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49ers place CB Richard Sherman on IR with a calf strain

Sherman will miss at least the next three games due to a leg issue. Ahkello Witherspoon, his potential replacement, also suffered a concussion and is in the concussion protocol.

Arizona Cardinals v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Kyle’s update, 9:21 a.m.: Matt Barrows said Witherspoon suffered a concussion and is in the concussion protocol. If cleared, he’ll replace Sherman.

The San Francisco 49ers are placing cornerback Richard Sherman on the injured reserve due to a leg issue, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo. This is a surprise as Kyle Shanahan didn’t mention any injury when we spoke to him on Monday, though he may not have known about the injury at the time. Garafolo said the injury is unclear. I remember Sherm grabbing his calf in the second half, and he missed four plays late in the fourth quarter because of it, but I didn’t think anything of it. This came out of nowhere. Even speaking to Sherman after the game, there was no mention from him. It looks like we’ll see Ahkello Witherspoon start the next couple of games. Ian Rapoport said the 49ers are expecting the issue to be short-term. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero said that this is a flareup from an old injury.

It helps that the next three games, San Francisco won’t face any big-time receiver, such as DeAndre Hopkins. The Jets just placed their first-round pick Denzel Mims on the IR, so their receivers are Breshad Perriman, Chris Hogan, and Jamison Crowder. The Giants have a big-play wideout in Darius Slayton, but the 49ers have guys that can cover the likes of him and Sterling Shepard underneath. The Eagles have speed in Jalen Reagor and Desean Jackson, but Carson Wentz struggled with pressure during Week 1.

I wouldn’t say this is the greatest way to start the season. Losing your top cornerback, not even a week into the season, has to be frustrating. Hopefully, Rapoport is correct, and this only is for a few games.