49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan spoke with reporters after Wednesday’s practice and gave an update on the absences from the first practice leading up to the regular season.
There don’t appear to be any long-term issues ahead. Shanahan said the expectation is for all the players to return by Week 1, although he didn’t provide any guarantees.
Quarterback Trey Lance went through some drills, but didn’t take any snaps or make any real throws while he nurses a small chip on the index finger on his throwing hand. He wasn’t included in Shanahan’s update.
Here’s who was out Wednesday:
WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring)
(AP Photo/Tony Avelar)
Aiyuk missed the preseason finale as he aims to get his hamstring back to 100 percent. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the team take it slow with him even in the lead up to the regular season opener. He’s one of their top two receivers and the reward of rushing him back early in the year doesn’t outweigh the risk.
Arik Armstead (maintenance day)
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Armstead got a day off to start the week ahead of Week 1. The versatile defensive lineman had injury issues early in his career, but he’s played in all 16 games in each of the last three seasons. Keeping him fresh will be key to the 49ers’ defensive front bouncing back this year.
WR Travis Benjamin (concussion)
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It’s interesting Shanahan included the practice squad receiver in his injury update. He typically saves those updates for players on the active roster, which could be a hint that the team is planning on elevating Benjamin from the practice squad for the season opener. He’d be able to take the punt returning onus off of Aiyuk. He sustained a concussion in the preseason and hasn’t exited concussion protocol yet.
DL Kevin Givens (groin)
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It doesn’t sound like the groin injury for Givens is serious. Shanahan said “it’s been a little tight” so the 49ers “just kept him out for maintenance.” With Maurice Hurst on Injured Reserve with a high ankle sprain, having another defensive lineman out would be a tough blow to the interior of the defensive line. Givens getting on track by Monday to prep for the opener would be ideal.
Dre Greenlaw (groin)
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Shanahan said Greenlaw is in the same boat as Givens. The 49ers aren’t extremely deep at linebacker, so missing Greenlaw would be a tough way to start the year. Still, it appears the 49ers are just taking it slow with more than a week left before kickoff. Greenlaw’s status will be worth keeping an eye on going into Monday.
CB Dontae Johnson (hip)
(AP Photo/Josie Lepe)
Johnson was signed after Hurst and CB Davontae Harris went on IR. He’s been dealing with a hip issue and missed the last preseason game. The 49ers don’t have a ton of options at corner, so having the veteran healthy could be significant even though he’s not in line to start or play a big role in the season opener.