Obviously there are plenty of negatives following yesterday's debacle against the Atlanta Falcons. Given all the FanPosts going up, there will be plenty of opportunities to pour over the minutiae of yesterday's loss. Normally I'd kick off the morning looking Mike Singletary's Formula for Success. Of course, yesterday it was more like the Formula for Failure, with a capital F!
No, one of the bigger losses from yesterday was strong safety Michael Lewis. I know he has plenty of detractors out there in 49ers-land. Personally, I'm a huge fan of his and think he brings so much to the table in the rush defense. He is continually among the league leaders in tackles and generally has been an impact player on the run defense. He may not bring much to the table in the passing game, but his role is really in the run game. Yesterday he had 6 total tackles and a fumble recovery. Just another workman-like effort.
However, lost in the shuffle was yet another concussion for eight-year pro. This is Lewis's third concussion dating to this past preseason. He suffered his first August 18 during the 49ers joint practice up in Napa with the Raiders. He suffered his second August 29 against the Cowboys and now has suffered his third.
The question becomes what happens now for the 49ers. While it's true they've got the bye week coming up, I honestly would be surprised if Lewis was playing the following week at Houston. I hope I'm wrong, but it seems like we're entering a danger zone for Lewis where more and more precautions need to be taken. That leaves the 49ers with two primary options: Mark Roman and Reggie Smith.
Mark Roman has been the primary backup at both safety positions, particularly given Reggie Smith's injuries. During the preseason, Mark Roman actually looked rather decent when focusing on the run stuffing role of the 49ers strong safety. Could he have some success over the short term in that role? He's obviously lost a few steps in his game, but is it possible he could find that second wind out there?
The other question is whether Reggie Smith will be back and ready to go against Houston. Even if he's finally healthy this week, he's missed enough time, and is still young enough, that I could see Singletary/Manusky giving the nod to Roman if Michael Lewis can't go at Houston. Any other thoughts on this precarious situation?