PHILADELPHIA – The 49ers were already beaten and battered entering their Week 8 game against the best team in the NFL.
And we’re not just referring to the team’s win-loss record.
And the 49ers took a few more hits on Sunday while absorbing a 33-10 thrashing at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles -- holders of the NFL’s best record at 7-1.
Coach Kyle Shanahan’s first team became the first club in franchise history to open a season with eight consecutive losses. Bill Walsh’s 1979 team began 0-7 and finished with a 2-14 record.
The losses are piling up for the 49ers in the standings as well as on the team’s injury report.
Free safety Jimmie Ward left the game in the first half with a fractured forearm, Shanahan revealed after the game.
And left tackle Joe Staley was bloodied by a blind-side block from Eagles defensive tackle Fletcher Cox during an interception return for a touchdown. Staley had difficulty opening his right eye, requiring stitches, and did not return to action. He was transported to a local hospital for evaluation of an injury to his orbital bone.
Moreover, the 49ers began the game without right tackle Trent Brown, who did not receive clearance to play after sustaining a concussion a week earlier. Brown’s replacement, Garry Gilliam, was diagnosed with a serious knee injury in the first half and did not return to action.
The 49ers played the final two-plus quarters with backup guards Zane Beadles and Erik Magnuson at left tackle and right tackle, respectively.
Also, the 49ers lost rookie defensive linemen Solomon Thomas and D.J. Jones to knee injuries early in the second half. Thomas was the No. 3 overall pick in the draft, and the initial diagnosis was a sprain to his medial collateral ligament.
Veteran wide receiver Pierre Garçon left the game in the fourth quarter with a neck injury. The 49ers announced his return as “questionable.”
Rookie linebacker Reuben Foster did not suit up for the game after being ruled out due to a ribs injury sustained last week against Dallas. He missed the previous five games with a high ankle sprain.
The 49ers enter a two-game stretch that – on paper, anyway -- provides the team with its best chances to break into the win column. The 49ers have back-to-back home games against Arizona and the New York Giants.
However, the 49ers are likely to be short-handed for those games.
Staley was injured after Eagles cornerback Jalen Mills intercepted a pass from C.J. Beathard late in the second quarter.
After the block that knocked Staley to the ground and left him with a cut under his right eye, Cox was seen holding both hands up and looking around – as if he expected a penalty to be called for the hit.
No flag was thrown on the play, which ended with Mills crossing the goal line to give the Eagles a 17-0 lead late in the first half.
Cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick from Colorado, moved into the starting lineup and came up with a third-quarter interception that set up Matt Breida’s first NFL touchdown.
Witherspoon picked off a Carson Wentz pass intended for receiver Mack Hollins. Witherspoon, a third-round draft pick, returned it 19 yards. (All did not go great for Witherspoon, who was beaten on a 53-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery on the next series).
After Witherspoon’s interception, Breida scored on a 21-yard shovel pass from rookie quarterback C.J Beathard.
It was a rough day for Beathard, who made his second career start. Beathard completed 17 of 36 passes for 167 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
DOUZABLE IS USABLE
Veteran defensive lineman Leger Douzable was among the 49ers’ final cuts after signing with the team in mid-August. After Arik Armstead sustained a broken hand and was placed on injured reserve, the club brought back Douzable.
Douzable played a significant role last week against Dallas. On Sunday, he was moved into the starting lineup. Douzable recorded a career-high two sacks – both coming in the first half.
The 49ers previously placed defensive lineman Tank Carradine on injured reserve. He is eligible for a late-season return. The 49ers could regain the services of defensive lineman Ronald Blair, who is eligible this week to be activated and in uniform to play against the Cardinals.
THIS ‘N’ THAT
--Witherspoon started in place of Rashard Robinson, who did not get into the game on defense until the 49ers’ first defensive series of the second half. The 49ers forced a punt, but Robinson was called for a holding penalty. Robinson was removed from the starting lineup presumably for his eight defensive penalties.
--Veteran cornerback Leon Hall made his debut with the 49ers due to nickel back K’Waun Williams being declared inactive with a quadriceps strain.
--The 49ers turned to rookie safety Adrian Colbert after Ward was sidelined with his injury in the first half.
--Eric Reid continued to see action at linebacker in the 49ers’ sub packages when the Eagles were in passing situations. Ray-Ray Armstrong played linebacker, along with Brock Coyle, in the 49ers’ base package.
--Eagles lineman Derek Barnett blasted through between Douzable and Magnuson to block Robbie Gould’s field-goal attempt in the fourth quarter. Injuries forced Douzable and Magnuson into those roles on field-goal protection.