Kyle Shanahan had a simple response to questions about his practice philosophy after Pittsburgh Steelers rookie Chase Claypool seemed to criticize the organization for running practices with pads on Thursdays.
“I mean, the third party from another team, I wouldn't really get much into, but yeah, I don't mind talking about that. Some people practice with pads on Wednesdays. Some people do on Thursdays," Shanahan told reporters Friday. "I believe guys are too sore on Wednesdays, not recovered from the game. I don't even keep the pads on for all Thursday. So, we keep them on for the first two periods of practice, a pass protection period and a run period. So, I feel pretty good about that. I think we do it as little as anyone in the NFL.”
Claypool, in speaking with local Pittsburgh reporters on Wednesday, remarked that he appreciates Steelers coach Mike Tomlin not holding padded practices on Thursdays.
“I was talking to my friend on the Niners and they’re still wearing full pads on Thursdays,” Claypool said. “We haven’t done that since camp, so having a coach that understands how long the season is, the wear and tear on your body, it’s super helpful for getting you through the season and getting you to be able to play well in the playoffs.”
Claypool didn't specify who the player was he spoke with, but he played his college football at Notre Dame, and was teammates for four years with Chris Finke, an undrafted wideout who has spent the 2020 season on the 49ers' practice squad.
It's also possible Claypool was talking about 49ers tackle Mike McGlinchey. The two were teammates in 2016 and 2017 at Notre Dame.
The 49ers have dealt with an unprecedented number of injuries this season, and played their Week 9 game against the Green Bay Packers without well over a dozen starters. San Francisco had nearly $80 million of salary for this season on injured reserve prior to Thursday's game.
A lack of a preseason amid the coronavirus pandemic has seemed to be the primary cause for the flurry of injuries around the NFL this season, but no team has been hit harder by the injury bug than the 49ers.
Regardless, Shanahan doesn't seem to have any issue with his weekly plan for 49ers practices.