clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Chris Borland unlikely to play final two games due to ankle injury

The San Francisco 49ers likely lost another player for the season. Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio said Chris Borland was a stretch to play either of the final two games of the season.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Vic Fangio met with the media on Tuesday, and he informed them that it would be a stretch for linebacker Chris Borland to play in the team's final two games. Borland suffered an ankle injury on Sunday during Eric Reid's interception return at the end of the second quarter. Russell Wilson knocked Borland over as the former was running to try and stop Reid.

Nick Moody took over for Borland, playing the second half next to Michael Wilhoite. The 49ers run defense took a hit when Borland left the game, as Marshawn Lynch put together some important yards in the second half. Moody was fairly solid in relief of Borland though, and according to Fangio, Moody will get the start on Sunday.

The team signed Desmond Bishop on Tuesday, and he will serve as Moody and Wilhoite's backup. Wilhoite got banged up at one point and missed a few plays, but returned to the game. Fangio said that Skuta was an emergency option, but at the time Wilhoite went down, Skuta wasn't available due to an ankle injury. When it rains, it pours.

It's a shame that Borland probably is finished for the year, particularly given what had been a solid campaign for defensive rookie of the year. Nonetheless, it takes nothing away from a fantastic rookie season. He was an absolute monster as a run stopper, and he proved a very capable starter. The 49ers head into the offseason with quite the depth chart at inside linebacker. Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman are question marks until we see otherwise, so we can't get too far ahead of ourselves.

If both can in fact come back healthy in 2015, the depth chart could be stacked. Wilhoite is an exclusive rights free agent after this season, which means the 49ers can basically sign him at the league minimum if they were so inclined. They could renounce his rights as well, but odds would seem pretty good that they tender him a contract. That bumps Moody back to exclusively special teams work. And of course, the other question is what to do with Borland if and when he, Willis and Bowman are all healthy. I'd rather face that question than the question of not having enough options, so we'll see what the next seven months brings.