Head Coach Kyle Shanahan Press Conference

Head Coach Kyle Shanahan

Press Conference – December 31, 2021

San Francisco 49ers

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Opening comments:

“Alright guys, injuries. [DL Maurice] Mo Hurst, out. [LB Dre] Greenlaw, out. [LB] Azeez [Al-Shaair], out. [S Talanoa] Hufanga, doubtful. [QB Jimmy] Garoppolo, doubtful and [RB Elijah] Mitchell, questionable. Go ahead.”

Are you ready to announce that QB Trey Lance will start against the Texans, and then what is Garoppolo’s outlook for next week and beyond?

“No, I’m not ready to announce that. Jimmy’s not out, so I’m holding out hope. He’s got a chance this week, so he’ll have a better chance next week.”

Will you have to bring QB Nate Sudfeld up and have him as your backup this week or at least potentially?

“Yeah, potentially, we were able to flex him with the COVID flex. So we got him up for that, just in case.”

We didn’t see Jimmy throw. Was he able to throw at all this week? And if so, how did that go?

“That’s why we didn’t have him go out this week because we’re told each day that we can push it off one more, it gives him a better chance for it to stay. So we’re trying to hold him throwing off until tomorrow, possibly Sunday.”

How did how did Trey Lance perform in practice this week?

“He had a good week, real good week.”

You said that Jimmy does not need surgery right now. Does that indicate he will need it at some point, obviously after the season, to have that surgical repaired?

“I don’t think so. They said that they don’t think he needs surgery. That doesn’t mean that it can’t get worse and that you may need it, so I’m not sure about that. But he doesn’t need surgery right now. And from what I’m told, I don’t think he’ll need it after the season, but there’s always possibilities.”

After we talked to you on Wednesday, you guys signed QB Tyler Bray to the practice squad. What was the thinking behind that and what do you like about Bray?

“That he’s been in this league, that he’s been around. I remember watching him when he came out. I’ve always liked how he throws. I’ve heard really good things about him from other coaches. We thought it was necessary to do that. Having a guy questionable to play this week, starting out the week. All the stuff that’s going on with COVID too, things can get pretty bad, pretty fast as everyone’s seen. So you can’t be prepared enough for that.”

What’s kind of the confidence level you sense with the team around when they see Trey out there at quarterback? Do you feel that they don’t need to do something extra, that they believe in him enough where they can just focus on doing their job, that they don’t have to circle the wagons and help prop up a rookie?

“Yeah, I think so. I think anytime you have a new player playing with the team in terms of a guy who hasn’t been out there much, it’s tough at the quarterback position. You don’t usually play two. So anytime the guy’s a rookie, you want to do everything you can to help the guy out and make it easier. And to me, guys are locked in and they’re helping him out in walkthroughs. But besides that, I don’t think anyone thinks they have to do anything extra. I think guys believe in Trey. I think guys expect him to go out there and play well. By no means, like everyone, is he going to play perfect. But I think that guys, they got to see him Arizona week, they got to see him this week, in terms of how he handles himself. And I think that it’s even stronger this week, he knows how to handle the part. He knows how to get in the huddle. He takes command. His preparation is very impressive and I think that gives the guys a lot of confidence in him.”

I know you said Elijah Mitchell was questionable, I believe. How did he get through the week and what kind of usage could he have if he’s available?

“Yesterday, I thought, was his best day that he’s had. Just for a Thursday, that’s really the only day this time of year that we’re going full speed. And he was able to get more reps than he has had since this has happened to him. So I think that’s very encouraging, especially when he does that. Today, he didn’t feel worse, which was the key and he was able to get some today. Hopefully that’ll continue all the way up to Sunday, but we’ll play Elijah as much as he can handle. So that’s about watching him, watching how his legs work, communicating with him, which is really what Bobby [running backs coach Robert Turner Jr.] does throughout the game. And when he is tired, if he’s going, Bobby doesn’t hesitate. He puts [RB] Jeff [Wilson Jr.] in there, and we have a number of guys we can put in there.”

As this has been explained to you, since he has a torn ligament in his thumb, does time give him better range of motion and less pain? Do you know in what ways Jimmy can improve and be able to throw given rest?

“Yeah. I’m getting really close to never talking about injuries again. Very close, but I’ve told you guys everything I know. I’ll try to say it the same way again. The ligaments torn. The more you can heal, the better it has a chance to re-latch. The quicker you go back, the more it doesn’t re-latch, That’s the word I understand. That’s about all I know. I’m sure you’ll get one more though.”

Are you guys kind of under the assumption that you might get flexed into the Saturday game next week since the NFL hasn’t assigned those teams? I guess it’s a guessing game, but are you kind of braced for that if that’s the case?

“Honestly, I haven’t even thought about it, until you just asked that. I guess that does make sense, but I haven’t thought past this game. They’re all big, but we know how big this one is, so if that happens great. We’ll be ready for it.”