Wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk‘s role in the 49ers offense has been a matter of discussion all season.
He’s played two-thirds of the offensive snaps, but has just eight catches for 90 yards and a touchdown through the first five games of the year. Head coach Kyle Shanahan said a few weeks ago that it was just a “matter of time” before the 2020 first-round pick began producing at a higher level and General Manager John Lynch indicated on Tuesday that he’d like to see the wideout make that step.
During an appearance on KNBR, Lynch said “it’s time to take that next step” and that it’s “incumbent on everyone” to make sure that happens.
“The bottom line is we each have to find a way — I’m talking we as a team and Brandon as a player — because for us to get where we want to get, we need his talent and abilities on the field,” Lynch said, via Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News. “Having said that, it’s important you earn your opportunities. You do that during the week. It’s not as if Brandon isn’t working hard. For whatever reason, he hasn’t made the strides we expect him to. We probably hold him to higher standards because he has so much in his body.”
Lynch said the 49ers need the “explosiveness” that Aiyuk brings to the offense and they’ll try to tap into it when they return from their bye in Week Seven.