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#pounditThursday, December 8, 2022

Cris Collinsworth shares what Kyle Shanahan wants to do but can’t

Sep 23, 2018; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan watches play on the sidelines during the first half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kyle Shanahan apparently has been somewhat limited with what he would like to do with the 49ers’ offense this season.

The 49ers opened up their game on Sunday night at Denver with a few runs by Jeff Wilson Jr., including one that went for 37 yards. Late in the first quarter, San Francisco followed up an 18-yard catch by Deebo Samuel with a couple of short runs by Wilson.

The sequence led NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth to talk about how Shanahan has been limited by injuries in what he would like to do.

“He has almost no depth whatsoever at the running back position,” Collinsworth said of Shanahan. “He would love to get into some of these 2-back sets. But he doesn’t want to put Deebo Samuel back there all the time. And he doesn’t want to run Jeff Wilson all the time because he just doesn’t think physically he’s going to be able to hold up to that kind of carry load.”

Both Elijah Mitchell and rookie Tyrion Davis-Price are out with injuries. That has left Wilson to carry the load. Jordan Mason is handling backup duties, while the team signed Marlon Mack off the street to chip in.

Wilson is in his fifth season with the team and has the most experience in their backfield. Samuel is great to give some carries to, but the Niners don’t want to necessarily overwork him. That has resulted in the Niners’ current offensive situation.

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