The San Francisco 49ers opened up the practice week on a raining Thursday afternoon in Santa Clara, and they did so missing one of their key offensive playmakers in tight end George Kittle. Kittle, who suffered a toe injury in the 49ers NFC Championship Game versus the Detroit Lions, was a non participant in Thursday's workout. Head coach Kyle Shanahan described the injury as "just a toe" and noted earlier in the week his veteran tight end was expected to be day-to-day for this week.
Aside from Kittle, the team had just two other players carryover on the injury list from last week. Cornerback Ambry Thomas is working through an ankle injury and linebacker Oren Burks has a shoulder injury from a collision in practice leading up to the conference championship.
Nick Bosa Finally Watches the Tape
Bosa caught lots of people's attention when he revealed late in 2020 that he hadn't watched the tape on the 49ers loss in Super Bowl LIV to the Kansas City Chiefs. Fast forward three-plus years, it should come as no surprise that Bosa has relived the 49ers last trip to the big game in preparation for the rematch coming on February 11th.
"I've watched it," Bosa said. "I just start sweating a little bit, but I mean, it's fun to watch. It's a Super Bowl defense right there, and we have to take a page out of that if we want to go win it."
In San Francisco's most recent trip to the Super Bowl, the 49ers had a 20-7 fourth quarter lead erased and narrowly missed securing a sixth world championship for the organization. With the toughest test of the year quickly approaching, the veteran players from the defense are applying lessons from their first Super Bowl experiences to help power them to success in the next.
"You definitely learn a lot going through a long season in 2019," Bosa said. "You don't understand it as much as a rookie how hard it is to get there, but just how hard you have to play and how locked in you have to be for the entire four quarters if you want to win.
"I've learned that, and I'm just going to relay to the guys that there has to be a different level of effort, intensity, unselfishness that you have to get there for every single snap that you're in there."
Linebacker Fred Warner, a second-year player for Super Bowl LIV, has a similar takeaway from his first shot at the Super Bowl.
"I look back at that moment, and I can truly say I was in the moment," Warner said. "I took it really seriously even though I was young, but when you're young and naive, when you go so early in your career it's like, 'Man, this is just what it's like.' You go to the Super Bowl every year, you have a chance to compete. That's not what the case is.
"We've been so close, and we finally have another opportunity, and you have to make the most of it because you never know if you'll have another opportunity. You have to sell out for three hours and give it your best."