The San Francisco 49ers jumped back into their normal game week schedule on Wednesday and opened up practice with a mostly healthy roster. In his first address to the media following the week off, head coach Kyle Shanahan had just four names on his injury report: DL Arik Armstead (foot, ankle), DL Samson Ebukam (Achilles, quad), LB Dre Greenlaw (calf) and CB Jason Verrett (knee).
Head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed that Armstead is dealing with a stress reaction and hairline fracture of his left fibula and plantar fascia on his right foot. Armstead and Ebukam both did not practice on Wednesday. Greenlaw and Verrett both practiced in a limited capacity.
Additionally, running back Elijah Mitchell, linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair and offensive lineman Colton McKivitz were all fully available on Wednesday after having their practice windows opened earlier in the week. Joining this trio is defensive lineman Jordan Willis who had his practice window opened on Wednesday.
As was the case on Monday for the team's bonus practice, wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring), fullback Kyle Juszczyk (finger) and wideout Jauan Jennings (hamstring) were all fully available. All three were sidelined for the team's Week 8 contest against the Los Angeles Rams.
Second Half Enthusiasm is Sky High
A big reason for all the second half enthusiasm from the locker room is the expected return of a slew of players to game action on "Sunday Night Football" against the Los Angeles Chargers. The 49ers wrapped up the first half of the season with a 31-14 statement victory over the Rams and that was with several key players missing. Add in those missing components, and there's no telling just how dominant this team can be.
"This is the grind of the season now, this stretch we are about to go on," linebacker Fred Warner said. "We need all our weapons. It's good to see some familiar faces out there. Having Azeez back out on the field is great and a bunch of other guys."
While the time away allowed all players – injured or not - to enjoy a mental and physical reset midway through the year, the 49ers are eager to get back to work. There is plenty of anticipation surrounding what's possible for a team that can feature both dual-threat running back Christian McCaffrey and Samuel in the backfield at the same time. If the "wideback" can rejoin the team on Sunday, it will be the first time both of the 49ers hybrid playmakers will be fully unleashed together since the trade.
"It's just that extra element of having another playmaker who can do so many things out of the backfield," Warner said. "You don't know which guy you are supposed to key against a guy like Deebo. On Christian's side, when he's in the backfield playing running back you have to play him a certain way there compared to when he's playing receiver."
The team enters the second half of the regular season at 4-4 and in second place in the NFC West. Several players mentioned the record is not what they had envisioned at this point in the year, but they feel the team's best football is still in front of them.
"We're made of the right stuff," Warner said. "If you told us we would be 4-4 at the midway point, we'd be pretty pissed off about it. We've taken the losses that we've had and learned from them."
Defensive lineman Nick Bosa echoed those sentiments.
"We're pretty well positioned," Bosa said. "I think everything is in front of us which is what you hope for at this point. We definitely need to take it one day at a time because there's a lot of games left and there is a lot that is going to happen throughout the year still."