The San Francisco 49ers face the Arizona Cardinals in Week 10, and Arizona will head into the game riddled with injuries. The Cardinals are headed into their bye week, and head coach Bruce offered updates on a couple notable injuries. Left tackle Jared Veldheer suffered a torn triceps muscle, and has been placed on injured reserve. Cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is dealing with a shoulder subluxation, and will miss three-to-six weeks.
The Cardinals have a bye this week, and will need all the rest they can get. The Cardinals will have to mix and match to replace a playmaker like Mathieu. The defensive back was fairly quiet in the first game between these two teams this season, but had a pair of big games last year. In Colin Kaepernick’s start early in the season, he returned two interceptions for a touchdown. In Blaine Gabbert’s start later in the season, he led the Cardinals with 13 tackles (one for a loss) and two pass deflections. He represents a sizable loss to the defense.
Reserve tackle John Wentzel is likely to get some opportunities at left tackle. The Cardinals are currently 3-4-1. They are not out of the playoff race, but one has to wonder how they will view their team as is and how to deal with the injuries. Do they try and make a trade to make a run at the playoffs? Or do they just go with what they have, see what happens, and aim for next year? I don’t think they’ll just give up on the season, but how they specifically address the loss of Veldheer will be interesting to watch. I don’t expect the 49ers to deal Joe Staley, particularly within the division, but if the 49ers were ever going to get a first round pick for Staley (still highly unlikely), a desperate Cardinals team could certainly do the trick.