The 49ers are grateful for their short turnaround following Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks to quickly realign their focus onto the Green Bay Packers on "Thursday Night Football." However, this 49ers team will look drastically different from their two contests against Green Bay during the 2019 season with the absence of more than 10 starters due to injury. Following the loss of Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) and George Kittle (foot fracture), the 49ers are taking the upcoming matchup as a challenge as the team will be relying on a number of backups on Thursday.
"You don't ignore (the injuries) like it's not happening, you just keep it real with guys," Kyle Shanahan said on Tuesday. "We have experience of losing guys in the past. Our team knows how to deal with it. What we're going through now is a little unprecedented, I think for us and probably for anybody. But I think our guys take it as a challenge. When you lose guys that you depend on and guys that you want out there, there's a little depressing feeling to it for everybody right when you hear it. But you've got to go play.
"The way our guys are made, you get excited for the challenge and we've had guys come in and step up and do well. I can go to our entire roster on who's not playing, and you can get up and that can be depressing, but then I can go through and mention a lot of people who are playing. They give you a very good chance to win. So, we've got plenty of guys on our team who can help us win games, and that's what our guys plan to do."
Additionally, the 49ers will be without Deebo Samuel for the second-straight week as the wideout continues to work his way back from a hamstring injury suffered in Week 7. Tevin Coleman, who re-injured the same knee that forced him to miss five games earlier this season, will also be sidelined on Thursday, and according to Shanahan, is likely to miss multiple contests.
With Coleman out, Jerick McKinnon and JaMycal Hasty are, again, the 49ers only healthy running backs on the active roster. The team is likely to promote former undrafted tailback Austin Walter, who spent the 2019 offseason with the 49ers before being waived ahead of the ensuing roster cuts. Walter's familiarity with Shanahan's offense has bode well for the running back as he was signed to the team's practice squad in Week 2 after spending time with the XFL's Dallas Renegades last season.
"It's hard when you bring some backs in during the year to put them on practice squad because you don't start to get a real good look at them. They're doing other people's stuff," Shanahan said. "What helped us with Austin, we had him at training camp last year. So, we got to spend about five weeks with him last year throughout the offseason and everything. So, he has some more familiarity with our offense than someone who would have just been here a couple weeks."
Tight end Jordan Reed is expected to be a limited participant at practice on Wednesday, as the 49ers opened his practice window from Injured Reserve last Wednesday. Jaquiski Tartt, who missed the last two games with a groin injury will also practice in a limited capacity along with wide receiver Richie James.