After two visits that didn’t amount to a signing, the San Francisco 49ers signed Ezekiel Ansah on Monday. Not that it was much of a surprise, but Nick Bosa’s MRI came back and he tore his ACL. He’ll miss the rest of the season.
- The San Francisco 49ers agreed to terms with pass rusher Ezekiel Ansah on a one-year deal worth $3 million, per Rapoport. It becomes official after he goes through COVID-19 testing, Rapoport added.
Coach Kyle Shanahan revealed Monday that All-Pro tight end George Kittle will join the team Wednesday, but the player performance staff will see how he feels before allowing him to practice.
Kittle reportedly sprained his MCL in Week 1 when his knee bent back awkwardly while being tackled on the 49ers’ last drive of the first half. He remained in the game but was not targeted again. Kittle didn’t play in Week 2 against the New York Jets.
While playing on what several 49ers players called questionable field turf at MetLife Stadium, a number of star players were injured. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, running back Raheem Mostert and defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas all left the game after sustaining leg injuries. The 49ers will have to consider that ahead of another trip to MetLife in Week 3 against the New York Giants.
“We will always think about that with everything, especially with George coming back and especially with the issue with the field,” Shanahan said on a video conference with Bay Area reporters.
The San Francisco 49ers lost not one but two of their running backs to leg injuries during Sunday’s win against the New York Jets — which means next week’s game against the New York Giants will feature an untested duo (or perhaps even trio).
Jerick McKinnon, who caught a touchdown pass in week one versus the Arizona Cardinals and ran for a touchdown against the Jets, is the “veteran” of the new running back platoon, though at 5-feet-9 inches, he’s not necessarily known as an every-down option. His career-high in carries for a season is 159 in 2016, when he was a member of the Minnesota Vikings. Most crucially, he’s still working back into game shape, after missing all of 2018 and 2019 with a torn ACL. He has just six rushing attempts and three receptions in 2020.
The next man up is 24-year-old Jeff Wilson, who has two carries and three catches this season. He’s had a bit role with the 49ers since 2018, but could actually get the most action this coming Sunday.
The only other options left for the Niners are 24-year-old JaMycal Hasty, who’s on the practice squad, or a free agent pickup.
Super Bowl losses are tough on Super Bowl losers, and I’m not talking about about the game. I’m talking about the season that follows.
With exception (Seattle in 2014 and the Patriots in 2018), Super Bowl losers rarely return to the game the following season. In fact, it’s not unusual for them not to return to the playoffs, period, and I offer the 2016 Carolina Panthers (6-10) and 2019 Los Angeles Rams (9-7) as recent examples.
Now we may have to include this year’s San Francisco 49ers. I mean, look what happened Sunday. On an afternoon where stars throughout the NFL bowed out with injuries, the 49ers subtracted so many key players I question what’s in store for them this season.
I know, maybe that’s premature. But look what happened. They lost defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Soloman Thomas, running backs Raheem Mostart and Tevin Coleman and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from a lineup already missing starters George Kittle, Richard Sherman and Dee Ford.
That’s more than a problem, people. It may be an obstacle too big to overcome.
Bosa could be lost for the season with a torn ACL, and Garoppolo has a high-ankle sprain that will sideline him indefinitely. I don’t need to remind you how valuable those two are to the 49ers’ success. Bosa was the 2019 Defensive Rookie of the Year, while Garoppolo is 20-6 as a starter with the 49ers (22-6 overall) and had the team in Super Bowl LIV.
“How can I be happy when my guys are going through tough situations?” Armstead said. “It’s great that we got the win, but life isn’t all about football. Those guys are my brothers, so I’m thinking about them.”
Armstead was also troubled by the fact the 49ers have to play on that same turf next week, this time against the New York Giants. The 49ers can’t afford any more significant injuries while maintaining Super Bowl aspirations that are starting to crack under the weight of all these injuries.
“There’s a lot of anxiety after seeing guys you love go down and get hurt,” Armstead said. “We have to come back here and play on the same surface. That’s anxiety-provoking to see what happened and know that you have to go out and do it again.”
1. Nick Bosa, DE, San Francisco 49ers
Injury: Expected torn ACL
The 49ers have been waylaid by injuries on both sides of the ball, but one of their most irreplaceable players went down for the season in Week 2. Bosa reportedly tore his ACL early in the 49ers’ 31-13 victory over the Jets, and while a torn ACL isn’t the sort of career-threatening injury it might have been 30 years ago, it would take a miracle or a misdiagnosis for Bosa to avoid missing the remainder of the season. I can’t recall the last time a player was diagnosed with a likely torn ACL on Sunday before the standard follow-up imaging on Monday said something different.
Bosa, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2019 draft, was one of the biggest additions to the 49ers’ defense when coordinator Robert Saleh’s unit took a step forward last season. He played a full season, racking up nine sacks and 25 hits before adding four more sacks in the postseason. Bosa would have been a viable Super Bowl MVP selection if the 49ers had held on to their lead against the Chiefs. The Ohio State product played 76% of the defensive snaps as a rookie, and when he wasn’t on the field, San Francisco’s passer rating allowed jumped by 10.5 points.