The 49ers made it through last season with a fairly limited number of significant injuries, with Joshua Morgan and Braylon Edwards dealing with the most significant injuries. Beyond those two, the 49ers dealt with bumps and bruises but were able to get past them. For example, the team never played a game missing more than one defensive starter. Given the talent on the defensive side of the ball, that's certainly one reason for a solid defense.
The 49ers find themselves with an assortment of what look to be minor injuries that are sidelining players across the board. The Aldon Smith injury goes a little beyond serious, but the rest of the defense is dealing with their own issues. According to practice reports (linked below), Ahmad Brooks and Isaac Sopoaga both sat out practice yesterday, with Brooks wearing a supporting sleeve on his knee. Nose tackle Ian Williams reportedly took a blow to the head and was sidelined the rest of practice, although he did stay on the sideline.
The one upside to these injuries is that they don't seem too serious, and it means we'll get to see some players getting more time in the preseason. There is nothing to indicate Brooks and Sopoaga will not play this weekend, but if they are at all limited, that could be a benefit to a certain extent. With Aldon Smith already sitting out this weekend, Eric Bakhtiari and Kourtnei Brown will get more snaps. If Brooks gets fewer snaps than he might otherwise have gotten, those two will get even more snaps.
For this defense, it's all about being healthy in time for the regular season. I think there is value in getting some reps each week, but obviously not at the expense of being less than 100% when the team travels to Green Bay. As the team continues to deal with various injury issues, it will be interesting to see how limited the defense is in terms of available personnel.
One positive from this was that Alex Smith and Mario Mannigham took advantage of the opportunities presented by a weakened defense and it sounds like they had solid performances. So, there's always that!