49ers' soft-tissue injuries cause for blame or coincidence? Doctor weighs in

·2 min read

Anything to blame for 49ers' soft-tissue injuries? Doctor weighs in originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 49ers are dealing with a significant amount of soft-tissue injuries that seem to have a common cause, but it’s likely not the one coach Kyle Shanahan thinks it is.

On Monday, Shanahan shared he believes the schedule of training camp practices and preseason games have taken a toll on his roster. Shanahan noted that all of the soft-tissue injuries that have happened in practice have occurred after the club has had a day off.

Dr. Marc Safran from Stanford Medicine spoke with NBC Sports Bay Area, and explained that it is not likely the day off that is the culprit of the rash of injuries to the 49ers' roster.

However, there is often a commonality behind soft-tissue injuries.

“If you train every day there is always a risk when someone is fatigued that they are going to get the injury,” Safran said. “But also coming back from time off when muscles might be a little tighter, with overlap of fatigue from three days on that it’s a possibility.

"But there are no studies that have ever shown that one training program is worse or better for reducing hamstring strains.”

When asked specifically if the 49ers training every day without a lull in the action would prevent injuries, Safran confirmed that it would not make a difference. The orthopedic surgeon did add that over half of hamstring injuries in the NFL tend to occur in the preseason, as players ramp up their workouts as they get back up to full speed for the season.

Safety Jimmie Ward is the latest to suffer a significant hamstring injury, joining running back Elijah Mitchell and offensive lineman Daniel Brunskill, who suffered less severe versions of the same injury.

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Charvarius Ward (groin), defensive lineman Hassan Ridgeway (quadriceps) and linebacker Curtis Robinson (groin) have also all missed time with similar soft-tissue injuries.

“I think it’s been a real challenge of this camp, more than any we've been in with just how it's spaced out with these games and our day off rules and to really get in a groove for guys," Shanahan said Monday.

“Once you get about two days in, they're getting a day off, sometimes two days off. So I think our biggest challenge has been these off days, how to come back from them if you look at the three who’ve had them.”

The 49ers open the regular season Sept. 11 against the Chicago Bears. There is a chance that Jimmie Ward will miss that game with his hamstring strain, and Shanahan and the 49ers can only hope that more injuries do not pop up between now and then.

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