49ers injuries piling up along with wins

San Francisco 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk (44) runs in front of Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Devaroe Lawrence (99) during an NFL football game in Santa Clara, Calif., Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Tony Avelar)

SANTA CLARA – Every 49ers win seems to come with a significant loss.

The 49ers have won all the games they’ve played this season. They’re 4-0. But they’ve lost important players along the way.

Fullback Kyle Juszczyk will miss four to six weeks with a sprained left MCL. Right tackle Mike McGlinchey will miss four to six weeks with cartilage damage in his right knee. Left tackle Joe Staley will miss another three to five weeks with a broken fibula. And cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon will miss at least another week with a foot sprain.

The next month will be tough for the 49ers, no matter whom they play. The 49ers can’t take any team for granted while they’re injured and depleted.

Here are the five biggest challenges the 49ers face, ranked from least difficult to most difficult.

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This article has 85 Comments

  1. Kyle Juszczyk is the biggest loss here. Certainly the hardest to replace given his skill set.
    Niners will have to rely heavily on their D until they start getting some players back.
    Shanny will have to dig deep into his bag of tricks to hide the injuries.
    Go Niners

  2. We all know Injuries are part of the game. Although we’ve got some guys banged up, we’re lucky that we’ve only lost Hurd and McKinnon long term. I’m encouraged by the fact that these other guys will be back for the end of the season run. We’ve definitely seen some worse injury reports in the past few years. Hopefully we can get through the rest of the season with just knicks and bumps and no more IR designations.

    Grant, As far as wide outs… How’s your 40 time and hands? My money says you would be fearless over the middle

  3. This is the fruition of a 3 year rebuild where the teams depth has been developed and upgraded. Our window is opening, while the Rams is closing. Let’s close their window this Sunday….

  4. Pretty much agree with this list but I’d probably move Staley/McGlinchey higher on the list. Having both starting tackles out at the same time could be crippling. On Juice, the wild random thought I had was – didn’t Breida play fullback in college? He can block. He can catch. He can run. What about moving Breida into Juice’s role and rotating Coleman and Mostert? I guess the counter argument is Breida has been the most productive RB so why mess that up. My response would be Breida won’t be as productive without Juice so the best adaptation is going with the only RB currently healthy on the team with experience at FB.

    1. Breida is not very physical and the coach’s scheme him at times due to his injury history, he would cause some mismatch options but I am hoping the back up te dewely(spelling) can help keep the big running holes open. No matter what going forward, the team could still flourish but as we all know their is a reason why starters are starters and back ups are back ups! We still have Kittle Jimmy g, Coleman and Breida and maybe a wr group ready to improve themselves.

      1. Yea, I’m looking at a wr, not sure who, but a wr to step up in this game. Maybe it’s Goodwin with a stop n go deep on Peters. Maybe it’s Pettis or Samuel, but more than likely it’ll be Kittle that has a monsterous game….

        1. My money is on Deebo to step up. His aggression is a thing of beauty. Hes had a couple drops and fumbles, but I think that’s just a rookie thing. The upside we’ve seen from him so far is encouraging.

          1. agree whole heartily. Yet, it requires Jimmy G to start delivering the ball properly. I’m a big fan of his, have been since the start, but he must start hitting the receivers better. Realize he’s only played, what?, 14-15 games, but we need him to be the new Montana to win NFC. I’m 78 years old, don’t want to wait any longer. Putting an unfair load on Jimmy but what the hell.

        2. Good call. I hope they call that play for their first offensive snap. The Rams will be selling out to stop the run, so if the Niners can get a TD on their first play, it will be like Breida’s TD. It will destroy the Rams morale.
          They should send a WR deep, all game, to wear out Talib and Peters.

            1. Sherman did not carry him out of bounds, but drove the WR out of bounds, for an incompletion.
              EMan did not carry OBJ out of bounds, but crowded him out of bounds for an incompletion.
              Using the side line to help defend, is a good strategy.
              Goodwin should do a stutter step, then head for the post, so he will be in the middle of the field. He will not be close to the side line.
              Hmm, you sound like Homer.

              1. Okay okay I back off Seb, you clearly have a wealth of cornerback experience that a young up and coming guy like me simply doesn’t have.

                Your back pedal is legendary.

              2. In the Rams-Seahawk game, Lockett tapped his toes in bounds for a TD. The DB should have concentrated on lifting up one of his legs, so Lockett would not have kept both feet in bounds.
                Here is another Homer quote you can relate to.- ‘It’s so simple to be wise. Just think of something stupid to say, then don’t say it.’

      2. @rebelscum – not so sure I agree with you. I think Breida is physical – and tough. He might be a pretty good Fullback for a short time to replace Juice.

