Quite a few of you held your breath when San Francisco 49ers defensive end Nick Bosa went down with an injury after teammates fell onto his leg after a play. Bosa suffered the dreaded high ankle sprain. Kyle Shanahan says that the 49ers will have an idea of if Bosa can go for their season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the end of the week.
And if Bosa can’t go? That’s fine.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the Cleveland Browns in Week 3 of the preseason, and for quarterback Jameis Winston, it wasn’t pretty. He was sacked five times while going 9-for-19 (47 percent completion percentage).
In short, the Browns owned Winston.
Now, to be fair, he didn’t have star wide receiver Mike Evans on the field either; however, Tampa Bay’s offensive line wasn’t looking too hot anyways. One has to wonder if the Browns defensive front was switched out with a less than stellar unit would have made much of a difference.
If there were a safe game to sit Bosa, it’d be this one. The 49ers all of the sudden have crazy depth on the defensive line, and it’s also Week 1. Could the 49ers use a full-powered Bosa? Absolutely, but if they have to go without him for a game, this might be the time to do it.
High ankle sprains are nothing to [site decorum] with and can be unpredictable. There’s a chance this injury could linger through the entire season, or it could clear up by Week 1 and Bosa becomes the Incredible Hulk. It’d be best to err on the side of caution and let him get to 100 percent. And if the 49ers are up against an offensive line like Tampa Bay’s? Well, it hurts, but they need him far more against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Now if he is ready to go, it will be interesting to see if the 49ers keep him on a pitch count of sorts. Just because he’s ready may not mean he’s 100 percent healthy either and then his productivity can take a hit.
Either way, if the 49ers need to bench Bosa, and he’s sitting against Tampa Bay, it’s at least the game to do it.