The San Francisco 49ers caught the injury bug early coming off of the Week 1 loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Notably, Richard Sherman was placed on Injured Reserve on Wednesday morning after dealing with a calf strain that will keep him sidelined for at least the next three weeks. According to Kyle Shanahan, the injury occurred during the last series of Sunday's game, but isn't thought to be too concerning. The cornerback was dealing with discomfort when the team returned to the facility on Monday, which led to the team placing the corner on IR.
Fellow cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon did not practice on Wednesday as he is in concussion protocol. The team announced that they placed former sixth-round pick Tim Harris Jr. on Practice Squad Injured Reserve after he strained his calf during Friday's practice.
Additionally, George Kittle is working his way back from knee sprain suffered during Sunday's game. The tight end dealt with soreness on Monday, which led the team to rest him leading up to Week 2 against the New York Jets. Despite being a limited participant this week, Kittle "fully expects" to be available on Sunday.
"We'll give him the whole week," Shanahan said. "We always love to get him out there on Friday. We'll see how that goes. Friday is a walkthrough anyways. But Kittle's one guy that if he's ready to go on Sunday and the doctors say he's good to go, then we have no problem with him going without practicing."
Given Kittle's status, the 49ers could see an uptick in snaps for Jordan Reed. In Week 1, Reed saw two targets for 12 yards and appeared in just 16 percent of offensive snaps. Shanahan believes despite his late start and slow acclimation into training camp given his injury history, the tight end could see more opportunities in the future. The head coach says Reed has potential to see more playing time pending Kittle's status for Sunday.
Additionally on offense, Shanahan is optimistic about both Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) and Ben Garland (ankle) heading into Week 2. Both were participants during last week's sessions, but were held out of Sunday's game. Aiyuk and Garland were limited participants during Wednesday's practice.
The 49ers added reinforcements on Tuesday with the signing of veteran wide receiver Mohamed Sanu. The wideout is required to undergo COVID testing and protocols prior to joining the team. So far, he has been a remote participant in team meetings. If cleared by Friday's practice, Sanu would have just one walkthrough with the team before making his 49ers debut. Shanahan believes the veteran's familiarity with his offense from his time with the Atlanta Falcons should aid him in his quick turnaround ahead of Sunday's matchup.
"That's the benefit of being with someone before, that he's familiar with the offense," Shanahan said. "He only had one year away from it and did some very similar verbiage and stuff in Atlanta, even after I left. So, he's familiar with it. It's good that we got him done so he can at least listen to our meetings. He can't be here, but he has an idea of the game plan, can see it all. He'll be able to get there out at practice, which is a half-speed practice anyways. Mo will do his part. He's a pro. He'll learn his responsibilities, what he has to do and basically the decision of whether he'll play or not probably is going to depend on the health of our other receivers and how that goes this week."