The 49ers entered the 2020 season with hopes of avenging their loss in Super Bowl LIV.
But the year had other plans. Injuries decimated San Francisco's roster, and the 49ers finished 6-10 and last place in the NFC West.
So, just how impactful were those injuries? According to Football Outsiders, the 49ers endured a historic amount of player injuries, the second-most of any NFL team over the last two decades.
San Francisco's woes began in Week 2, when 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa suffered a season-ending torn ACL. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo also went down that week with a high ankle sprain, missing a few weeks later before suffering a second ankle sprain in Week 8 that ultimately ended his season as well.
The 49ers were also without starters Deebo Samuel, Richard Sherman, Dee Ford and Raheem Mostert, along with star tight end George Kittle and standout rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, at various points throughout the season.
To really understand the significance of the 49ers' injuries, Football Outsiders introduced a formula to adjust games lost due to injuries and COVID-19 protocols for each NFL team, and San Francisco led the way. Niners players missed a combined 166.6 games due to injuries. The New England Patriots lost the second most, falling behind the 49ers by nearly 30 games with 134.8.
San Francisco's total adjusted games lost is the most since the 2016 season and the second-most over the past 20 NFL seasons. Only the 2016 Chicago Bears (171.6) had a higher total in that time.
Obviously, the 49ers are hopeful the 2021 season fares much better than last year. In an effort to ensure that, the team has focused on signing free agents with proven durability this offseason.
San Francisco signed linebacker Samson Ebukam, who has not missed a game in his four-year NFL career with the Los Angeles Rams, and brought in center Alex Mack, who missed just two games last year with the Atlanta Falcons. They also re-signed proven fullback Kyle Juszczyk to a record contract and retained cornerbacks Jason Verrett and Emmanuel Moseley.
Most importantly, the 49ers brought back eight-time Pro Bowl selection Trent Williams, their No. 1 priority heading into the offseason.
The 49ers will need the injury bug to stay far away from the team in 2021. If that's the case, they'll have a legitimate shot to be playoff contenders and another one at avenging their Super Bowl loss.