The San Francisco 49ers still have two games left this season, and they will have to figure out some answers following more injuries. It has been a thoroughly brutal season when it comes to injuries, and we saw more of the same physicality in Sunday's loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
It seems like every time the 49ers leave Seattle, they've suffered significant injuries. That was the case once again, as Frank Gore, Carlos Hyde, Chris Borland, Garrett Celek, Michael Wilhoite and Ahmad Brooks all left the game at one point or another with injuries. Wilhoite's injury did not seem to be too serious, and Brooks seemed to return at some point after his thumb injury. Other than that, it was not pretty.
Frank Gore: Suffered a concussion late in the second quarter while blocking on a Colin Kaepernick pass to Bruce Miller. Gore was making the block and it almost looked like he concussed himself on it. He jogged back to the locker room before the end of the half. After initially being ruled questionable to return, Erin Andrews reported he was OUT of the game to start the second half. After the game, he simply said, "I'm alright" when Mindi Bach asked how he was.
Carlos Hyde: Suffered an injury late in the third quarter that cost him the rest of the game. Following the loss, he said he had an x-ray on his back. Matt Barrows reported Hyde also said his knee was an issue, but Hyde also thinks both are minor and he'll be back next week. He was awaiting results, so we should hear more sooner rather than later.
Chris Borland: Suffered an ankle injury on Eric Reid's interception return. Russell Wilson actually got the hit on Borland that resulted in the injury. Borland came back in to start the third quarter, but left after a couple plays and missed the rest of the second half. His absence was noticeable on the Seahawks third quarter touchdown drive. There is no word on if he will miss any time.
Garrett Celek: Suffered an ankle injury on a Frank Gore run early in the second quarter. He did not return, leaving the 49ers with just Vernon Davis and Asante Cleveland at tight end. Suffice to say, that duo was not going to cut it. I really think the loss of Celek for most of the season, combined with Vernon Davis's ineffectiveness was one reason that needs to be looked into a bit more in relation to the offensive ineffectiveness.
The 49ers will wait and see what Gore and Hyde's injuries mean for the coming week, but with Alfonso Smith as the only backup option, they could be short-handed. The 49ers have a relatively short week, with their next game on Saturday at home against the San Diego Chargers. Gore's process through the concussion protocol is the most notable injury to consider at this point. Hyde and Borland could prove significant, but we really don't know what medical examinations will reveal. If the 49ers are short a running back or two, they'll have to sign somebody between now and Saturday.
Additionally, given that they are playing out the string, it will be interesting to see who gets shut down at this point. Anthony Davis is dealing with a concussion that has cost him a month of action. Tramaine Brock is dealing with a hamstring injury, which followed a turf toe injury. I would like to see him get on the field and get some action in before the final two weeks, but if the hamstring is not 100 percent, it makes sense to shut it down.
Chris Culliver and Marcus Martin were both inactive for Sunday's game due to knee injuries. Culliver was a limited participant in practice all week, while Martin was a DNP on Wednesday, and limited Thursday and Friday. I could see both getting back in the mix, but we'll see what the week of practice brings.