49ers watching Nick Bosa’s health amid sack record chase, Kyle Shanahan says

  • Programming Note: “49ers Game Plan” will be airing on NBC Bay Area at 7 p.m. PT Saturday, Dec. 31.

Coach Kyle Shanahan knows star defensive end Nick Bosa can make history in the 49ers’ last two games of the 2022 NFL season. However, Shanahan also knows there is a bigger goal in mind.

In a conversation with 49ers broadcaster Greg Papa on this week’s episode of “49ers Game Plan,” Shanahan explained how San Francisco is balancing Bosa’s journey to surpass the 49ers’ single-season sack record — 19.5 by Aldon Smith in 2012 — while keeping him fresh for the postseason. Bosa needs just 2.5 sacks to claim the record for himself.

“I mean Nick’s pretty smart,” Shanahan said to Papa. “I mean, he wants the records very badly but he knows the bigger picture.”

Shanahan shared that he “hated” pulling Bosa in the 49ers’ 37-20 win over the Washington Commanders last weekend, and was thanked by Bosa for making sure he wasn’t unnecessarily hurt.

“We got to make sure nothing bad happens so it’s pretty easy for me going forward,” Shanahan continued. “We got a lot to play for still — we’re going to keep it that way.”

Bosa recorded two sacks against the Commanders en route to winning another NFC Defensive Player of the Week award. That said, the 49ers coach was pretty clear on what his plan is with only two regular-season games remaining.

“If he’s ever banged up or anything like that, or if ever the game’s out of hand and we know who the winner’s going to be, then we’ll shut him down right away,” Shanahan asserted. “We won’t have to say, ‘Hey, you go in there and try to get that record.’ 


“So it is limited but I think he’s still got a good chance to do it.”

Entering the 49ers’ matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday, the 25-year-old owns a league-high 17.5 sacks and believes he can surpass Smith over the final two weeks.

RELATED: 49ers’ Bosa named NFC Defensive Player of the Week … again

Expect the 49ers to remain steadfast in keeping their pass rusher out of harm’s way, especially since the team has bigger aspirations in mind come February.

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