Listen Live Now:

49ers Notebook: Good news on Sermon, bad news for Packers, but questions elsewhere

© Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Packers are coming to town. The last time the 49ers played the Packers at home, with fans, they celebrated an NFC Championship. Of course, the most recent game, was a 34-17 loss with a COVID-19 depleated 49ers team with Nick Mullens at the helm. Things look a bit different this time around.

Game statuses and injury outlooks

What’s the rub with running backs? Short answer: we sort of know who the starter will probably be. Outside of that, well, we’ve all seen how unpredictable Kyle Shanahan is.

Right now, it’s looking like Trey Sermon will likely get the bulk of the carries, unless Elijah Mitchell can play, which… isn’t completely out of the question, but is unlikely.

49ers game statuses:

  • Kevin Givens, JaMycal Hasty — both OUT, likely to go on IR with high ankle sprains
  • Elijah Mitchell (shoulder) — Doubtful
  • Arik Armstead (adductor) — Questionable
  • Emmanuel Moseley (knee) — Questionable
  • Javon Kinlaw (knee) — Questionable

Sermon cleared concussion protocol and was out of a blue non-contact jersey for Friday’s practice. Shanahan said that they have yet to decide if they’ll activate either Kerryon Johnson on Chris Thompson from the practice squad, and one of them could also be promoted to the active roster once Hasty and Givens go on injured reserve, which will likely happen Saturday.

If Mitchell cannot go, Johnson or Thompson will almost certainly be promoted. Shanahan described liking Thompson as a third-down back earlier in the week, but said his history drafting him in 2013 isn’t all that helpful. Johnson, he said, has “done a real good job” and mentioned that he’s “a week a head of Jacques [Patrick].”

Below are the Packers’ game statuses, with their backup left tackle, Elgton Jenkins, who had taken over for star left tackle David Bakhtiari, likely to miss out on Sunday.

Packers game statuses:

  • G/T Elgton Jenkins (ankle) — Doubtful
  • TE Dominique Dafney (hip) — Questionable

Charitable contributions

The 49ers announced a couple of significant charitable contributions, one on behalf of the organization, and one on behalf of Arik Armstead, who is on the Players Social Justice Council, which helps decide where the team’s grant money will go to.

  • Charitable donations
    • The Armstead Academy: Armstead and the Armstead Academic Project will present a $250,000 contribution to Mercy Housing California his partner in launching the Armstead Academy. The Armstead Academy will provide academic coaching, tutoring, and leadership training to young people in Armstead’s hometown of Sacramento as well as college trips and enrichment activities for young people in San Francisco.
    • 49ers continue grants: 49ers announced a commitment to award $5 million in grants over the next 10 years to local and national social justice organizations working to create societal change in the Bay Area. The grant initiative extends the $1 million awarded by the team to 10 social justice organizations in September 2020. Details of the organizations will come at a later date.

Other notes: Bosa vs. chips, leaking intel and a Conference USA reunion

  • Nick Bosa accidentally leaked some intelligence, or seemed to on Thursday when he was discussing the chips he’s dealt from wide receivers and tight ends. He said that in order to deal with them better, he’ll have cornerback Josh Norman give him a cue to tell him when he believes a chip is coming. That would seem to indicate that Norman will likely start opposite Emmanuel Moseley this week.
  • As for those chips, Bosa said after Sunday’s 17-11 win over the Eagles that he’s frustrated by the fact that he’s allowed to basically be hit on his blindside. He said part of the trouble is that the Eagles didn’t chip him at all in the first half, then started to do it constantly in the second half. He said is that the alignments of the receivers and tight ends in the slot next to him basically looked identical whether they were running routes or chipping him, and his focus is on beating the tackle in front of him.
  • Azeez Al-Shaair is getting a Conference USA reunion with Aaron Jones. Al-Shaair (Florida Atlantic University alum) credited Jones (UTEP alum) and said he has “the most respect” for Jones for both his speed and talent in the pass game, but that he did “pretty good” against Jones. In 2016, FAU beat UTEP 35-31 and Al-Shaair led the team with 11 tackles, but Jones ran 27 times for 229 yards for two touchdowns and had four receptions for 38 yards.
  • Offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel said that the 49ers need to get more efficient at taking advantage of their passing opportunities to the boundary, of which they missed three last week. One, in Kyle Shanahan’s own words, had pick-six potential, but was broken up by Deebo Samuel. McDaniel said, “Oh, for sure,” the 49ers need to improve. “I think it’s awesome to get a win when you have a lot of yards and plays left on the field,” McDaniel said. “So that’s the silver lining to it.” Full quote below:

Get KNBR in your inbox

Subscribe today to bring The Sports Leader to your email inbox weekly.