The San Francisco 49ers head into Week 2 with Reggie Bush listed as the lone player on the team's injury report. This marks the second straight week this has happened. The 49ers listed Tramaine Brock as probable last week, after having two limited practice sessions, followed by a full session. Bush was projected to sit out Wednesday's walkthrough, which does not bode well for the rest of the practice week.
The 49ers will deal with injuries this season. We don't know how many, but it is a basic fact that every team fills up their injury report at one point or another during the season. The 49ers were decimated by injuries last year, so to a certain extent, we can hope there is some regression to the mean with the number of significant injuries.
But new head coach Jim Tomsula seems to have a philosophy that will hopefully prevent too much in the form of chronic injuries. Muscle strains can often be the worst, where you think you're back after a few days, only to aggravate the injury and miss a month or more. Since the beginning of the preseason, Tomsula has made it clear the team is going to be conservative in working players back from injury.
Earlier this week, Joe Staley spoke with Sports Illustrated NFL editor Melissa Jacobs, and he discussed how Tomsula approached the offseason. It was part of a broader question in which he was asked to offer up contrasts between Jim Tomsula and Jim Harbaugh:
They both have a wealth of knowledge, and they're both great head coaches. I don't want to get into the positives and negatives of either, but I'm playing for Coach Tomsula right now.
He's done a great job making sure people are fresh going into Week 1. If you looked at our injury report going into Week 1 we only had one guy listed, and he dressed and played. That's a tribute to how Coach Tomsula approached the off-season, taking care of guys' bodies and making sure they got enough reps to where they were ready but going into the season fresh. Tomsula does a great job communicating with the guys and leaning on the veterans. He's really receptive to the veteran dudes and takes a lot of feedback, too, which is nice. Not to say that Harbaugh didn't do that all, because he did, but it's one of the strengths of Jimmy. He's a player's guy and has a lot of guys he trusts. But you have to earn that trust.
This is one reason it seems unlikely that Bush will be active this weekend. He's a strong veteran presence, but given his injury history, there is no reason to rush him back on a short week. It gives Mike Davis his first opportunity, and that should be enough to keep Carlos Hyde from getting overworked. Well, too much at least.
The 49ers will have to figure out solutions for injuries this year, because they are just bound to happen given the nature of football. The key is doing what they can to avoid situations that will aggravate injuries that otherwise should not result in extensive absences.