NFC Notes: 49ers, Packers, Rams


49ers HC Kyle Shanahan praised WR Deebo Samuel‘s versatility as a runner and a receiver, saying his ability to create his own yardage with the ball in his hands makes it easier for the team to get the ball in his hands. 

In college, he looked like he had running back skills, just when he would catch a screen or anything — just how he ran and how physical he was,” Shanahan told SI’s Albert Breer. “So that makes you kind of get ideas and want to use them in certain ways. But you never know how a guy’s gonna be as a running back until you watch them. And we gave Deebo a bunch, even right when he got here, as a rookie, just more outside stuff and more your typical receiver-type things trying to get around the edge. But when we started him versus the Rams earlier this year, we gave him some more inside-zone and some tighter things, and he was always hitting the right hole and going, and you just start to see his natural skills at it. That he’s not just a specimen in terms of his size and speed, but he’s also very skilled at it — it’s not too big a deal for him. And it makes it a hell of a lot easier for us to get him the ball. That’s what I like the most.

Shanahan mentioned his relationship with Packers HC Matt LaFleur is ok despite the look that it had deteriorated after their regular-season matchup.

“Matt’s my guy. Matt and I are totally good,” Shanahan said, via “I was pissed after that game because of how that game just ended. That was a tough one. It took a while to get over, but we’re good. I talk to Matt a lot. He’s done a hell of a job this year. I’ve been real happy for him, but that stops this week.”

  • Shanahan said QB Jimmy Garoppolo has a right shoulder sprain and should be fine to practice Tuesday. Shanahan also said LB Fred Warner has a low-ankle sprain. Both have a good chance at suiting up this week. (Nick Wagoner)
  • Shanahan said DE Nick Bosa seems to be in a good spot but he’s not the one that makes judgments when a player is in the concussion protocol. (Matt Maiocco)


  • Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, people in NFL circles continue to think the Packers and QB Aaron Rodgers might not be done witih each other. Another NFC exec asked: “Why would you leave? He has everything he needs. He had beef with the front office, but the front office got him a great roster. I still don’t understand it.”
  • Packers HC Matt LaFleur hopes both OLB Za’Darius Smith and CB Jaire Alexander will play Saturday: “They’ll be out there today, and we’ll see how they react over the course of the week. That would be a great bonus for us if they’re able to go on Saturday.” (Ryan Wood)
  • LaFleur added OT David Bakhtiari didn’t practice Tuesday for “load management” but there is no concern. (Rob Demovsky)


  • Per ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, some in NFL circles think Rams HC Sean McVay will end up with a career as a broadcaster at some point, comparing him to Jon Gruden. One NFC exec added: “I think he’s trying to get that Super Bowl ring quickly so then he can have options. … If he wants to do TV for a while, he’d be great at it and can always go back and coach any team he wants after that.”
  • According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Rams WR Odell Beckham Jr. earned $500,000 in incentives with Monday’s win vs. Arizona.
  • According to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry, OT Andrew Whitworth earned $500,000 in incentives with Monday’s win vs. Arizona, along with a $500,000 base salary increase for 2022.

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