The San Francisco 49ers are back in the building after some much needed days off. The team locked up the division in Week 15 with a 21-13 victory over the Seattle Seahawks on the road, and now, their focus is on competing for improved postseason positioning with the Washington Commanders coming to Santa Clara in Week 16. Head coach Kyle Shanahan's approach to this final stretch of the regular season isn't much different from that of the last 15 weeks. The 49ers are playing to win and won't be sidelining any of their big playmakers aside from those working back from injuries.
"I've been on a lot of teams where you rest guys and or give guys a few more weeks, and those are usually the guys who struggle the most in that first playoff game," Shanahan said. "I think situations are different. Last year, when it came down to our last game, you had guys that were fighting to play because they were right on the bubble of not being able to play. In this situation, those guys you would definitely rest."
San Francisco had a few players sit out of the team's first workout of the week including: quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo (foot), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (knee, ankle), defensive lineman Kerry Hyder Jr. (ankle),Kevin Givens (knee) and T Trent Williams (non-injury related - resting player).
In addition to those five, quarterback Brock Purdy (oblique, rib), defensive lineman Arik Armstead (foot, ankle), safety Tarvarius Moore (knee), cornerback Charvarius Ward (concussion), cornerback Ambry Thomas (ankle) and running back Christian McCaffrey (knee) were all limited participants in Tuesday's practice.
Per the head coach, Purdy was sore following the big win on "Thursday Night Football" but continues to trend in the right direction healthwise. Last week, the rookie quarterback did not throw any passes prior to gameday in Seattle. Today, he was connecting with his pass catchers during individual drills in the portion of practice open to media.
49ers Open Up Practice Windows for Two Defensive Linemen
On Tuesday morning, the 49ers announced they have opened up the practice windows for defensive linemen Kalia Davis and Javon Kinlaw. The rookie opened up the year on the Non-Football Injury list while Kinlaw (knee) landed on the Injured Reserve list following Week 3 in Denver.
Kinlaw was fresh off an offseason knee surgery before suffering a setback early in the year. He's been quietly working his way back to the team, opting to watch games from the broadcast rather than the sidelines.
"It's the same stuff, you just don't see me on the grass, but I'm always around," Kinlaw said. "You see the game better on the TV versus being on the sidelines. I'm always around, I'm always still doing what I've been doing off the field."
The third-year defensive lineman did not practice on Tuesday but is expected to be out on the field come Wednesday and possibly make his return against the Commanders on Saturday.
Davis did make an appearance at practice, marking the first practice of his NFL career. It's unclear if the rookie will make a debut in this final stretch of the season, but it hasn't been ruled out.
"He has a chance. This is his first time getting out there, so I'm not trying to put all that pressure on him, but we'd like to see him," Shanahan said. "He didn't get to compete with us here in the offseason, so we'll open his three-week window today, and he'll get a chance to go out there and hopefully get into football shape and show us what he can do."