There are plenty of reasons the San Francisco 49ers lost to the New York Jets on Sunday, and one notable reason was the lack of depth along the roster. The team dealt with several injuries that left them short-handed, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. The team entered the game with an inactive Joe Staley on the sidelines because of a hamstring injury, and it proceeded to get worse from there.
Staley’s absence resulted in Zane Beadles moving from left guard to left tackle. In a slightly surprising move, the team moved backup interior lineman Marcus Martin in at left guard. I was expecting to see Andrew Tiller at the guard position, but it did not happen. However, we did see Tiller pretty quickly. Center Daniel Kilgore suffered a right leg injury and he left the game after ten snaps. Martin moved to center, and Tiller moved in at left guard for the remainder of the game.
The tight end position saw a significant injury as well. Vance McDonald, fresh off of signing a five-year contract extension, suffered a shoulder injury in the second quarter. He was ruled out at halftime, and the team went with Garrett Celek and Blake Bell the rest of the way.
And of course, we saw Torrey Smith suffer a concussion that came after a scare hit on the ground. Smith went up for a pass and as he came down, he landed on his left shoulder, and then his head bounced hard on the field. Chris Harper saw the biggest increase in workload behind Quinton Patton and Jeremy Kerley.
After the game, Smith tweeted "thanks for the prayers," so it is a plus that he was allowed to use his phone and tweet something out. Sometimes concussion symptoms can be so severe that we don’t even see that. Smith will be in the concussion protocol this week, and we’ll have to wait and see how he progresses through that.
Here is a look at the 49ers offensive snap count (gamebook PDF).