© Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports
For the second straight day, Nick Bosa was absent from 49ers practice. He was the only noteworthy absence as Joe Staley returned to practice from a vet day on Wednesday (which rendered him extraordinarily sweaty – he made sure reporters knew that, expressing his ongoing sweatfest coupled with a cold multiple times), as did Mark Nzeocha, who left on Wednesday with an illness.
Wednesday’s practice absence for Bosa wasn’t all that surprising; his high sprained ankle resulted in soreness that made a practice absence somewhat concerning, but not unexpected. Thursday’s absence, however, is much more concerning, especially for a first-year player who was the 49ers’ second-highest ranked defensive player according to Pro Football Focus, only behind Ahkello Witherspoon.
— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) September 11, 2019
“We’ll have a good idea at practice tomorrow,” Shanahan said on KNBR. “We’ve had to keep him out these last two days. He’s been a little sore recovering from the game that we anticipated. We’ve had these last two practices on turf, too, which we also want to be a little bit smart about with some people when they’re coming back from injuries. So I still feel pretty optimistic about it, just talking with him, but we’re going to let it play out. We’ll see tomorrow where he’s at, hopefully he’ll be able to practice. I think he will and if he does, then we should feel pretty optimistic about Sunday.”
To listen to Shanahan’s full interview on KNBR, click below. To hear him talk about Bosa, start at 10:45.
However, if Bosa doesn’t practice this week, it sounds doubtful that he’d play, according to defensive coordinator Robert Saleh.
“I always think they [need to practice],” Saleh said. “This new day and age, right? They’re coming out and they’re playing without practicing, but I’d like to see him practice because I do think that there’s things that you want to try and work on as a football player in general. Even if you’re a 10-year vet, to me, I think practices are valuable. For [CB Richard Sherman] Sherm, it’s valuable. You ask Sherm, ‘Hey, do you want a vet day?’ ‘No, I need these looks.’ So, that’s Sherm speaking that he needs those looks, he wants to go through practice because they’re important. I would imagine it being the same thing for him.”
Sherman, by the way, made a joke about that statement from Saleh, saying that he planned to take a vet day on Friday. As for Bosa, Shanahan’s optimism bodes well for his chances, but if he is absent on Sunday, it be a massive loss against a Bengals team that threw for 418 yards (Andy Dalton’s career high) despite five sacks last week.