Joe Staley bummed by injury but will coach 49ers rookie Justin Skule

Joe Staley bummed by injury but will coach 49ers rookie Justin Skule

CINCINNATI – San Francisco 49ers left tackle Joe Staley tried to remain as positive as possible Sunday afternoon as he stood near his locker on crutches and with his left leg in an orthopedic boot.

Staley sustained a fractured left fibula – the non-weight-bearing bone in his lower left leg – in the third quarter of the 49ers’ 41-17 victory Sunday over the Cincinnati Bengals. Staley said he is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

“I’m really happy we got the win,” Staley said. “Obviously, it’s a great ‘W’ today, on the road. I’m just bumming personally because this team is really special and I’m really happy and I want to be a part of it. And I’ll do whatever I can to be a part of it for, hopefully, the next six weeks and come back and be ready to go for the end-of-the-season run.”

The 49ers improved to 2-0 with the victory, and the offense had its best day in years against the overmatched Bengals. The 49ers rolled up 572 yards of total offense – 313 yards passing and 259 on the ground. Staley, a six-time Pro Bowl performer, is one of the most-valued members of the team.

Staley will not go on injured reserve, 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan said. A player who goes on IR must remain ineligible for at least eight weeks. The 49ers hope to get Staley back closer to the six-week time frame.

In the meantime, Staley said he will remain active and help rookie Justin Skule as much as possible. Skule became the 49ers’ swing tackle after Shon Campbell sustained a season-ending dislocated ankle in the first preseason game. Skule, a sixth-round draft pick from Vanderbilt, stepped onto the field at left tackle after Staley’s injury.

“I’m going to do everything I can,” Staley said. “One of the things I have here, I definitely have years. I have a lot of knowledge. I always thought of my post-career, when I’m done playing football, it would be good to be a coach. So here’s a time to get a little taste of that.”

The injury Staley sustained is almost identical, he said, to the fractured fibula he sustained in 2010 that limited him to nine games.

“You can’t play through it,” Staley said. “You can play through knee injuries, ankle injuries. Those are dealing with pain. This is different.”

[RELATED: Garcia sees Staley's recovery taking longer]

Staley’s injury appeared to occur when running back Raheem Mostert’s legs got tangled with Staley’s on a third-quarter running play. Staley went down. He hobbled to the Bengals sideline, where a cart took him under the stadium for X-rays that revealed the fractured bone in his lower leg.

“I’m pumped for the win,” Staley said, “but I’m bummed. I’m trying to stay positive. This sucks. It really sucks.”

Why Marquise Goodwin, 49ers parting ways this offseason makes sense

Why Marquise Goodwin, 49ers parting ways this offseason makes sense

Marquise Goodwin led the 49ers with a career-high 962 receiving yards in 2017. Since then, he has just 581 yards combined in two seasons.

The 29-year-old wide receiver is under contract for the next two seasons, but a change of scenery this offseason could benefit both him and the 49ers.

Through injuries and off-field adversity, Goodwin has played in just 20 regular-season games the last two years. He clearly has fallen down coach Kyle Shanahan's depth chart, and the 49ers parting ways with the seven-year NFL veteran this offseason would give him more time to chase a dream away from the gridiron.

"The Niners would save a little less than $4 million on the salary cap by parting ways with Goodwin, and it would also allow Goodwin, a world-class long jumper, to follow through on his intention to qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo," ESPN's Nick Wagoner recently wrote.

Goodwin was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Dec. 10 after dealing with multiple knee and foot issues. Though his time with the 49ers might come to an end, Goodwin clearly still believes in himself.

The 49ers' receiving corps likely will be led by Deebo Samuel next season after he opened eyes as a rookie. Kendrick Bourne is expected back as a restricted free agent, and Jalen Hurd and Trent Taylor are returning from injuries.

[RELATED: Juice sick of Jimmy G, Shanahan criticism after Super Bowl]

The 49ers likely will target a receiver in the draft, as this year's class is loaded. They also could look at adding a veteran in free agency or bringing back Emmanuel Sanders, whom they acquired in a mid-season trade.

Goodwin is on the outside looking in after hauling in just 12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown over nine games last season. Sometimes, change is best for both parties.

How 49ers can add more picks in 2020 NFL Draft, according to Peter King

How 49ers can add more picks in 2020 NFL Draft, according to Peter King

The 49ers own the No. 31 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, but they are extremely short on selections this year after that. 

San Francisco has just one pick in the top 150. After the first round, the 49ers won't be on the clock again until the fifth round. They own two fifth-round picks, one in the sixth and two in the seventh. 

Between the second and fifth rounds, it's completely barren for general manager John Lynch and coach Kyle Shanahan. But NBC Sports' Peter King looked at how San Francisco could accrue more selections this April

Here's what King wrote in his latest Football Morning in America column. 

To project the Niners’ path, I looked north for a clue. The arch-rival Seahawks, with ever-restless GM John Schneider, provided an excellent example in 2019 of how to turn one first-round pick into a bevy of picks, replenishing what would have been a thin crop.

The trades:

Seattle traded its first-round pick, 21st overall, to Green Bay for the 30th, 114th and 118th picks.
Seattle traded the 30th pick to the Giants for the 37th, 132nd and 142nd picks.
Seattle traded the 37th pick to Carolina for the 47th and 77th picks. At 47, Seattle picked S Marquise Blair.
Seattle traded the 77th and 118th picks to New England for the 64th pick. At 64, Seattle selected WR DK Metcalf.
Seattle traded the 114th pick to Minnesota for the 120th and 204th picks.
Seattle picked WR Gary Jennings Jr. at 120, S Ugo Amadi at 132, LB Ben Burr-Kiven at 142, and RB Travis Homer at 204.

So Seattle turned pick 21 into picks 47, 64, 120, 132, 142 and 204 ... two second-round picks, two fourth-round picks, one fifth-round pick and one sixth-round pick.

The 49ers lost their second-round pick when they acquired defensive end Dee Ford in a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs last offseason. They then lost their third- and fourth-round picks when they acquired wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders in a midseason trade with the Denver Broncos.

But they added a fifth-round pick in the Sanders trade and a seventh-round pick from the Detroit Lions in a 2018 trade where they shipped away linebacker Eli Harold.

[RELATED: 49ers in good shape at QB entering the 2020 offseason]

The 49ers don't have too many holes on their roster after losing to the Chiefs in Super Bowl LIV. However, depth is always a must, as they learned this season. With Jimmie Ward being an unrestricted free agent, the 49ers could target a safety early in the draft. They also likely will have their eyes on a loaded receiver class and depth on the interior offensive line. 

To add picks, though, they might have to take a lesson from their biggest rivals.