George Kittle, Ambry Thomas Injury Status; 3 Updates from Shanahan Following #DETvsSF

George Kittle, Ambry Thomas Injury Status; 3 Updates from Shanahan Following #DETvsSF
The San Francisco 49ers are Super Bowl bound following a 34-31 victory over the Detroit Lions in the NFC Championship Game. After falling behind 17 points at the half, San Francisco enjoyed a productive third quarter complete with a Jake Moody field goal, fourth down stop, Brandon Aiyuk touchdown pass, forced fumble by Tashaun Gipson Sr. and Christian McCaffrey rushing touchdown to erase the deficit heading into the fourth quarter. An Elijah Mitchell rushing touchdown and additional field goal in the final frame put the game just out of reach for Detroit, who managed just one score in the second half. This upcoming trip to Super Bowl LVIII marks the organization’s second trip to the big game in a span of five seasons.

Here are the three biggest takeaways from head coach Kyle Shanahan’s Monday conference call:

The 49ers avoided major injuries in their final home game at Levi’s® Stadium.

Cornerback Ambry Thomas exited Sunday’s contest in the fourth quarter after suffering an ankle injury on a passing attempt from Lions quarterback Jared Goff to wideout Jameson Williams. Veteran defensive back Logan Ryan stepped in at slot corner while Deommodore Lenoir moved to outside corner for the remainder of the game. Per Shanahan, Thomas will be day-to-day this week. Tight end George Kittle was a new addition to the injury list and will be day-to-day with a toe injury.

With two weeks before Super Bowl LVIII, this week of practice will look different than a typical practice week.

Shanahan had the guys back in the building on Monday to run players through their usual day-after-the-game tape and get some meetings out of the way before giving the team the next couple days off. Coaches are expected to have their game plan ready by Thursday and will dive into preparations for the Kansas City Chiefs with players as soon as they are back in the building. This is all part of a larger effort to get the bulk of their main work done in The Bay before traveling to Vegas.

“We did that last time too. We did it that way in Atlanta, growing up all the teams that I’ve talked to that’s one of the most important things,” Shanahan said. “When you wait to do stuff there, it just gets too hectic. You can always change things and tighten it up, but you want to get most of your heavy work done before you get there.”

Shanahan discussed the challenge of facing an Andy Reid system and the talent of the Kansas City Chiefs.

Shanahan’s first encounters with Kansas City head coach Andy Reid go much farther back than their first Super Bowl meeting in 2019. The two were once NFC East coaches that saw each other twice a year on a regular basis. Reid was the Philadelphia Eagles head coach from 1999 to 2012 while Shanahan was an offensive coordinator in Washington from 2010 to 2013. The two coaches have only had two regular season clashes since Shanahan signed on as head coach of the 49ers in 2017.

“Andy’s done it for so long, and always had success, going all the way back to Philly,” Shanahan said. “Being in the NFC East, when I was at Washington for four years, three of the four years we went against him. He’s always been so tough to go against and how he spreads it around, the formations and staying on top of stuff. Then you get him the type of quarterback that he has, and it’s definitely no coincidence how many games they’ve won together and how they seem to be in this situation every year.”

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