No. 1: Maintain the Status Quo
During this onslaught of injuries, Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have not panicked. They’ve maintained confidence in the roster they assembled over the past two-plus seasons and stayed true to the mantra, “next man up.”
San Francisco 49ers
When Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey went down, backups Justin Skule and Daniel Brunskill stepped in and the offense did not miss a beat. When Ahkello Witherspoon went down with a foot sprain, second-year undrafted free-agent cornerback Emmanuel Moseley stepped up to the plate and looked fantastic in Witherspoon’s relief.
To further illustrate how the “next man up” approach has been successful for San Francisco, rookie fifth-round pick Dre Greenlaw got his first career start versus the Seahawks in Week 10 and made what seemed to be the game-clinching interception in overtime, which happened to be only the second interception Russell Wilson had tossed on the year to that point.
The play was exactly one game after the emotional leader of the defense, linebacker Kwon Alexander, had been declared out for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Tight end Ross Dwelley scored two touchdowns in the game against the Arizona Cardinals last week while filling in for George Kittle.
All these stellar performances by reserve players is a testament, not only to the 49ers personnel staff, but the coaches as well. Identifying talent which will fit the schemes and then coaching up the said talent is clearly a strong suit for the Niners.
So if it isn’t broke, why try to fix it right?
Comment below with your thoughts on how the 49ers can overcome the Dee Ford injury.