49ers defensive coordinator defends philosophy: Injuries are 'freak accidents'


49ers defensive coordinator defends philosophy: Injuries are 'freak accidents'

SANTA CLARA -- From the day he arrived as 49ers defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh stressed to his player that he wanted them to play with extreme violence.

And while the players on the 49ers defense has doled out a few shots along the way, it seems they have absorbed even more. In back-to-back weeks, starting safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt were lost for the remainder of the season with sustaining broken forearms.

“I still think they’re freak accidents,” Saleh said. “We teach head-out-of-the-game, leverage side, shoulder tackling. If you watch real closely what happened to Tartt, he was coming in for that tackle and he had a shin to a forearm. I’m guessing the impact is what caused the break.”

Saleh said he could not determine how Ward sustained his injury while making a tackle in the game against Philadelphia.

“I couldn’t exactly see how it broke in the pile, but anytime you break something, especially in this league, I think it’s kind of a freak accident, in my opinion," Saleh said. "By the way you get rolled up on, these players are so strong. To break something, something goofy has to happen.”

There seems to be no common thread to the injuries. There have been broken bones, and torn ligaments and tendons that have accounted for 17 players currently on season-ending injured reserve entering the 49ers' game Sunday against the New York Giants.

“We've got to get through this week, and we'll have our bye week after that,” 49ers coach Kyle Sanahan said. “I know our guys have been playing real hard. We've been playing some long games and battling and some physical games, and injuries happen. I've never been a part of a team where it's been like this, but teams do have to deal with this type of stuff all the time, especially this time of the year.”

One of the 49ers’ most devastating injuries occurred before any games. Linebacker Malcolm Smith was lost for the season when the pectoral tendon tore while he was trying to rip the ball out during training camp.

“(That’s) something that is just fundamental teaching,” Saleh said. “So they’re freak accidents and you wish they don’t happen, but it did.”

49ers waive linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong


49ers waive linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong

SANTA CLARA -- The 49ers on Friday waived linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong to clear a roster spot.

The 49ers will activate defensive lineman Tank Carradine from injured reserve, coach Kyle Shanahan said. Carradine missed seven games after sustaining an ankle injury against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 21.

Armstrong started five games for the 49ers early in the season before losing his job. Reuben Foster returned to the starting line after missing time with ankle and ribs injuries. Veteran Brock Coyle has established himself as the starting middle linebacker.

Armstrong ranks second on the 49ers behind Jaquiski Tartt with 53 tackles on the season. He also leads the 49ers with two interceptions. Then-general manager Trent Baalke signed Armstrong to a two-year contract extension last December that included a $500,000 signing bonus.

The 49ers will have their largest group of healthy inactive players on Sunday against the Seattle Seahawks. However, right tackle Trent Brown is questionable after sustaining a shoulder injury late in Thursday's practice, Shanahan said.

S Adrian Colbert (thumb)
T Trent Brown (shoulder)
RB Raheem Mostert (shoulder)
WR Trent Taylor (ribs)
DE Solomon Thomas (knee)

What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017


What they're saying: Happy Thanksgiving 2017

Bay Area sports teams and your favorite players have plenty to be thankful for this year. 

Check out how the teams and players are celebrating Thanksgiving in 2017.