The 49ers announced that fullback Kyle Juszczyk has an MCL sprain, and will miss 4-6 weeks. That’s a big blow for an offense that relies heavily on 21 and 22 personnel. There is no other way to put it: The offense is significantly better with Juice on the field. The offense averaged 9.5 yards per play last night out of 21/22 personnel. His versatility as a blocker makes the running game go. He is agile enough to block defensive backs, and stout enough to take on linebackers. These are the games he’s expected to miss:
- at Rams
- at Redskins
- vs. Panthers
- at Cardinals
He’ll likely be questionable for:
- vs. Seahawks
- vs. Cardinals
Then there is:
vs. GB after that
I don’t think it matters who the 49ers play, there is no replacing Juszczyk. With that said, this is the best stretch to miss him.
That’s the third starter lost in four games, with Joe Staley and Ahkello Witherspoon injured as well. Unlike in years past, the 49ers are equipped to handle injuries. Every team has to go through adversity, and this is just another chapter for the Niners. I’ll be interested to see if they choose to slot in Ross Dwelley, or if Kyle Shanahan elects to use two running backs on the field more. The wildcard may be Jeff Wilson, who, while undersized, has the athleticism and power needed. He also keeps the 49ers versatile, and forces defenses to stay in their base.