Kyle Shanahan: Brandon Aiyuk not in 49ers' doghouse after limited role in Week 1

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 Calm down, 49ers fans: Brandon Ayuk isn't on Kyle Shanahan's naughty list.

Kyle Shanahan: Brandon Aiyuk not in 49ers' doghouse after limited role in Week 1

Ayuk played 26 snaps in San Francisco's 41–33 win over Detroit, accounting for 47 percent of 49's total offensive plays. His depth chart student, Trent Sherfield, played another snap from him in the win, catching two passes for 23 yards and San Francisco's first touchdown of the season.

Meanwhile, Ayuk did not see a single target, serving as a non-factor in San Francisco's offensive, which totaled 442 yards.

Statistical results left 49ers fans, who belonged to a former first-round pick, could fall out of favor in San Francisco. Shanahan threw cold water on those concerns on Friday, saying Ayuk's participation rate was a product of inconsistent training camp due to injury and an impressive preseason from Sherfield.

"No, it's not a doghouse," Shanahan said via KNBR's Brian Murphy. "He would have got his spot back completely; replaced his hamstring before the third preseason game. Planned to rotate him; we did. And you get a huge reaction to that. It's not personal… things A big deal because fantasy football."

Shanahan ends his remarks with a laugh, noting the humor in the public outcry over the involvement of a player who was expected to play a big part in the 49ers' offense, especially after an impressive rookie season. The latter which made many believe that he will play a big part in 2021. How could they possibly win a fantasy championship without producing a man?

Shanahan certainly isn't out to win fans his fantasy championship. He's focused on winning games for the team he coaches, and right now, Ayuk is still on his way to full participation after an injury, which can traditionally be a nagging, he can force anything. not doing. Sherfield's performance - treading a precise path, so much so that teammate Mohamed Sanu has nicknamed him "Textbook Trent" - makes it easy for Shanahan to roll with a rotation, which he did on Sunday .

Ayuk was asked on Friday whether his reduced role in Week 1 came as a surprise.

"Certainly," he said, per The Athletic. "But that was last week. I'm not really focused on that anymore."

Ayuk acknowledged that the lack of production provided him with additional motivation for Sunday's game against the Eagles, but also seemed to take a pragmatic approach to the situation.

"I've already started to understand in this league that it's not really a steady path to the top," said Ayuk, per The Athletic. "You'll have really high moments and really low moments, but I think it's all about how you focus, how you rebalance and get back on track afterward."

There are 17 more weeks left in this season. Ayuk will have plenty of chances to make his mark, provided he puts up a level effort Shanahan finds satisfactory. Sherfield is certainly combining its value with the production of its special teams.

Shanahan has been known to challenge his players with his public comments, something he might believe Ayuk could use. But a rotation that was nearly equal indicates he is nowhere close to shooing Ayuk out on the bench, as 49ers fans saw with the disappointing stint of former second-rounder Dante Pettis. Ayuk doesn't have the ability that Pettis didn't, and it appears we're not taking the first steps on the same road as Pettis, which eventually took him out of town.

If we get to week 10 and Ayuk is still not a factor, fans can be genuinely concerned. Although we are far from it now. Shanahan isn't too worried, and after winning his first game, he shouldn't be.

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