The San Francisco 49ers dealt with numerous injuries on Sunday against the Atlanta Falcons. We saw them lose Quinton Patton, Jimmie Ward, Marcus Martin, Blake Bell, and others to game-ending injuries.
Head coach Chip Kelly made his weekly KNBR segment and spoke about the roster and hinted at what may be ahead. The hosts asked if the 49ers might need to make some roster moves this week, and Kelly said, “Yea, we’re gonna have to. We have to get to 46 on game day, so we’re gonna have to bring some guys in.” When asked if it meant practice squad additions or 53-man roster additions, Kelly said, “We haven’t met, I think it’s gonna be a combination of both, to be honest with you.”
Chip Kelly also mentioned in his post game press conference that they may dress three quarterbacks on Saturday just to get to the 46 requirement. The various injuries from Sunday might not have been season-enders a month or two ago, but with only two games left, IR is the most likely option.
Here’s a look at who might head to injured reserve and why:
Quinton Patton suffered a foot injury, and the 49ers wasted no time in declaring him out for the rest of the game once he was injured. The quickness of that move likely indicates he is headed to injured reserve status. He might not have an overly serious injury, but with only two games left, roster space is at a premium.
Jimmie Ward sustained a shoulder injury. Being declared one of the best 11 on the defensive side of the ball, it isn’t a stretch that they end his season now just to save him from aggravating the shoulder more. He is worth more healthy next year than what he can contribute while not 100 person in a lost season.
Marcus Martin injured his ankle. Much of the time when the big heavies on either line hurt their feet, they go out for a while. Because of the weight they carry, pressure on the lower extremities exacerbates the injury if they can play at all. Martin is highly likely to end up on IR.
Nick Bellore injured his elbow. He was seen with his arm in a sling after he left the game and was ruled out. Since obviously both arms are needed in tackling and the 49ers are already thin at inside linebacker I expect they will try to find someone to add to the interior defense for the next two games.
Blake Bell sustained a shoulder injury and was also seen wearing a sling after the game. The 49ers still have tight ends Garrett Celek and Je’Ron Hamm but with the system that Chip Kelly uses, TE play is vital and usually he dresses three. If Bell can’t go this Saturday, there may be someone new brought in.
One thing that’s a positive with players going on IR at this point is that the 49ers will hold the rights to the players brought up to the 53. Kelly said in his post game press conference that they aren’t holding open tryouts when asked about bringing up QB Christian Ponder from the practice squad but in a sense they will be having tryouts at several other positions this week. Expect several roster moves.