a new contract and does have experience with Shanahan’s system but there’s very little chance he ends up in Santa Clara. The price for a trade would be too high and Williams likely does not want to be a one-year rental. 

While Shanahan said that there’s a possibility the 49ers work out a few tackles this week, the team is not set on anything yet. Shanahan thought that Skule did a nice job going in after Staley left Sunday's game. 

"We were mainly running the ball at that time," Shanahan said. "But it was good to get him in a real NFL game especially since he’s going to be playing a lot next week.” 

Skule was a four-year starter at Vanderbilt and Shanahan believes that experience in the SEC will be valuable. Shanahan and the front office will still keep their noses to the ground looking for options, which he said is standard procedure.

“Always,” Shanahan said. “We would love to if there were options. You look at anything that’s possible. I don’t think that there are a ton of options out there that are possible.”

Shahanan explained that Skule is on the roster for a reason, which is why they have confidence that he can hold down the left side until Staley returns. 

“We kept Skule because we thought he was the best available,” Shanahan said. “So that doesn’t change now. I think that Skule is going to get a lot better throughout his career but we kept him on this team because he can help us win now.” 

One option the team will not explore is Mike McGlinchey switching to the left side. Shanahan doesn’t believe that one side is more important as defensive ends often rush from both sides, with the exception of Von Miller. 

Second-year lineman Daniel Brunskill is another option, who Shanahan said will work out this week at tackle as well. Most likely, the coaching staff will adjust to the personnel they have and provide help on the left side by using tight ends and/or a fullback for support.

[RELATED: Staley vows to coach Skule]

Shanahan said adding help isn’t only for rookies. The coach has always game-planned help as needed and sometimes elite players need it too. 

“I’ve been with a lot of good tackles,” Shanahan said. “Had Trent Williams in Washington and Joe Thomas in Cleveland and Joe Staley here. There’s still times when you’ve got to help those guys also.”

Kyle Shanahan's football mind at root of 49ers' dominant win vs. Bengals

Kyle Shanahan's football mind at root of 49ers' dominant win vs. Bengals

CINCINNATI -- As the jubilant 49ers squad returned the locker room, excited to return home after a 10-day stint on the road, on the opposite side of the stadium, a stunned Bengals team wondered what exactly had hit them. 

The 49ers offense got into a rhythm and there was no stopping them. They put 41 points up on the board and racked up 572 yards of offense. The defense sacked Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton four times and intercepted him once. That’s not to say the 49ers were perfect, because they weren’t. 

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw three touchdown passes, but still notched an interception on an obvious bad decision. There were blown coverages made by San Francisco's defense, but all-in-all it was a dominant performance on the field. 

What might have been the most crucial piece to the 49ers’ dominance of the Bengals was the football mind of Kyle Shanahan. The offense pulled out all the stops, using misdirection and even a trick play to throw Cincinnati off, and created mismatches that they were able to take advantage of. 

Shanahan and the offense left the Bengals defense dazed and confused. The evidence is in their postgame quotes. 

Bengals head coach Zac Taylor 

“We just need to be better with our eyes. They do a really good job with the play-actions off the run game. When they’re running the ball so successfully and you’re hell-bent on stopping the run, that’s when they pop one on you over the top. That’s where you saw that come from.”

“They can be sound in what they’re doing defensively by keeping everything in front of them. Offensively, they have all facets of their game open.” 

Cornerback William Jackson 

“They came out with a lot of gadget plays. They used every trick in the book.”

“It’s about having the right eyes and being in the right spot. They clearly play some Madden.” 

Defensive end Carlos Dunlap 

“They out-executed us with their game plan.”

“They challenged our eyes and leverage. All day.”

“It was everything. Pre-snap, post-snap, changing gaps and challenging us on the edge. They challenged us on the edge trying to bounce the ball. They were making more plays than us. I missed some plays early. We have to make plays.” 

Cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick 

“They got us a little off. They got us rattled today. We definitely could have communicated better, and executed the plays better. For the most part, they played hard-nosed football and took it right to us today.”

“They ran a lot of trick plays -- a lot of misdirection plays. There are some things we have to work on, obviously. For the most part, to me personally, they just brought it to us. They outplayed us. They just shoved it down us. We couldn’t get it going today.” 

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo 

Jimmy G even recognized the rhythm that Shanahan was in calling plays in Cincinnati. He explained how it makes his job easier and keeps the momentum going.

“His mind is incredible,” Garoppolo said of his head coach. “Just how he’s two plays ahead while we’re running the current play. It makes everything so easy. When he gets in a rhythm like that, it puts everyone in a good position.”

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Shanahan spoke earlier in the week about the staff working longer hours because they were on the road and away from their families. It paid dividends in Cincinnati, but hopefully they won’t have to sacrifice their personal lives for another strong performance in Week 3.