Aiyuk played 26 snaps against the Detroit Lions in Week 1, but didn’t catch a pass. Receivers Deebo Samuel and Trent Sherfield and tight end George Kittle were the focal points in the passing game. So what’s going on with Aiyuk?
The former Arizona State star was sensational last year, finishing with 60 catches for 748 yards and five touchdowns. That led many to believe this was going to be a breakout year. Then came last Sunday, and Aiyuk was practically absent from the 49ers-Lions game.
Shanahan met with reporters on Friday to clarify what’s going on with Aiyuk. The second-year wide receiver is not in the “doghouse.” The 49ers are just trying to ensure they don’t overwork the young star, who tweaked his hamstring during the preseason.
“No, it’s not a doghouse,” Shanahan said of Aiyuk. “He would’ve got his spot completely back; tweaked his hamstring before 3rd preseason game. Planned on rotating him; we did. and you get a big reaction to that; It’s not personal…things are a bigger deal b/c of fantasy football (laughs).”
Kyle on Aiyuk: "No, it's not a doghouse. He would've got his spot completely back; tweaked his hamstring before 3rd preseason game. Planned on rotating him; we did. and you get a big reaction to that; It's not personal…things are a bigger deal b/c of fantasy football (laughs)"
— Brian Murphy (@knbrmurph) September 17, 2021
Take that for what it’s worth. But until Brandon Aiyuk becomes a bigger contributor for the 49ers offense, it’s going to be hard to believe Kyle Shanahan at this point.
Shanahan almost never tells the full story to reporters, especially if it has to do with a player’s lack of work ethic or poor practice performances. He’s changed his story on Aiyuk several times already.
We’ll learn what we need to know about the Aiyuk situation on Sunday when the 49ers clash with the Philadelphia Eagles.