49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said he is not counting on any of their seven players on the COVID-19 list to play Week 12 against the Rams, which includes LT Trent Williams, WR Brandon Aiyuk, DT Javon Kinlaw, DT D.J. Jones, DE Jordan Willis, LB Joe Walker, and TE Daniel Helm.
“We’ve got to wait and see,” Shanahan said, via Eric Branch of the SF Chronicle. “I’m not counting on it, but I’m hoping.”
As for Williams, who was placed on the COVID-19 list on Friday, Shanahan said the lineman is just trying to “get healthy.”
“I know he’s just trying to get healthy and get back as soon as he can,” Shanahan said.
Shanahan explained that they have to be smart with their practice squad rotation and will have to line up players at “different positions.”
“We’ve got to be smart with the practice squad guys … because if those guys don’t come back, those guys are going to be the guys playing in the game,” Shanahan said. “So we’re doing the same type of schedule, but we’ve got to move players around and play some guys at different positions just to get through the practice.”
Bears HC Matt Nagy pointed out that their running game was productive for the first three games of the season when they went 3-0.
“For us, you look at the first couple games, really the first three games, we were able to get that run game established,” Nagy said, via Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic. “And that helps out when you’re able to get that going. And I thought our protection was pretty well, they did a pretty good job of protection, too.”
Nagy believes that getting Bears RB David Montgomery (concussion) back for Week 12 against the Packers will help their offense.
“I think being able to have him get back, just that level of confidence and that toughness that he brings to the huddle and every time he touches the football, I know that he’s a complete team player,” Nagy said. “He’s all about ‘we’ and our team, so every game that goes by he has more and more experience, so I’m excited to get him back.”
Rams DT Aaron Donald, who has been held without a tackle for two straight games, said that has never happened before in his entire football career but still feels he’s being disruptive.
“Not until this year,” Donald said, via Eric D. Williams of Sports Illustrated. “But there’s a first for everything. At the end of the day I don’t feel like I’m playing bad football. I feel like I’m disruptive, almost making a play and the quarterback is getting rid of the ball at the last minute, or whatever the case may be. Guys around me are making plays, too.”
Rams DC Brandon Staley pointed out that Donald is drawing fewer holding calls, which is a “concern” for them.
“Interesting about Aaron Donald that he has not drawn a holding call in I think three or four weeks, which we’re going to have to take a look at because that’s just saying that people are blocking him straight up, which we know is not the case,” Staley said. “So, holding calls just in general are down, but that’s something that is a concern, because it happened in the Seattle game as well. Players like that, it’s like Shaquille O’Neal back when he was playing — I think people take for granted how good he is and we need to make sure that people are seeing the game the way they need to.”
Donald said he is pleading to referees in games for more holding calls.
“All the damn time I talk to them,” Donald said. “I’m like, ‘You’ve got to see that holding call,’ and they say they don’t see it. The guy’s got me around my neck, pulling my shirt and I just the beat the guy with a clean rush. But it’s all right. Hopefully I’m going to get one sooner or later, and it’s going to help us big-time. I just got to keep playing.”