© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
In less than two weeks, head coach Kyle Shanahan will return to the Super Bowl for the second time in four years, and his first time as a head coach. On Monday, Shanahan recounted stories from that Super Bowl week with Atlanta and provided injury updates.
Tevin Coleman has “good chance to play”
The 49ers have been almost unfathomably injury-free for the last few weeks, a clear product of the bye week they earned with their No. 1 seed. They’re still in fine shape for the most part, with Tevin Coleman the main question mark they’re dealing with. Coleman had to be carted off the field against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday with a shoulder injury that head coach Kyle Shanahan revealed on Monday was a dislocation.
Shanahan said after the game that “there will be a good chance” Coleman plays in the Super Bowl, and he repeated that line — though said he’s waiting for imaging results to come back — on Monday.
Coleman told KNBR after the game that he’ll listen to team doctors, but gave the clear impression that he’d at least have a chance to play.
Asked Tevin Coleman about his shoulder injury:
"Arm bent the wrong way. I'm definitely going to try to get back. I'll listen to the doctors, see what they say, try to do my best to get back."
On going to the Super Bowl:
"Even better news than my shoulder."
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) January 20, 2020
“We have to wait till we get the stuff back, so I don’t want to speculate too much, but usually a week to rest it,” Shanahan said. “And then he gets back… expecting him to have a good chance to play.”
Shanahan described the injury with a reference to Lethal Weapon 2, when Mel Gibson’s character, Martin Riggs, pops his shoulder back in.
“This was more like a Lethal Weapon type thing, where you pop it back in.”
The other two names on the injury report were Jaquiski Tartt and Dre Greenlaw.
Tartt irritated his ribs (fractured and was out for the final four games of the regular season), but Shanahan seemed relatively unconcerned about the injury given the extra week the 49ers have to prepare for the Super Bowl and that he “irritated the area, but no new damage.”
Dre Greenlaw’s injury was a mild ankle sprain, but Shanahan didn’t seem too worried about that injury, either. Neither did Greenlaw after the game.
“I just got a little ankle sprain and just kind of got rolled up and was trying to get it to go, but we had another hot boy that was ready to go in there and play… so there was no point of trying to you mess something up,” Greenlaw said. “I’m good to go tomorrow so whenever it’s go time, it’s time to go.”
Art Spander, backpack thief
For those who don’t know who Art Spander is, he’s a legendary Bay Area sports columnist who’s been covering professional sports for more than twice as long as I’ve been living. But in Super Bowl LI, when Kyle Shanahan was the offensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons, Spander swiped Shanahan’s backpack by accident during one of the media scrums, leading to a near panic attack for Shanahan, as he tried to recover it for the next hour and a half.
As Shanahan explained on Monday, it had nothing to do with a potential gameplan being stolen, or secrets being exposed by the Patriots. It was about the 48 Super Bowl tickets and bundles of cash, about $30,000, in his backpack.
In a previous press conference, Shanahan explained the comedy of the fact that Shanahan’s blue backpack looked nothing like Spander’s black backpack, and that Spander, who was wearing Shanahan’s backpack, initially refused to give the bag back.
On Monday, Shanahan said he forgave Spander almost immediately, but jokingly blamed reporters for setting him up:
“I had almost a panic attack. You guys were huddled around me, distracted me, set me up while he could take it,” Shanahan said. “No. It was right between my legs. I was sitting on the top part of the chair and it was between my legs. Then when I was done talking to everybody, it wasn’t there anymore. There was a backpack there that wasn’t mine.
So he took mine and left his, but I was panicked, not because of the game plan and everything. That’s on an iPad and you need codes to get in and we have others, so that’s not a big deal, but I had about 48 Super Bowl tickets in there that I had bought for family members and everything and was carrying a lot of money from that, a lot of IOUs and stuff, so I was very panicked about the tickets and the cash.
It was gone for about an hour and a half. The whole team left me and the Patriots came in, I was walking around there, looking for my backpack, running into more media people and still having to do interviews. I was trying to not come off as a jerk blowing them off, but I was panicked trying to find my backpack, so it was awkward, but Art ended up coming back with it.
I think we found it because the backpack remaining I eventually opened it and saw his name in there. So people tracked him down and he had it. I tried to take it off of him and he wouldn’t give it to me at first until I showed him it was mine. I forgave him fast but I was stressed for a while.”
Kyle Shanahan on the infamous backpack incident at Super Bowl LI with Falcons when Art Spander took his backpack full of tickets for family and friends as well as a lot of cash – Shanahan said he was “panicked” for about the hour and a half it took to get the bag back #49ers pic.twitter.com/uaQlJQ6jsF
— Jake Hutchinson (@hutchdiesel) January 20, 2020