Aug 14, 2021; Santa Clara, California, USA; San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk (11) warms up before the game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Levi's Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

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49ers’ Kyle Shanahan: WR Brandon Aiyuk not being punished

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk followed up a strong rookie season with limited opportunity in the opener last weekend.

Coach Kyle Shanahan told reporters on Wednesday that Aiyuk isn’t in the doghouse. Rather, the team is rewarding fellow wide receiver Trent Sherfield for being a consistent presence in practice.

“I know this all being (looked at) that we’re punishing Aiyuk or something because Trent got even reps with him or we rotated those guys,” Shanahan said. “I’m not gonna sit here and say he needs to do A, B and C to get back out there, but it’s more that we’ve been practicing the last month and one guy has been there every day and the quarterback has a lot of confidence in him.

“… If he wants to be out there every single play, he’s got to be a lot better than the guy behind him.”

Sherfield, 25, opened the scoring on Sunday with a 5-yard touchdown reception in San Francisco’s 41-33 win over the Detroit Lions.

Sherfield finished with two catches for 23 yards. Aiyuk was held without a reception while dealing with the effects of a nagging hamstring injury.

Aiyuk, 23, led the team in catches (60), receiving yards (748) and receiving touchdowns (five) in 12 games last season. He also rushed for two scores for the 49ers, who selected him with the 25th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft.

–Field Level Media

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