49ers Mailbag: Division rivals, injury updates, roster spots, Sherman’s insight and more

49ers Mailbag: Division rivals, injury updates, roster spots, Sherman’s insight and more

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(**)The (***)San Francisco (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers(****) are preparing for their biggest game of the season so far. Kyle Shanahan’s 8-0 squad has their sights set on their Monday night matchup against their old division rival (*****)Seattle Seahawks(****), who are 7-2 and second place in the NFC West. With quarterback Russel Wilson playing lights out, and San Francisco’s defense among the NFL’s best, it’s certainly shaping up to be a clash of titans at Levi’s Stadium.(******)
(*******)We’ll get into that and more in our weekly mailbag column. You’re welcome to drop questions in here for next week’s mailbag or tweet me (********)@Rob_Lowder(****).(******)
(*********)When should we expect to see K (**********)Robbie Gould(****) back? (***********)Sam(****)
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(*************)We included this one upfront, just in case any of our readers are yet to see the latest (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers injury news. The (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers kicker is the latest victim of the injury bug, having suffered a strained quad during the week. (**************)Gould(****) isn’t expected to play on Monday, so the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers signed former (***************)Los Angeles Chargers(****) kicker (****************)Chase McLaughlin(****) to fill in. The injury isn’t considered significant, and (*****************)Gould(****) likely returns within a week or two.(******)
(******************)Will Richard Sherman’s experience with the Seahawks help to limit (*******************)Russell Wilson(****)? (********************)Chris(****)
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(*********************)Sherman’s time spent with Wilson in Seattle undoubtedly gives him an advantage that other cornerbacks will not have. He’ll be able to offer unique insight to the entire defense on how to put the Seahawks’ quarterback into a position that favors the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers defense. On the other hand, much of Wilson’s success comes from off-schedule plays that cannot be predicted. Sherman’s presence helps the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers, but the current NFL MVP front-runner will still find a way.(******)
(**********************)Is it crazy to think the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers should move LB (***********************)Fred Warner(****) back to WILL and put LB (************************)Dre Greenlaw(****) at MIKE? (*************************)Zack(****)
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(**************************)I don’t think that’s crazy, Zack, but I also don’t think it’s the path the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers take to replacing Kwon Alexander. Robert Saleh likely won’t want to move two players to new spots just to replace one, even if (***************************)Warner(****)’s already played at WILL. Greenlaw is expected to step in for Alexander at that spot, and the hope is he can fill in as successfully as the other players that’ve replaced starters during the team’s 8-0 run. The energy that Alexander brought to the defense will be harder to replace than his production.(******)
(****************************)Will WR (*****************************)Trent Taylor(****) play this season? (******************************)Kal(****)
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(*******************************)Shanahan recently touched on this, and it doesn’t seem likely. (********************************)Taylor(****) broke his foot late in training camp and has been unable to bounce back. He’s suffered multiple setbacks, one of which includes an infection after surgery. It’s a shame because (*********************************)Taylor(****) was far-and-away the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers’ best receiver throughout the offseason. He likely finishes out the year on injured reserve and attempts to make his comeback in (*********************************************************************************************************).(******)
(**********************************)Any update on WR (***********************************)Jalen Hurd(****)? (************************************)Todd(****)
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(*************************************)Shanahan also updated the media on the progress of Hurd on Thursday, who suffered a stress fracture in his back during the preseason. The (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers’ rookie receiver seems to have a better shot of returning this season than Taylor. He was working out on the sideline during practice this week. The (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers can activate his practice window next week before the team’s Week (*******************************************************************************************************************) matchup against the (**************************************)Arizona Cardinals(****). Shanahan said they’ll evaluate Hurd’s progress and wait to activate his window until they feel he has the best shot to return.(******)
(***************************************)Why hasn’t (****************************************)Dante Pettis(****) emerged as a go-to receiver? (*****************************************)Albarran(****)
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(******************************************)(*******************************************)Pettis(****)’ second season with the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers has been odd. It’s been a mixture of frustration and flashes of what he showed at the close of his rookie year. The presence of veteran (********************************************)Emmanuel Sanders(****) takes the pressure of (*********************************************)Pettis(****) to be that guy and allows him to develop at a slower pace, which is common for young wideouts. There isn’t any one reason that Pettis has failed to develop into (**********************************************)Jimmy Garoppolo(****)’s go-to, but I wouldn’t give up on the second-year receiver just yet.(******)
(***********************************************)Given the run game’s success, should the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers trade RB (************************************************)Jerick McKinnon(****) in the offseason and address other needs? (*************************************************)Milkman(****)
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(**************************************************)What to do with (***************************************************)McKinnon(****) is definitely something that’s crossed my mind. He has a cap number of $8.5 million, none of which is guaranteed. It’s a number the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers simply won’t accept given (****************************************************)McKinnon(****)’s struggles to return from a torn ACL suffering in (***********************************************************************************************************). His salary cap impact also makes him difficult to trade. If I had to guess, I would assume the front office attempts to restructure McKinnon’s contract to keep him around. Shanahan has a very high opinion of McKinnon’s ability, and we’ve never gotten to see how he’d be utilized in the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers offense.(******)
(*****************************************************)What’s the latest of (******************************************************)Garrett Celek(****)? (*******************************************************)CT(****)
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(********************************************************)The (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers opened up the practice window for tight end Garett (*********************************************************)Celek(****) this week. The (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers’ veteran tight end has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list after undergoing back surgery in the offseason. (**********************************************************)Celek(****) will practice for three weeks, after which the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers will either add him to the (***************************************************************************************************************)-man roster or place him on injured reserve. Celek is adored within the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers locker room, and I anticipate the team taking a serious look at how they can work him on to the roster.(******)
(***********************************************************)Is this team built to beat the (************************************************************)New England Patriots(****)? (*************************************************************)Scott(****)
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(**************************************************************)I believe so, Scott, and it starts on defense. Saleh’s group is sound, and the pass rush would appreciate (***************************************************************)Tom Brady(****)’s lack of mobility. New England’s offense struggled against the (****************************************************************)Baltimore Ravens(****) on Sunday and would likely suffer a similar fate against a better (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers defense. Shanahan’s offense would have enough success to edge a team like New England, despite currently owning the league’s best defense. Of course, it’s never that simple, but if the (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers face the Patriots in February, I like their chances.(******)
(*****************************************************************)Best (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers podcast? (******************************************************************)Sean(****)
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(*******************************************************************)It has to be Striking Gold on the Blue Wire Network. The host that sounds like a mix of Ray Ramano and Kermit the Frog is easily the best of the lot. But seriously, there’s a ton of great podcasts out there that are worth your time, and I don’t listen to enough of them to have any hot takes. Better Rivals, Candlestick Chronicles, Locked on (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers, (*****************************************************************************************************************)ers Insiders, Scarlet Jimmies, No Huddle, and much more. There’s no shortage of solid content. Y’all are spoiled.(******)
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