Shanahan bothered by abundance of 49ers' preventable injuries originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The 49ers have experienced an abundance of soft-tissue injuries to key players within the first three weeks of training camp this summer.
The latest preventable setback might be the most troublesome, as free safety Jimmie Ward’s availability for Week 1 of the regular season is in doubt due to a severe hamstring strain.
Ward, 31, who enters his ninth NFL season, has made it through only one season without missing a game due to injury.
When asked Monday morning if those types of injuries are something to be expected, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan answered, “Not really. It’s been bothersome to me.”
The 49ers open the regular season against the Chicago Bears on Sept. 11.
Ward was one of 20 players the 49ers held out of the preseason opener Friday night against the Green Bay Packers. After a day off, Ward sustained his injury Sunday during a non-padded practice in Santa Clara.
“I think they’ve all come after days off,” Shanahan said of the inordinate number of muscle strains the club has experienced in a short period of time. "It’s been a real challenge this camp -- more than any we’ve been in with just how it’s spaced out with these games and our day-off rules and to really get in a groove for guys.
"Once you get about two days in, they’re getting a day off, sometimes two days off. So I think our biggest challenge have been these off days, how to come back from them.”
The 49ers’ injury list includes running back Elijah Mitchell (hamstring), cornerbacks Charvarius Ward (groin) and Emmanuel Moseley (hamstring), offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill (hamstring), defensive lineman Hassan Ridgeway (quadriceps) and linebacker Curtis Robinson (groin).
The 49ers made major changes to their athletic training, and strength and conditioning staffs after an injury-plagued 2018 season. The organization placed a lot of resources into injury prevention.
Ben Peterson was hired as head of player health and performance with a support staff that includes head athletic trainer Dustin Little, director of functional performance Elliott Williams, head of strength and conditioning Dustin Perry, and director of nutrition Jordan Mazur.
Shanahan believes the uneven nature of the team's practice schedule is contributing to the 49ers' problems.
The 49ers’ training camp schedule is unique. The club is in the midst of a stretch that includes preseason games against the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings and Houston Texans -- as well as two joint practices in Minnesota -- in a span of 14 days.
Then, the 49ers have 17 days until they open the regular season.