Kyle Shanahan has a lot of respect for Buccaneers’ playmakers

Nov 15, 2023, 1:49 PM | Updated: 2:47 pm

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - DECEMBER 11: Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on...

Head coach Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers looks on during the second half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Levi's Stadium on December 11, 2022 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

The San Francisco 49ers start their Week 11 preparation with a few players down, including one offensive lineman who is out for the season, according to Kyle Shanahan.

The 49ers coach revealed that backup OL Nick Zakelj has undergone season-ending surgery to repair a torn bicep. The injury occurred during Week 10 against the Jacksonville Jaguars, with the player complaining of the issue the day after. After getting multiple opinions on the prognosis, the team decided it was best to have the surgery.

Kyle Shanahan also shared that the team will hold workouts this week for additional offensive line help, already down a few men already.

Additionally, left guard Aaron Banks has already been listed as out for Week 11. The starter has been dealing with turf toe the last few weeks, missing the Jacksonville game in Week 10. In his place, OL Jon Feliciano filled in, playing well on the road Sunday.

Right tackle Colton McKivitz is also banged up this week, dealing with knee and ankle ailments, per Kyle Shanahan. The first-year starter practiced in a limited fashion Wednesday, a good sign that he could play in Week 11 versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. If he can’t go, swing tackles Matt Pryor and Jaylon Moore will step in.

Left tackle Trent Williams also missed Wednesday’s session but did not suffer any setbacks with his ankle injury in Week 10.

Why is Kyle Shanahan worried about Tampa Bay?

As for their opponent this week, the 49ers coach has a lot of admiration for them. The Buccaneers played the 49ers last season as well, losing 35-7. This season, Tampa Bay is 4-5 but could be 6-3 if not for some late-game heroics.

“I respect that I think they have a chance to win every game they play in,” Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday about the Buccaneers. “They had a good record to start, I know they lost a couple of tight ones; came back with a big [win] last week.”

The 49ers coach is also concerned about their opponent’s playmakers, stacked with talent on both offense and defense.

Defensively, Tampa Bay has been stout against the run, sixth-best in the NFL at rushing yards allowed per game (87.2). That’s in large part due to defensive tackle Vita Vea, and safety Antonie Winfield Jr., making plays on every down.

“I think they make it very tough to run the ball against. Winfield and Vita Vea are two of the best players at what they do,” he stated.

The Bucs are also talented on offense in the passing game, with Pro Bowlers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin still doing their thing. The former is more of a deep threat, on track to hit 1000 yards receiving for the tenth season in a row. Tampa Bay also has quarterback Baker Mayfield under center, always a threat to throw for 250+ yards in a game.

“You can never fall asleep with Mike Evans, he’s as scary now as he was ten years ago,” he added. “I got a lot of respect for Baker and how he plays the position. So, I think they’re a good team.”

Upcoming San Francisco 49ers Schedule

  • Sunday, Nov. 19th vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Thursday, Nov. 23rd @ Seattle Seahawks – 5:20 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 3rd @ Philadelphia Eagles – 1:25 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 10th vs. Seattle Seahawks – 1:05 p.m. PST
  • Sunday, Dec. 17th @ Arizona Cardinals – 1:05 p.m. PST

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Kyle Shanahan has a lot of respect for Buccaneers’ playmakers