No. 1: Stay Healthy
The perfect “what if?” scenario for the 49ers in 2018 would have been how things may have panned out if Jimmy Garoppolo didn’t suffer his season-ending ACL tear in Week 3.
But he did, and the Niners campaign last year was awash as a result. There’s not other way around it.
Garoppolo’s injury wasn’t the only setback. Jerick McKinnon’s ACL tear forced Kyle Shanahan to completely revamp his offensive plans, which at least opened up the door for No. 2 running back Matt Breida to thrive. Yet that wasn’t the ideal scenario in the first place.
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Already mentioned was the attrition rate in San Francisco’s secondary, and more than a few other positions were greatly affected by the sheer amount of injuries the team suffered over the course of 2018.
In all, the Niners missed a whopping 168 game days to injured reserve over the course of the season. Thirteen players, who were still on the team’s roster to close out the year, ended up on injured reserve, too.
Perhaps this influenced the 49ers’ decision to gut their training staff and start fresh heading into 2019. While injuries are always a part of the game, the sizable amount the Niners have dealt with the last two seasons is concerning.
Maybe that luck — or whatever factors may be — change for San Francisco heading into 2019. That’s a must, particularly when thinking about what a deep run towards the Super Bowl would require.
Particularly at important positions like quarterback and running back.
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