The San Francisco 49ers are still in control of their own destiny despite a 33-19 Christmas night loss to the Baltimore Ravens. San Francisco (11-4) remains at the top of the NFC standings because of their better conference record than the Detroit Lions (11-4) and owning the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Philadelphia Eagles (11-4). To ensure they retain the No. 1 seed, they'll have to win their final two games of the regular season slate.
The 49ers Week 16 loss came down to five turnovers and over 100 yards in penalties, both of which are uncharacteristic numbers for this 2023 team. Injuries are the most concerning thing to emerge from the "Monday Night Football" matchup with a number of players making an early exit from the contest and a short turnaround to San Francisco's Week 17 game.
"I liked how our guys fought at the end," head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "When you play a little sloppy with those turnovers and penalties, when you're going against a good team, it makes it tough to win."
Here are the three biggest takeaways from Shanahan during his Tuesday conference call:
With the 49ers next game in six days, the 49ers expect to have a lighter week of practice.
The 49ers will head to the East Coast on Friday for their Week 17 matchup against the Washington Commanders on New Year's Eve, and given the late game on Monday night and short travel turnaround, there will be adjustments made to San Francisco's practice schedule. For the past two weeks, San Francisco has turned Wednesdays into walkthrough days and will further accommodate for the unique circumstances of the week and where the team is at this point in the season.
"I'm going to start a little bit later (Wednesday), let the guys sleep in just a little bit longer and let us tidy up the game plan a little bit more before they get," Shanahan said. "We definitely won't do anything full speed and take that off the guys. You definitely have to do that this time of the year."
The head coach shared the injury status of players that were inactive for Week 16 and noted that injury updates for newly injured players would come later in the day.
- RB Elijah Mitchell (knee): will be full go
- LB Oren Burks (knee): expected to be back at practice this week
- TE Ross Dwelley (high ankle sprain): hope to have him back at practice this week, still watching progress throughout the day
- DL Arik Armstead (foot/knee): in a similar situation as Week 16, Shanahan said the team is going to "see how rehab goes this week."
- WR Jauan Jennings (concussion): still in the concussion protocol
Quarterback Brock Purdy has suffered stingers in back-to-back games now, however, there appears to be once again be no lingering effects that will carry over into Week 17.
The 49ers sophomore quarterback was sacked midway through the fourth quarter of the Christmas night contest and suffered a stinger in a second-straight game. Unlike Week 15 against the Arizona Cardinals where he reentered the game three plays later, Purdy stayed out for the remainder of the contest, and San Francisco had Sam Darnold take over quarterback duties for last eight minutes of the game. Shanahan noted that Purdy could have "possibly" gone back in if needed, but given the injuries to the offensive line and where the game was, the team opted to keep him out. The head coach does not expect Purdy to have any lingering effects from the stinger.
"Just watching how he was that week (against Arizona), hearing how he was today and talking to him last night after the game, I think he's going to be fine," Shanahan said. "I don't think it's going to bother him. I'm sure it's a pain for him, but overall, I think he's going to be fine for us this week."