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McKivitz Makes Strides; Shanahan Goes In-Depth on Buccaneers Defense

The San Francisco 49ers offensive line may have avoided the worst with right tackle Colton McKivitz (ankle/knee), who was added to the team's injury list on Monday. The fourth-year pro was on hand for Wednesday's practice and participated in a limited capacity. He was injured in San Francisco's Week 10 matchup after getting his ankle rolled up on. While the team has contingency plans in place for the position, having McKivitz at practice in any capacity is a positive sign for his Week 11 availability.

Meanwhile, fellow offensive lineman Nick Zakelj had his season cut short due to a biceps tear and was placed on the Injured Reserve list on Wednesday. Head coach Kyle Shanahan reported that Zakelj sustained the tear against the Jacksonville Jaguars and will need to undergo a season-ending surgery to repair it. The 49ers are expected to make a roster move to fill the spot previously held by Zakelj.

Shanahan's Tampa Bay Buccaneers Scouting Report

Similarly to the 49ers, the Buccaneers snapped a multi-game losing streak on Sunday, and now head into Week 11 looking to string together back-to-back wins. During Tampa Bay's four-game slide, three of those four games were lost by a margin of six points or less, so despite the unfavorable outcome, the Buccaneers have been competitive in 2023.

"I respect that they have a chance to win every game they play in. That's why they had a good record to start," Shanahan said. "They lost a couple tight ones and came back with a big one last week. I think they make it very tough to run the ball against.

"I think (Antoine) Winfield Jr. and Vita Vea are two of the best players in what they do. I think they have an offense with, you can never fall asleep on Mike Evans. He is as scary now as he was ten years ago. I have a lot of respect for Baker (Mayfield) and how he plays the position. They are a good team."

Tampa Bay is top ten in the league against the run, holding running backs to under four yards a carry this season. When asked about their formidable run defense, Buccaneers D-lineman Vita Vea's name came up more than once on Wednesday.

"They play really hard. They play well together. They fly to the ball," running back Christian McCaffrey said. "They have a couple of guys that are really tough to handle, obviously Vita and (Antoine Winfield Jr.)... Their backers are great. I played against these guys a lot in Carolina. They're well coached and play fast and physical." 

McCaffrey racked up 95 yards on 14 carries against the Jacksonville Jaguars, marking his best day on the ground since Week 4, aside from his 17-game touchdown streak coming to an end. His contributions, in addition to the return of Deebo Samuel and Trent Williams and another elite performance for Brock Purdy, helped the 49ers achieve another 30-plus point output in Week 10. 

"We have to be really detail oriented," McCaffrey said. "It's going to be about execution, just playing within the scheme, trusting the scheme and doing everything we can to work in tandem together."

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