Image Credit: Associated Press
Injuries have been a weekly problem for the San Francisco 49ers over the last two years. Not even casual fans need a reminder of Jimmy Garoppolo and Jerick McKinnon tearing their ACLs or the amount of games Pierre Garcon missed in his two years with the team. The thing is, in the NFL, every team goes through injuries on a weekly basis. That’s why teams report who practiced and who didn’t, as well as submitting weekly injury reports. The difference with the 49ers over the past two seasons is that really important players went down with some pretty major injuries.
This season has already shown a bit of the same bad luck. Before Week 1, McKinnon was ruled out for the season, and wide receivers Trent Taylor and Jalen Hurd were to miss at least the first week of the season due to injuries. Many people look at the Wednesday practice participation report as a key to who is and who isn’t going to play Sunday.
The 49ers had four players who did not participate due to injury. Nick Bosa and Tevin Coleman were out due to ankle injuries, Jalen Hurd missed due to his back, and Trent Taylor missed due to his foot injury. (Joe Staley took a veteran’s day off.) Out of those four, expect only one of them to suit up on the game-day 46-man roster to face the Cincinnati Bengals this Sunday.
The organization has stated Coleman will be out for an extended time period with a high ankle sprain. The earliest anyone should expect him back is Week 7, and the high ankle sprain could bother him for the remainder of the season, in much the same way that Matt Breida muscled through some ankle injuries last season.
Lynch and Shanahan had stated before week one that Taylor could be back this week, and the fact that he has spent two full seasons in the offense gives him a better chance of earning some game time Sunday without going through practice. Hurd on the other hand, dealing with a back injury, should be seen as a definite DNP on Sunday.
Bosa has been limited or a non-participant in more practices than not. After spraining his ankle early in the preseason and missing out on pretty much all physical team activities through the rest of the preseason, He still played in Week 1 against the Bucs and performed well, earning his first professional sack. Ankles take a lot of time to heal, and not pushing the injury is the smart thing to do. Fans shouldn’t expect Bosa to start being a full participant in practice until his ankle is fully healed, and that could take several more weeks.
Mark Nzeocha (illness) and Jimmie Ward (hand) were on the limited list for Wednesday’s practice, meaning they were participants but didn’t participate in all team activities (usually going through individual skills but held out of full team activities). Ward, who broke his finger last week is probably questionable for this weekend’s game, with Nzeocha playing as long as he can keep from puking.
Losing Coleman last week and Ward breaking his finger are the two biggest developments for the team’s injury report, as the rest of the injuries were sustained in the preseason.
A name not on the injury report that many people are interested in is Dante Pettis, who only managed to play two snaps last Friday. With him not on any type of injury report, fans and analysts alike were wondering if his lack of snaps was injury or performance-related. According to head coach Kyle Shanahan’s statements from a couple of days ago, Pettis’ two-snap game was caused by him aggravating his groin injury during practice last week (see why Bosa isn’t practicing on his ankle) and that limited his snaps, but that he was healthy enough to play more than two during the game. Expect Pettis to be a full go against the Bengals.
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