SANTA CLARA – Defensive end Aaron Lynch was limited during 49ers practice last week due to a back condition but he was cleared to play on Sunday.
Coach Kyle Shanahan said on Monday the decision to activate him was a “coach’s decision.”
“We had to think of what D-Linemen we wanted up, and we felt we needed some backups inside,” Shanahan said on Monday. “We had the backups on the outside, especially with our Sam position, that both of them could go in and play outside D-end and get us pass rush in our nickel and our base defense.”
Shanahan opted to have newly acquired defensive tackle Xavier Cooper active for the game as DeForest Buckner’s backup. Cooper played 14 snaps in a backup role.
“We needed to make sure Buck has a backup for the type of run game that we thought we were going to face,” Shanahan said.
Lynch tied for the team-lead in sacks his first two NFL seasons with six and 6.5 in 2014 and 2015. Last year, Lynch was limited to just seven games due to a suspension and an ankle injury.
On Sunday, the 49ers generated very little pass rush against the Panthers in a 23-3 loss. The 49ers did not sack Carolina quarterback Cam Newton. The 49ers must find a way to get pressure on Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson this week.
“Cam got outside on us, for the most part,” Shanahan said. “That's a challenge, always. It's going to be a challenge next week going against Russell [Wilson]. So you've got to stay in your lane so they don't escape it and move the chains with their legs. But we've also got to find a way to put more pressure on the quarterback, too.”
A pair of former Bay Area footballers are headed to Kansas City.
The Chiefs have reportedly signed former 49ers cornerback Keith Reaser and former Raiders running back George Atkinson to their practice squad.
News of the deals was first reported by ESPN.
Reaser was waived by the 49ers on Saturday to make room for cornerback Asa Jackson to be promoted to the active roster in time for Sunday's game in Seattle. Reaser was a fifth-round pick in 2014. After missing his entire rookie as he recovered from ACL surgery, Reaser played in 28 games over the past two seasons. He did not appear on defense in the 49ers’ season-opening loss to Carolina last week, but he appeared on 10 snaps of special teams.
Atkinson has been a familiar face around the Raiders. He was claimed off waivers from the Browns on July 29, but waived on Sept. 2.
San Francisco 49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers has a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
Sowers, in her role as seasonal offensive assistant, became the first female assistant in NFC history this season. Sowers is situated upstairs for game days as part of Kyle Shanahan’s staff.
Sowers donated her coaching shirt and binder from the Week 1 game against the Carolina Panthers to the Hall of Fame.
“The Pro Football Hall of Fame is pleased that Coach Katie Sowers has donated artifacts from her regular-season debut as the first fulltime female coach in NFC history,” Hall of Fame executive director Joe Horrigan said in a statement.
“Her pioneering role in pro football will undoubtedly inspire others to work to overcome obstacles while pursuing their dreams and aspirations.”
Kathryn Smith, a member of the Buffalo Bills staff last season, was the league’s first full-time female assistant.