A day after a frustrating 18-14 defeat to the Indianapolis Colts, the 49ers pointed the blame at themselves for not being able to snap their two-game losing streak, which now stands at three games.
“It was a tough game,” head coach Mike Singletary said at his day after the game press conference. “It was one of those things where we did more than they did. Yesterday was a classic case of an immature team shooting itself in the foot.”
Singletary spoke of penalties and missed assignments that caused the 49ers to come up short, and his players agreed.
“We have the tools, we have the people, we just have to learn how to finish,” running back Frank Gore said.
Although it wasn’t the outcome he was looking for, Singletary felt his team did improve on Sunday by nearly defeating the undefeated Colts.
“We didn’t win yesterday, but we did get better,” he said.
In Singletary’s eyes, his players improved, despite suffering injuries to two key players, one on each side of the ball.
On the game’s very first offensive play, left tackle Joe Staley went down with a sprained knee. Staley underwent an MRI earlier today and the time table for his return will be announced by the team later. Staley was in good spirits in the locker room and was noticeably limping, but able to put weight on his leg.
Staley said it was the first knee injury of football career and the first significant playing time he’s missed since spraining an ankle as a college freshman.
Staley added that he was able to watch the play of his replacement Barry Sims and right tackle Adam Snyder throughout the game and offered tips to them as well.
“I thought Barry did a good job,” Staley said.
Sims, an 11-year NFL veteran with 127 regular season starts, was ready to go when his number was called after the game’s first offensive snap.
“I always draw from my experience,” Sims said of what helped him be ready. “As a backup you prepare yourself as a starter and I started my whole career. I’m aware of what it takes to be the starter. It was unfortunate that Joe went down as early as he did, but at the same time, it was good to be able to get into a rhythm at the beginning and then go from there.”
The 49ers other major injury news on Monday involved cornerback Nate Clements’ fractured right scapula.
“We will not put him on IR,” Singletary said. “If we’re in the playoffs, he deserves to play.”
Clements becomes the third 49ers player to fracture his shoulder this season.
In training camp wide receiver Brandon Jones suffered a fractured scapula and was back in five weeks. Tackle Tony Pashos also suffered the same injury against the Texans, but was placed on IR after.
With this injury, the 49ers expect Clements to be back in time for the end of the season and a possible playoff run.
Clements only has his focus on rehabbing his shoulder to get back on the field.
“I’m just going to focus everything on rehabbing and still staying in on what’s going on with the defense,” he said. “Right now, I have to focus on rehabbing and getting my arm stronger.”
More Monday Notes
-Singletary said a sprained shoulder to defensive tackle Demetric Evans was the only injury to come out of the Colts game, besides the injuries to Staley and Clements.
-Singletary said Tarell Brown will be fine in stepping in for Clements. Asked if Brown can handle those duties, Singletary responded, “Oh yeah, he’s ready.”
-Players on offense were asked about the state of the team’s offense and if going to a spread attack from the shotgun formation would help the team move the ball. Quarterback Alex Smith said answered it best: “I think you want to retain balance. I think you want to be physical, run the ball, as well as at times change the tempo, and spread it out a little bit and then go back to the run. I think those are the things you need to do to be a successful offense.”
-Along those lines, Singletary was asked if he supported the play-calling from offensive coordinator Jimmy Raye, to which he responded: “I 150-percent back what he’s doing, absolutely. There’s not one iota that I’m wavering here or there, whatever. Jimmy knows there are some things going forward that he has to learn about our players, what they can and cannot do.”
-Singletary was also pleased with Smith’s play.
-“I thought Alex did very well. I was very pleased to see him make some throws. I was very excited and anticipated this game for him because I knew the rush was going to be coming at him. I knew that it was just a situation where he wasn’t going to sit back there and be comfortable and he got outside of the pocket a few times and he made some good decisions, made some really nice throws. Outside throws, up the field throws, post throws, I thought he made all the throws that he needed to make and he just needed to be more consistent. I thought he handled himself very well in pressure situations and I thought he did a good job.”
Tags: Alex Smith, Barry Sims, Brandon Jones, Demetric Evans, Frank Gore, jimmy Raye, Joe Staley, Nate Clements, Tarell Brown, Tony Pashos
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