NFC Notes: 49ers, Brandon Aiyuk, Cardinals, Chandler Jones, Rams


49ers HC Kyle Shanahan explained that WR Brandon Aiyuk is not in the doghouse after receiving no targets in Week 1 and that WR Trent Sherfield earned time after Aiyuk missed the third preseason game. 

“No. It’s not a doghouse. It’s just a pretty simple thing,” Shanahan said, via 49ersWebZone. Trent Sherfield has played at a very high level every single day for the entire training camp. Aiyuk got off to a little bit of a slow start, and Trent was playing very well. Then when Aiyuk started to catch him, and, to me, was about to go by him, which was going to be the third preseason game, where I think you guys would have seen that, and he would have got that spot completely back, he tweaked his hamstring.”

Shanahan added that they planned on rotating Sherfield and Aiyuk in Week 1 given he was coming off an injury. 

“And then he has about 10 days off, and his first practice was Wednesday before the Detroit game. So we planned on going into that completely rotating them and giving Trent the spot. One, because Aiyuk hadn’t played a lot of football coming off the injury, and two, because Trent Sherfield earned it. And it was nothing more than that.”

Shanahan pointed out that Sherfield earned 29 plays while Aiyuk appeared in 25. 

And we went in planning to rotate, and that’s what they did,” Shanahan said. “I think it was 29 plays and 25 plays. But yeah, you get a big reaction over that. And that’s tough always on Brandon and stuff like that, but that’s how it’s been going. I don’t think it will stay that long. I hope it doesn’t. I want Aiyuk to get that spot back, but Trent Sherfield doesn’t make that easy. He has played at a high level. It’s not personal. It’s just about guys earning spots.”


Cardinals’ GM Steve Keim had plenty of questions to answer following a five-sack performance from LB Chandler Jones, who is currently at odds with the team over his contract.

“Any conversations with our players and specific agents remain confidential,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of “We’re not in the business of moving on and getting rid of good football players. That’s a pretty easy answer. You always want to get good players under contract. But there are always a million different moving parts. I have to continue to look at the roster moving forward, generally from a three-year standpoint. I can’t be more proud of a player than I am of Chandler Jones. The way he came back from that bicep injury. He came to camp in probably the best shape of his career. Really lean, you can see it in his play, his explosiveness, his first step, his repertoire of pass rush moves. He came back with a vengeance.”

Keim also says he continues to be impressed by rookie CB Marco Wilson.

“The things he does as a rookie have been extremely exciting and he’ll continue to grow from the experience,” Keim said.


Rams’ DE Aaron Donald said he changed gloves are he let some plays slip away in the season opener.

“I don’t know what was going on that day,” Donald said, via Gary Klein of the Los Angeles Times. “I was just letting plays slip out of my hand. I was like, ‘What is going on?’ So I’ve been working on my grip all week, making sure everything will be good. I changed my gloves so, you know, they’re not getting away anymore.”

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