49ers

49ers center Weston Richburg out for season with torn patellar tendon

49ers center Weston Richburg out for season with torn patellar tendon

The 49ers' worst fears came true Monday, when coach Kyle Shanahan announced that center Weston Richburg will miss the remainder of the season with a torn patellar tendon.

Richburg was carted off the field Sunday in New Orleans during the third quarter of the 49ers' 48-46 win over the Saints. Richburg's right leg got caught on guard Mike Person's left leg. That caused the center's leg to awkwardly bend as he went to the ground.

Backup Ben Garland will step in immediately as the starter in Richburg's place. Person and Daniel Brunskill also have experience playing center.

Shanahan and the coaching staff already have dealt with multiple injuries to the offensive line when tackles Joe Staley and Mike McGlinchey missed time. While Garland has big shoes to fill taking over for Richburg, Shanahan was impressed with what he saw from the back up in New Orleans. 

"He did a hell of a job when he came in," Shanahan said. "Replacing Richburg is a huge job. He's played very well for us this year and Ben came in and we were able to not miss a beat. He stepped it up, knew the gameplan well. Blocked those guys even when they were the head up nose. When he was uncovered he got through to the second level. He had a number of plays in the game that helped us."

Richburg was one of the 49ers' biggest free-agent signings of the 2018 offseason when they gave him a five-year, $47.5 million contract. He had a challenging first season, though, as he played through a quadriceps injury he sustained in Week 4.

Richburg had surgery to reattach the tendon to his kneecap as soon as the season was over in January, and since his return, he has played his best football since joining the 49ers. The six-year pro has been a lead blocker on several explosive plays this season, including on wide receiver Richie James' 57-yard catch-and-run against the Cardinals in Week 11.

Shanahan believes that it will be another challenging rehab for Richburg during the offseason, but added that it definitely is an injury that a player can come back from. His leadership on the offensive line will be missed, as well as what he has brought to the game since his return. 

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"I thought Richburg played really well," Shanahan said. "He played like the guy that we hoped for when he got here. And I think he did that last year in some games but not consistently throughout the year -- but his injury had a lot to do with that. I know it was a hard offseason for him. 

"He didn't get cleared until the Tampa Bay game, so there was a lot of anxiety with him going through that, whether to do it or not and I really think it paid off because it helped him a ton this year. He was able to stay healthy throughout the year until this point ... happened on a different leg, so it was very unfortunate what happened.

"We were very appreciative of him this year." 

Source: 49ers plan to sign Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson to contracts

Source: 49ers plan to sign Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson to contracts

The 49ers were down three wide receivers at the opening of training camp.

The 49ers will be adding two veterans to the competition, pending physicals, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Bay Area on Friday.

The 49ers plan to sign wide receivers Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson, ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported.

Austin and Nelson took part in a workout at the 49ers’ practice facility on Friday with free-agent quarterback Luke Falk throwing them passes.

Deebo Samuel and Richie James open training camp on the active/non-football injury list. Samuel sustained a Jones fracture in his left foot, while James sustained a fractured right wrist. Both injuries occurred in June workouts away from Santa Clara.

Also, the 49ers lost the services of speedy receiver Travis Benjamin, who opted out for the season due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Austin, 30, is a seven-year professional who broke into the NFL as a first-round pick (No. 8 overall) of the St. Louis Rams in 2013. In his career, he has just 215 receptions for 2,006 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played for Dallas the past two seasons after spending his first five years with the Rams.

Austin caught just 13 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown with the Dallas Cowboys. He averaged 4.9 yards on 17 punt returns.

Nelson, 28, was released by the Raiders midway through last season after missing significant time with an ankle injury. He played his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, catching 85 passes for 1,475 yards and 11 touchdowns.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Source: Luke Falk throwing to Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson in 49ers workout

Source: Luke Falk throwing to Tavon Austin, J.J. Nelson in 49ers workout

The 49ers are scheduled to host free-agent quarterback Luke Falk on a workout Friday morning, where he is expected to throw to two veteran free-agent wide receivers.

A league source told NBC Sports Bay Area that wide receivers Tavon Austin and J.J. Nelson will work out for the 49ers in hopes of being offered a contract. Donte Moncrief, who originally was scheduled to work out for the 49ers, will not take part in the session.

The 49ers are looking to add depth at wide receiver after injuries to Deebo Samuel (fractured foot) and Richie James (fractured wrist). Both players are on the non-football injury list. Also, veteran receiver Travis Benjamin opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Falk, who entered the NFL as a sixth-round draft pick in 2018 of the Tennessee Titans out of Washington State, saw action in three games with the New York Jets last season with two starts. He completed 47 of 73 passes for 416 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions. The Jets cut him in mid-October.

The 49ers likely already have the three quarterbacks they plan to take into the regular season: Jimmy Garoppolo, Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard. 

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Austin, 30, is a seven-year professional who caught just 13 passes for 177 yards and one touchdown with the Dallas Cowboys. He averaged 4.9 yards on 17 punt returns. In his career, he has 215 receptions for 2,006 yards and 15 touchdowns. He played for Dallas the past two seasons after spending his first five years with the Rams.

Nelson, 28, played his first four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, catching 85 passes for 1,475 yards and 11 touchdowns. He struggled with an ankle sprain last season with the Raiders and was released in October.