The 49ers' 2020 "Revenge Season" has evolved into an attempt at simply surviving.
Further testing on Monday revealed that quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and tight end George Kittle both are expected to miss significant time after suffering injuries in Sunday’s 37-27 loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
Garoppolo aggravated the high ankle sprain that kept him out of Weeks 3 and 4. He left the game early and was replaced by Nick Mullens. Kittle could be out even longer after an MRI showed he suffered a fractured bone in his foot.
While Garoppolo and Kittle are significant losses, the complete list of 49ers injuries is staggering. 22 players currently are out as a result of injuries, 12 from the offense and 10 from the defensive side. Eight other players have sat out at least one contest due to injury.
These are all players with significant playing time this season, or those who would have been slated to start if they were healthy.
The amount of injuries in the NFL as a whole has been unprecedented. Those who previously scoffed at the need for a preseason schedule might need to reconsider.
Players normally get a few quarters of playing time over the span of a four-game preseason slate. In 2020, players jumped from a training camp that didn’t include a single joint practice with another team, into playing a full four quarters of live reps.
Kyle Shanahan always has believed that two contests facing another team is the perfect amount to get players in “football shape” enough to start the season. He might have a point, yet the 49ers have additional injuries that cannot be blamed on a lack of preseason games.
Weston Richburg, Ronald Blair, Jullian Taylor and Jalen Hurd still have yet to step foot on the practice field. The first three remain on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list from previous injuries and Hurd suffered an ACL tear during training camp.
If you believe in the saying ‘When it rains it pours,” the 49ers are experiencing a monsoon and there is no visible break in sight, at least not for the 2020 season.
OFFENSE: QB Jimmy Garoppolo (ankle) TE George Kittle (foot) WR Deebo Samuel (hamstring) RB Raheem Mostert (ankle) RB Tevin Coleman (knee) RB Jeff Wilson (calf) C Weston Richburg (knee/shoulder) C Ben Garland (calf) TE Jordan Reed (ankle/knee) WR Jalen Hurd (knee) WR Tavon Austin (knee) WR Dante Pettis
DEFENSE: DE Nick Bosa (knee) DL Solomon Thomas (knee) DE Dee Ford (neck/back) LB Mark Nzeocha (quad) CB Richard Sherman (calf) S Jaquiski Tartt (groin) DL Ronald Blair (knee) DL Jullian Taylor (knee) DL Ezekiel Ansah (bicep) LB Azeez Al-Shaair (hamstring)
Players who have missed at least one game: WR Brandon Aiyuk (hamstring) WR Richie James (hamstring) CB Emmanuel Moseley (head) LB Dre Greenlaw (quad) CB Ahkello Witherspoon (hamstring) DB Dontae Johnson (groin) CB K’Waun Williams (hip/knee) S Jimmie Ward (quad)