What a soul-crushing win.
The San Francisco 49ers dominated the New York Jets 31-13 to get their first win of the season, but the team lost several key players to injury. Pass rushing demon Nick Bosa is gone for the season after tearing his ACL. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain while running back Raheem Mostert left the game with a sprained MCL.
Solomon Thomas injured his knee and is likely out for the season, while Tevin Coleman missed the end of the game as well. Those five players join superstars Richard Sherman, Dee Ford, and George Kittle on the sidelines.
The 49ers were among the Super Bowl favorites coming into the season. The roster is deep and talented, so the expectation was that the team would contend for a championship. Does that change without Bosa in the lineup?
Shanahan said Garoppolo’s status isn’t going to be known until later in the week, but if he does miss the Week 3 matchup against the New York Giants, Nick Mullens can lead the team to a win.
The schedule is favorable through Week 5 before San Francisco plays seven straight games against playoff-caliber teams. After the Giants game, the Niners play the 0-2 Philadelphia Eagles, followed by a Week 5 matchup against the 0-2 Miami Dolphins.
The good news is that Kittle could play this weekend, while Sherman is slated to miss only the next two contests. Garoppolo’s injury is tricky, but the hope is that he won’t miss significant time. Shanahan said the team is being cautious with Ford because it’s a neck injury, but he is optimistic the pass rusher will be back sooner than later.
Losing Bosa is gutting. A player of his caliber is not replaceable. He had nine sacks and 80 total pressures last season, and he was expected to be even better this year. Veteran left tackle Trent Williams knows how much Bosa means to the team.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Williams said. “Nick is a cornerstone of this team. He’s part of the nucleus. Not only that, he’s a shining star on the field. He has a bright future ahead of him. So it sucks, man.”
If Garoppolo, Kittle, Sherman, Ford, and Mostert are healthy and back in the lineup after Week 5, San Francisco should be just fine. Injuries are the most significant variable of any NFL season, and hopefully, the Niners don’t see their best players don’t miss extended time the rest of the year.
The 2017 Philadelphia Eagles overcame an injury to starting QB Carson Wentz to win the Super Bowl with backup Nick Foles leading the way. That team was deep and played together to defy the odds. Going back even further, San Francisco lost an MVP type player early in the 1997 season and still made it all the way to the NFC Championship game. As rmgaspar pointed out in the comments yesterday, Jerry Rice tore his ACL in the first game of the year.
Without Bosa, the 49ers are obviously weaker, but the team is loaded with enough talent to overcome his loss.
Even though there was a dark cloud over the game once Bosa got hurt, San Francisco still had an impressive performance. The Niners dominated an inferior team the way they’re supposed to, and hopefully, they’ll do it again against the Giants.
Have your expectations for the 49ers changed after Bosa’s injury? Or is it still Super Bowl or bust?