This week, the 49ers will be cramming six days worth of preparation into under four as the team sets its sights on their Thursday night road matchup against the Tennessee Titans. Some of the prep is also dependent on who will and will not be available in San Francisco's short turnaround.
Two young key pieces of the 49ers success this season weren't on hand for their Week 15 victory against the Atlanta Falcons, however, San Francisco is "holding out hope" that things can change in four days time.
Running back Elijah Mitchell was placed in the concussion protocol after taking a hit to the head in Week 13 and has been dealing with a knee injury sustained in the same game. His knee irritation has been worrisome, as the recovery has taken longer than anticipated and left San Francisco feeling less than optimistic heading into this past weekend.
It's a similar story for standout linebacker Azeez Al-Shaair, who was also sidelined on Sunday with an elbow sprain. With the expectation of having both players on the field against the Falcons, the 49ers will continue to assess their progress over the short week and will likely take their decisions on both players down to game time.
"We're holding out hope they'll be ready to go," Kyle Shanahan said on Monday. "I know it's a shorter turnaround here. They obviously weren't ready to go yesterday. But we're not having full practices this week. If they can go, we'll definitely let them go. So, we'll take it all the way up to kickoff."
The 49ers were relatively fortunate coming out of Sunday's game. Safety Talanoa Hufanga left Sunday's contest with a knee sprain. Per Shanahan, the 49ers will evaluate the rookie as the week progresses. Nick Bosa (concussion) and Jaquiski Tartt (ankle) both left the game at one point but were cleared to return.
As far as Tartt's injury, Shanahan said that although the veteran is considered "day-to-day," he would be surprised if the safety isn't good to go for Thursday's tilt. Hufanga's health could threaten the 49ers depth at safety, should Tartt's injury linger longer than expected.
Veteran safety Tavon Wilson (foot) has been on Injured Reserve since Week 10, as Shanahan noted the team is "holding out hope" for a regular season return. Meanwhile, former third-round pick Tarvarius Moore (Achilles), who opened the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, isn't likely to play this season, per Shanahan.
During both Tartt and Hufanga's absence, Jarrod Wilson, who was activated from the team's practice squad on Saturday, played two snaps in their place.
Shanahan also provided an update on veteran corner Emmanuel Moseley, who was placed on Injured Reserve in Week 14. Moseley suffered a high-ankle sprain in the 49ers divisional contest against the Seattle Seahawks and was expected to "miss some time." As the San Francisco has seen first hand, high-ankle sprains can take several weeks to recover from, as Shanahan noted the 49ers would be "fortunate" to get Moseley back by the regular season finale against the Los Angeles Rams.
Moseley was having an underrated before being placed on IR, notching 10 passes defended, while also allowing a completion percentage of just 56 percent. He had also not allowed a touchdown catch in 51 targets, according to Pro Football Focus.
With Moseley out, third-round rookie corner Ambry Thomas has gotten the start in his absence. So far, through his first two career starts, the 49ers have been encouraged by the rookie's "by-no-means perfect" play.
"We thought he did some good things versus Cincinnati," Shanahan said. "By no means perfect, but definitely competed out there and had some good plays. And he did the best in practice all week. We got Dontae Johnson here late on Friday, and so we went with him. He did some good things in the game, but definitely gave up some plays also. He had decent coverage. He's just got to do a better job of making a play on the ball and not giving up the catch."