The San Francisco 49ers have a lengthy injury report, but—save for Shon Coleman—they’ve avoided anything major. The medical staff appears to be playing it safe and making sure the team is healthy for Week 1 of the regular season.
With the team getting set to return to practice Tuesday morning, there will be plenty of players missing. That means there will be opportunities for players that were initially lower on the depth chart to make a name for themselves, and earn more playing time during the upcoming preseason games. Let’s run through the list of notable players that will likely miss the game against the Broncos next Monday, and the potential players that could fill in for them.
Shon Coleman-Fractured fibula
We are going to find out real quick if Sam Young is around for long. He’s been in the league since 2010, and I can honestly say that I’ve never heard of him. Will the veteran fend off Willie Beavers and Justin Skule?
Elijah Lee-Broken thumb
Lee will only miss a couple of weeks, but we saw both LaRoy Reynolds and Azeez Al-Shaair step up at linebacker in his absence. It may not be fair for an injury to boot somebody off the roster, but you “can’t help the club in the tub.” Al-Shaair not only had a highlight hit coming forward, but he also showed he could cover down the field. Reynolds had the big sack against Dallas. Will we see another LB make enough splash plays next Monday?
DJ Jones-Knee sprain
Jones isn’t going anywhere. He’s going to play a lot this year. For now, he’s week-to-week. Jones being out opens the door for both Jay Bromley and Julian Taylor to make plays at defensive tackle. Bromley seems to have caught on fast. He had two QB hits against Dallas. Taylor may not have had the stats but was equally as impressive. To me, one of those two has a strong chance at making the roster if they keep it up.
With Raheem Mostert in concussion protocol as well, the next two games Austin Walter and Brandon Wilds will have an opportunity any running back would kill for: A games worth of opportunities. Kyle Shanahan mentioned how they wanted to rest Matt Breida. Assuming Tevin Coleman doesn’t see too much action, the offense will feature plenty of Walter and Wilds. I think McKinnon’s injury is more serious than the team is leading on. I hope it’s not because I want to watch him play as much as anyone else. One thing the Wilds/Walter combo will have to do is create for themselves. The offensive line gave them chances, but the runners didn’t seize their opportunities.
Trent Taylor-Jones fracture
Tarvarius Moore landed on Taylor, and some think that is what caused the injury. It was reported that the timetable is usually 4-6 weeks for a full recovery. Everything I’ve read says 6-8 weeks. Because it is Taylor’s pinky toe, it may not be as severe. Shanahan may choose to use Dante Pettis in the slot more, and leave Deebo Samuel and Marquise Goodwin on the outside. The easy answer is to throw Jalen Hurd in the slot, but I don’t think it’s that easy, despite him having a big first game. This will more than likely be by committee until Taylor returns. The first preseason game was to see if Richie James and Kendrick Bourne are the answer. I wonder if Jordan Matthews will get his shot this coming Monday.