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49ers in Five: A Pyrrhic victory if there ever was one

Big injuries continue to pile up for the 49ers

Everything you need to know about the team in around five minutes

In 280 and 279 BC, King Pyrrhus won two battles against the Romans during the Pyrrhic War while suffering a very high number of casualties. When he was informed of this news, he lamented, “If I achieve such a victory again, we shall be utterly ruined.” The same can be said of the 49ers on Sunday against the Panthers.

So much was nice about this win. The 30 points scored by the offense, more domination from the defense, and the best start of the year from Jimmy Garoppolo. But, unfortunately, the injuries in this game, in this season, and in the Kyle Shanahan regime cannot be understated.

When added to the injuries already sustained this year, things are starting to pile up for the 49ers - particularly on defense. Arik Armstead, Javon Kinlaw, and Nick Bosa are down along the defensive line. Azeez Al-Shaair is missing from the linebacking corps, and now Emmanuel Moseley and Jimmie Ward are absent in the secondary. That is an insane amount of talent for any unit to lose. It’s a testament to this team’s depth and the mastery of DeMeco Ryans that the defense continues to perform at such a high level.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on, and that’s on a depth chart that’s not just one-deep,” Talanoa Hufanga told reporters after the game, “It’s two-deep, three-deep.”

Unfortunately, this is nothing new for the 49ers under Kyle Shanahan. I’ve mentioned this a few times, but it becomes relevant every year: During the Shanahan regime, the 49ers have been crippled by injuries. In 2017, they had the 10th most injuries in the league. Every year since then, the 49ers have been among the ten most injured teams in football. They’ve been among the top four most injured teams in three of those four years. They’ve even changed their training staff in that time, and it still hasn’t helped.

This isn’t to blame Shanahan or any one person for the number of players that have gone down. Football is a violent game, and it has a 100% injury rate. I keep saying the 49ers are due for some positive regression in this area, and the football gods keep right on doing their worst. Here’s hoping the luck turns soon - we all know it’s beyond time.

Hear more about this and other stories in today’s 49ers in Five podcast. Our five-minute daily update gives you the latest news, best audio clips, and everything else you need to know about the team. Subscribe to the Niners Nation Podcast Network today so you don’t miss an episode!