Kyle Shanahan spoke with the media on Monday following the team’s 26-16 victory over the Houston Texans. The San Francisco 49ers head coach and gave updates on four key players and an outlook on the team’s Week 15 matchup against the Tennessee Titans.
Here’s what the head coach had to say.*1. Ahkello Witherspoon *
San Francisco received some encouraging news on Monday morning. The 49ers rookie cornerback left Sunday’s contest early with a knee injury. Following an MRI on Monday, Shanahan reported that Witherspoon suffered a sprained knee and could potentially return on Sunday against the Tennessee Titans.
“He'll be day-to-day,” Shanahan said. “We'll see when he comes in Wednesday to have an idea whether he can practice, be limited, or what his status will be.
“Any time they talk about a knee and stuff, I'm always nervous about it. They said the MRI was encouraging. The fact he's got a chance to play this week, I was encouraged with.”
2. Jimmy Garoppolo
Garoppolo now has two full games as the 49ers starter under his belt and has left Shanahan with much to be pleased with. With just over a month’s preparation for his 49ers debut, San Francisco’s head coach has already seen progression in Garoppolo’s two starts.
“The Chicago game was a good first experience. I think (Houston) was even easier,” Shanahan said. “I think he had an idea of how a week went, how a game went. I had a better idea of how he handles some situations.
“I think he had an idea of how I call plays and how I go through a game. I had a much better idea of what he was used to. So, I think we were both better in that aspect in this game, and I think we'll continue to be throughout the year.”
San Francisco’s confidence has continued to build with Garoppolo under center, which has led many to inquire about the team's plan for the upcoming free agent.
“Obviously, we're very encouraged with how these two games have been. We'll see what happens here in the offseason when we get together and can assess everything," Shanahan added. "I definitely don't think that’s something he's thinking about at this point, and it's definitely not something I'm thinking about either.”
3. Trent Brown
An ailing shoulder injury forced Brown to miss two of the 49ers last three games. Brown's status remains uncertain ahead of Week 15. If he's unable to go, Zane Beadles would get his second-straight start at right tackle.
“I go with what our medical staff tells me and whether he's going to be able to play. I know it was bothering him more the week after the Chicago game than the week before, and that's obviously why he didn't play (on Sunday),” Shanahan said. “I know we'll give it a couple days, and hopefully I'll get more information, and I'll have a better idea on whether we can expect him this week or not.”
4. Robbie Gould
The 49ers kicker has been golden this season, converting 30-of-32 field goals and 18-of-19 PATs. On top of being the 49ers leading scorer, Gould has been a perfect 13-for-13 in field goals over the last five contests.
“I think it's pretty special. He's been great this year,” Shanahan said. “Most of the time, I'm always wanting to go for it and never considering us in field goal range until we're really inside the 20 or things like that because I just have a lot of scars from my past. Those have changed. That changes because it's real. When a guy goes out there and has been as consistent as he has, then you never think he's going to miss it. If he ever does, hey, that is going to happen once in a while, but Robbie's been so automatic this year, it’s given the team a lot of confidence when we get in that area.”