The San Francisco 49ers will be without another key offensive piece with leading rusher Matt Breida sidelined at least a week with an injured ankle.
Breida hurt himself in warmups before Sunday’s 43-16 loss at Seattle that officially eliminated the 49ers from playoff contention. Breida tried to play through the injury but eventually couldn’t and left the game.
He finished the game with five carries for six yards and three catches for 51 yards.
Rookie Jeff Wilson fared well in just his second career game, carrying 15 times for 61 yards and adding eight catches for 73 yards. He also lost a disputed fumble near the goal line that coach Kyle Shanahan felt should have been ruled down by contact.
“He hits the hole and he runs hard,” Shanahan said. “He’s a very good zone runner. He doesn’t mess around. He sets his track. When he sees an open gap, he puts his foot down and goes for it.”
Breida has been one of the few bright spots on offense this season for the 49ers, rushing for 744 yards and ranking third in the league with an average of 5.64 yards per carry.
He got his chance because projected starter Jerick McKinnon went down with a season-ending knee injury a week before the opener. San Francisco also lost starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a season-ending knee injury in Week 3 and has struggled for any consistency on offense.
The Niners will get a bit of a boost this week with the expected return of speedy receiver Marquise Goodwin to the lineup. Goodwin has missed the past two games while dealing with a serious family matter but was at the facility Monday and expected to be back at practice on Wednesday.
Shanahan had challenged the Niners before their bye to come back focused for the stretch run of what has been a mostly lost season. Instead, San Francisco returned from the bye and lost 27-9 at Tampa Bay and then was hammered by the Seahawks.
The 49ers will try to avoid tying a franchise worst with a third straight loss by at least 17 points at home on Sunday against Denver. The Niners had three-game skids of losses of at least 17 points in 1963, 1999, 2005 and 2016.
“We didn’t play very well,” Shanahan said. “That doesn’t go into they didn’t respond to my challenge. You have to play very good football to win games and we haven’t done that enough consistently in all three phases throughout the year. Magic words don’t make people different. I want people to focus and worry about what they can control. We have four games left. We know we’re eliminated from the playoffs. So is this year over? This year has everything to do, for me, about next year.”
Shanahan also explained why he got so incensed at the officials after an offside call in the third quarter against Elijah Lee, who was trying to run on the field to replace Fred Warner while the Seahawks were in hurry-up mode.
Shanahan said Warner’s shoe fell off on the previous play and Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw it out of the way, forcing Warner to run and pick it up behind the line of scrimmage and Lee to try to rush on to take his place.
“I’m not saying he did that maliciously or anything. Who knows?” Shanahan said. “But it was an unusual situation and it was my tipping point.”
NOTES: Edge rusher Dekoda Watson will be placed on IR with a torn calf muscle. … S Jaquiski Tartt will miss this week’s game with a stinger.
Source: The Associated Press