SF 49ers: 5 items on Kyle Shanahan’s to-do list during bye week

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Kyle Shanahan, SF 49ers
San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

The SF 49ers need their Week 11 bye in a bad way, and Kyle Shanahan will need to make sure he checks off these boxes on the break.

In a sense, the SF 49ers are enjoying something of an NBA-like timeout after an opponent — in this case, the Niners’ last three opponents –went on a massive scoring run.

Back to the NFL context, the Niners get this quasi-midseason timeout in the form of their Week 11 bye, which couldn’t come at a better time in light of San Francisco’s recent three-game losing streak. Following pitiful losses to the Seattle Seahawks, Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints, head coach Kyle Shanahan’s squad now boasts a 4-6 record and is sitting squarely alone at the bottom of the NFC West.

There is hope, however, as the expanded playoff format to include seven teams per conference gives Shanahan’s squad a slightly better chance.

Slightly being the key word, as Football Outsiders gives the SF 49ers a meager 4.5-percent chance of making the postseason.

Still, there’s a chance.

To capitalize on that chance, though, Shanahan will need to make effective use of the added break before his team takes to the road to face the Los Angeles Rams in Week 12.

Here are five items he needs to make sure happen.

No. 5: SF 49ers must get healthier

The first item is the most obvious one: San Francisco needs to get healthy again.

No team has endured more injuries this season or has had more players on injured reserve than the SF 49ers. But the good news is the added break affords time to some much-needed players returning.

Running back Raheem Mostert (knee), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (hamstring), cornerback Richard Sherman (calf), nickel back K’Waun Williams (ankle), running back Jeff Wilson (ankle) and center Ben Garland (calf) are all pegged for returns down the stretch. While all won’t necessarily be back in time for Week 12, getting these much-needed reinforcements will allow Shanahan’s squad to be much more competitive over its final six games.

Particularly with his offensive contributors, especially the run game.

And that brings us to the next point on Shanahan’s to-do list.