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Chris Borland suffers ankle injury, returns, departs again

The San Francisco 49ers lost linebacker Chris Borland to an ankle injury in Week 15. His status is up in the air as he returned to the game, but then left early in the third quarter. We break down the development.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco 49ers are dealing with numerous injuries, and the last one before the end of the second quarter is problematic. Linebacker Chris Borland was shaken up while blocking on Eric Reid's interception return to close out the half. He got some help up after the injury, and then limped to the locker room. He suffered an ankle injury, and was announced as questionable to return. He actually returned briefly to start the third quarter, but had to subsequently leave the game.

Borland has been replaced in the lineup by Nick Moody. The special teams linebacker was the only full-time inside linebacker behind Borland and Michael Wilhoite. The 49ers could potentially move either Dan Skuta or Ahmad Brooks inside, but that would only be in an emergency. Skuta has more recent inside linebacker experience, but Brooks had some early in his career. For now, it's Moody and Wilhoite handling the middle of the field for the 49ers defense. Given what Marshawn Lynch can do with his physicality, this will be something to watch closely.