49ers Coach Kyle Shanahan Addresses Brandon Aiyuk Shoulder Injury

Brandon Aiyuk (right) of the 49ers

Getty Brandon Aiyuk (right) of the 49ers

All in all, the 49ers escaped the NFL‘s Week 2 unscathed. Mostly.

Despite a very tough showing from the Rams, who were a surprise blowout winner in Week 1 against Seattle, the 49ers managed to grind out a victory, 30-23, in Los Angeles, but one of the developments worth watching was a shoulder injury suffered by star receiver Brandon Aiyuk.

The injury did not force Aiyuk out entirely, but it was there. As coach Kyle Shanahan said after the game, “Aiyuk was in and out with the left shoulder.”

Asked if he thought it was a serious injury, Shanahan said, “I wouldn’t think so, I know it was hurting a little bit but he was able to play through it. So, I think he’ll be all right.”

Aiyuk had three catches for 43 yards in the game, and was targeted six times overall.

Shanahan said two other 49ers suffered minor injuries, too. Cornerback Ambry Thomas was one, “He had a knee,” Shanahan said. “He was in and out. And Deommodore Lenoir was the other, as he suffered what Shanahan termed a, “clear-his-head injury.”

Much Discussion of Purdy Overhtrows

Aiyuk was one of three receivers—speedy receivers Aiyuk, Deebo Samuel and JaJuan Jennings, at that—that quarterback Brock Purdy overthrew on Sunday. It’s not easy to overthrow those guys of course, so maybe that just further tamps down any questions about Purdy’s arm strength.

On the day, Purdy was exceptional again, completing 17 of his 25 passes for 206 yards. He did not have a touchdown or an interception, and notched a quarterback rating of 93.6 for the day. Purdy had three carries for five yards, including one touchdown. He was sacked once, but for no loss.

But the overthrows were a topic for him in Week 2.

“Yeah, in my eyes, there’s a couple opportunities obviously out there that I missed in in terms of the deep ball and whatnot,” Purdy said during his postgame media chat. “But, found a way to win.”

Purdy didn’t seem to make as much of the overthrows as the assembled media did.

“I just overthrew them — the one to BA, the one to Deebo, and then JJ on that third down,” Purdy said. “Those are on me. I’ve got to be better. I’ve got to hit them in stride and not overthrow them. Simple as that.”

Thursday Night Game on Tap for 49ers

The concern over the injury to Aiyuk could be magnified this week because it is Thursday Night week for the 49ers. There will only be three days between games, so there won’t be much time to figure out how injured his shoulder is and whether there’s much risk in him playing against New York.

For the first six quarters of the season, at least, it looked like the 49ers would not even need Aiyuk, or not much of anybody for that matter, to secure a win over the Giants. Following their embarrassing 40-0 opening-week loss to the Cowboys, New York was bludgeoned in the first half of its Week 2 game against Arizona, which saw the Cardinals take a 20-0 halftime lead.

But the Giants rallied in the third period and went from trailing 28-7, to scoring 24 straight points and winning, 31-28 in a remarkable comeback.

Maybe the comeback will have worn the Giants out by the time the Niners get them. More likely, the comeback will give the downtrodden team a bit of life as it bounces into Thursday.


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