49ers vs. Lions: 4 players who let Kyle Shanahan down in Week 1
By Peter Panacy
The 49ers pulled off the win over the Lions in Week 1, but there were some notable disappointments, including these four players who likely upset Kyle Shanahan.
It’s generally not a good thing to get in San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan’s doghouse.
The start of the 2021 season has already revealed two players who are potentially there already, second-year wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and rookie running back Trey Sermon, Aiyuk seeing no targets in the Niners’ Week 1 win over the Detroit Lions, while Sermon being a healthy scratch for the game.
It’s anyone’s guess how long either player remains in the doghouse this season. And with No. 1 running back Raheem Mostert now sidelined eight weeks with a knee injury, at least Sermon has a chance to climb back out of it.
Nevertheless, there are other players who probably disappointed Shanahan to one degree or another.
Including these four.
No. 4: 49ers Cornerback Ambry Thomas
San Francisco suffered a major season-long setback when No. 1 cornerback Jason Verrett tore his ACL late in the fourth quarter.
With him now out for the year, one would hope one of the 49ers’ two rookie cornerbacks could step up, preferably both. While fifth-round corner Deommodore Lenoir continues to look solid, Round 3 pick Ambry Thomas has not.
Thomas, who didn’t get the start but was thrust into a more prominent role late, allowed all three catches when he was targeted, giving up 44 yards in the process.
At times, it looked like Thomas was completely lost on the field. And the fact the Niners subsequently inked veteran free-agent corner Dre Kirkpatrick the day after the game speaks measures to how they feel about Thomas’ development.
It’s still early. But Thomas isn’t looking solid so far.