Carolina will be without Jeremy Chinn, their best defender, as the safety went on the injured reserve earlier last week. Starting safety Xavier Woods is also out for the Panthers. So, the 49ers' offense will face a defense without its starting safeties.
Speaking of the safety position, Jimmie Ward wasn’t warming up with the starters during pre-game, per the media at the game. However, I’d be surprised if Ward wasn’t on the field during the first defensive drive.
Since Trent Williams hasn’t been placed on the injured reserve, some are assuming he will return sooner than the initial timetable of 4-to-6 weeks. Williams was jogging on the field and went through a mini-warmup before the game.
The offense should be able to get by their next two foes, the Panthers and Falcons, without their star on the left side. But the Chiefs are coming to Santa Clara on October 23, with the Rams game after. San Francisco will need Williams against its top-tier opponents.