The 49ers and Seahawks battled to the bitter end Monday night, with San Francisco suffering their first loss of the season.
Dropping a back-and-forth nail-biter on a last-second field goal was a big enough pill to swallow. But pile on a heap of unfortunate injuries, and things get even gloomier for the 49ers.
Monday night, the 49ers lost players like Ronald Blair (knee), Emmanuel Sanders (ribs), Matt Breida (ankle), D.J. Jones (groin), Weston Richburg (hand), and Joe Staley (finger). During a Tuesday afternoon conference call, Kyle Shanahan provided injury updates. Some good, some not-so-good, and some bad.
Wide receiver Sanders suffered a rib injury in the first quarter Monday night. After the game, Shanahan said Sanders sustained the injury early and actually stayed in to play a few more series before being taken out. The 49ers No. 1 receiver seemed to have dodged a long-term injury and will be listed as day-to-day heading into Week 11 against visiting Arizona.
In Shanahan’s offense, center is one of the most important positions. Richburg, the 49ers center, has been very good this season. He sustained an injury to his non-snapping hand Monday night, and the offense struggled without him. He eventually returned and will be fine moving forward.
The 49ers lost another offensive weapon last night, with Breida suffering an ankle injury. Aggravating his left ankle, the injury is not expected to be major, but will likely keep Breida from playing Sunday against the Cardinals.
After returning to the field for the first time in over seven weeks, left tackle Staley sustained yet another injury Monday night. A finger injury may need surgery, and Staley will get a second opinion. But the 49ers could be without their left tackle once more.
D.J. Jones is a very important piece on the 49ers defensive line, especially defending the run. Monday night he suffered a groin injury and was sidelined the rest of the game. He was seen riding the stationary bike on the sideline with hopes of coming back in, but was unable to. Struggling to stop the Arizona Cardinals running game in Week 9, the 49ers may have similar issues Sunday with Jones expected to miss at least a week.
The 49ers defensive line has been the focal point of the team this season, and a big reason for their success is defensive tackle Blair. Monday night Blair chased down Russell Wilson on a big play that stopped Seattle, who was marching down the field. Blair was down for a while, and when he got up, he was helped off the sidelines, and eventually taken off the field in a cart. After the game, the fear was that Blair had suffered a knee injury, and maybe even a torn ACL. Tuesday afternoon, Shanahan confirmed the worst-case scenario.
Additional injury updates
Ahkello Witherspoon suffered a foot sprain in Week 3, missing the past six games. He returned to practice prior to the Monday night game but was held out. Shanahan discussed the plan for Witherspoon this week, and how he can be ready to play on Sunday.
Rookie receiver Jalen Hurd was drafted in the third round by the 49ers this year and has yet to play a regular-season snap with the team. Catching multiple touchdowns passes in the preseason, Hurd was placed on Injured Reserve before Week 1, with a designation to return after the minimum eight weeks. Shanahan provided an update on him as well.