• Taylor Wirth

Top Priorities Heading Into the Bye for the 49ers

Image Credit: Andrew Giesemann

Coming into their Week 11 bye, the 49ers desperately need a win. The team has been banged up all season and could have used this bye weeks ago. Of course they would have liked to enter their bye with a win, but they will stumble in to it with a 2-8 record after throwing away a very winnable game to the New York Giants on Monday night.

The injury report for the Niners has been full of key players all season. With some out for the season while dealing with long-term injuries, it's important that the minor injuries heal during the bye. Players like Reuben Foster, Pierre Garcon, George Kittle, Jaquiski Tartt, Weston Richburg and Joshua Garnett are all dealing with nagging injuries. With plenty of days off and time to relax, it's important to get all of those players back healthy, especially Foster. Because of injury, we have not been able to see Foster at his best this year, and a healthy Foster coming out of the bye week will be a huge boost to this struggling 49er defense.

Rejuvenating after a physically- and mentally-demanding first half to the season is what this bye week is for. The 49ers mental slip ups have been almost as much of a problem as the injuries. With a roster of young players on both sides of the ball, it's important that certain members of the team take this week to relax, de-stress and get their minds right.

Kyle Shanahan, after the Giants loss, sent out a strong message to his players entering the bye week. Shanahan said he wants players to understand that they’re playing for something, no matter if they’re eliminated for playoffs or not. He reminded them that they still have jobs to play for and a lot of the positions on the 49ers are up for grabs. He wanted his players to reflect on the season and wanted them to determine if they wanted to be a starter or backup on this team moving forward.

The two most important things for this football team moving forward are health and development. Throughout the final six weeks of the season, it's extremely important that the Niners have a complete picture on where their team stands heading into the offseason. These final six games will earn certain players starting spots, and will ultimately be detrimental for others. We’ve seen this team play hard all season long, and look for more of that after the bye. Expect this team to be motivated and expect certain players to step up and steal some jobs away.

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