Will the San Francisco 49ers have more 2019 starters on the injured list than on the field when the 2020 season begins? At first glance, it sounds like an absurd question, but a closer look reveals a layer of truth. With news over the weekend of another injury, the 49ers sound like a broken record. Ravaged by injuries, concerns are mounting as the team prepares for the start of the season
The List Keeps Growing
The list below provides a look at the injuries the 49ers have suffered during this offseason.
- Deebo Samuel
- Jalen Hurd
- Richie James Jr.
- Brandon Aiyuk
- Dee Ford
- Ross Reynolds
- D.J. Jones
- K’Waun Williams
- Ross Dwelley
- Ben Garland
- Weston Richburg
- Ronald Blair III
- Arik Armstead
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Visit the team’s official site and take a gander at the Injury List section. It’s a blank page. This isn’t a surprise as the team isn’t reporting on injuries until time to set the final rosters heading into the season. However, it stands in stark contrast to the actual list of injuries on the roster, let alone on the presumptive starting lineup in 2020. Some on the list have returned to practice or are being held out as a precaution, Armstead specifically comes to mind.
The consensus areas of concern come along the defensive line, wide receiver group, and interior offensive linemen room. Those three groups have been hit hard by injuries. At wide receiver, any prolonged absence of Aiyuk would mean that the 49ers would be without their presumptive top two options at the position to begin the season. Samuel’s injury occurred in the spring but it was believed to bring a recovery time of between 12-16 weeks. Combined with the loss of Hurd, James Jr., and the opt-out from free-agent signing Travis Benjamin, the 49ers are now scrambling to fill the depth chart.
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Along the defensive line, the biggest story is the injury to Ford. In 2019, Ford missed a chunk of playing time due to hamstring injuries. Ford played in just 11 games last season but was able to add 6.5 sacks and two forced fumbles. What makes the injury to Ford so concerning is the lack of depth around him. Armstead is battling a back injury while Blair and Jones are both coming off injuries suffered at the end of last season. It is a familiar refrain for the offensive line as the 49ers have suffered injuries to their starting and back-up centers. Already lacking quality depth along the interior of the line, the 49ers are faced with moving pieces around to fill holes.
What to Expect
San Francisco is hopeful that more than a few of their injured players are able to return quickly. At wide receiver, Aiyuk was back on the sidelines just a day after his injury. This week will be important to see just how cautious they are with the rookie. The 49ers are hoping to change their tune and avoid any more serious injuries as the season quickly approaches. The season opens with the Arizona Cardinals, a team that tested the 49ers in both meetings last season, holding a lead late into the fourth quarter in the second meeting.
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San Francisco will need depth on the defensive line to corral quarterback Kyler Murray and quality at the offensive line to protect Jimmy Garoppolo. At the end of the day, there is a belief that the offense can function with a healthy George Kittle and Garoppolo. With less than two weeks left before the season, the 49ers will need all hands on deck if they are to return to the Super Bowl and finally bring home the franchise’s sixth championship.
– Ryan Adverderada is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage 49ers. He also covered the Arizona Cardinals for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on Follow @ryanadverderada