        “Breida still has the mentality of a dive back. It’s ingrained in him. Playing that position in college made him who he is. “It taught me to be gritty,” Breida said. “You’ve got to do blocks you don’t want to do — linebackers, defensive linemen. It just taught you to be tough.”


        1. Houston,
          I’m sure that Breida is a willing blocker but at 190 lbs I’d hate to see our best RB blocking players 40-60 lbs heavier.

          Shanahan will make the necessary adjustments to offset the rams run defense. Swing passes to the RB’ could be prominent in this game especially given the fact that Shanahan put a high premium on RB’s that could catch.

          The intermediate passing game could also play a big part. Aside from the RB’s, Kittle and Deebo could own the middle. Occasional deep passes to Goodwin and Pettis will keep the rams safeties from playing close to the middle which leaves open spaces for some belly shots.

          This is a big game for many reasons, but I’ll state a couple.
          1. This could be a huge statement game for Shanahan and Lynch.
          2. On the flip side, this could be the game that turns things around (for the better) if the rams win.
          Nice interesting plots in Sunday’s game.

        2. Thanks Houston for the deep dive on brieda, I guess my basic or fredflinstone way of thinking when you have a brieda-cheetah who for me is a jaguar like car and juice is built like a Jeep or mini dump truck that inflicts damage, I still believe in the mass theory that more times he smashes his body more of a chance of injury, he appears to be one of the fastes humans in the world much less the nfl, way he has been injured in the past I do not want to take the risk. Your research proves he is tougher than I believed! Still would rather use our te’s but your theory has merit and puts Coleman and Brieda out their together! Thank you!

    1. I think it is 3 even. I predicted it would get to 2.5 but that was before McGlinchey injury was revealed. Niners 27 -Rams 13.

        1. I watched most of the Rams Bucs game and Goff looked horrible (4 picks) against an average at best D. Our front 7 will harass him all afternoon. If Gurley is out or limited, they will have a problem moving the ball .

  5. One advantage with these injuries is that their replacements are getting great experience which in the long run is a good thing. They might find Staley’s and Sherman’s replacement during this time which would allow greater flexibility in the draft.

    I still expect the Niner’s to win this game against the Rams. I believe the Rams to be a mediocre team.

    1. You guys are pretty confident considering all the Injuries you have. Rams should have won against the Seahags last week on the road so you might want to slow your roll a bit. 49ers have played pretty well so far but they haven’t done well against the Rams in recent history. Should be a good game but the Rams should win.

    1. I agree and will add, I hope it’s at the expense of Pettis. As I believe Grant has already said, JG doesn’t like to throw to him. So what good is Pettis as long as that’s the case? You’ve heard the expression when some coaches talk about a young player, the League is not too big for him. For Pettis, it seems to be the opposite, unfortunately. At least that’s my opinion. I apologize if to some I’m stating the obvious, as sometimes happens on this blog.

      1. George……..

        Have patience………Pettis isn’t carrying his weight yet, but he will likely develop. He has loads of talent ……for now, he’s frustrating, agreed-but this guy is made out of rubber, almost impossible to stay with his shake and bakes off the line of scrimmage…………if anyone can develop this guy, its Shanny-a former receiver himself.

      1. Pettis. Maybe KS will be sending a message to Pettis, to motivate him to secure those passes.
        By de-activating Pettis, it might make him hungry to play better, and show him that there are logical consequences to his actions.

        1. Nevermind. Was getting at who he’d replace on the 46, but with Juice going down and no one coming up to replace him that opens a spot.

  6. Rams are expecting KS to slow the game down and keep their offense off the field. And that may be the most logical route. But if KS is confident in his 2 young tackles in pass protection, he may use this as an opportunity to see what his passing game can do. So perhaps Dwelley in a 12 set or even just a 11 and three receivers and mix up short / intermediate routes. If things don’t look good early on for the tackles and Jimmy is getting hit too much, then dial it back with the 12 set.

  7. One of the key reasons that this team is doing well (aside from the stellar play of the defense, of course) is that it is sustaining drives. This has a double impact of wearing out the other defense while keeping our players fresh.

    Last year 3rd down efficiency was 37.8. This year it is around 44.9. That is a major step forward. The Red Zone efficiency has gone up (47.1 v. 41.2) but two of the ways that the scoring had gone up a whole 10.4 points (31.8 v. 21.4) is that the scoring is avoiding RZ altogether (chunk plays) and less penalties in RZ once within scoring distance.

    What will be interesting to watch over the next few games is how the team fares with two tackles and a FB missing. It will certainly test Shanahan’s abilities to scheme.

  8. I think coach Phillips will want to disrupt the run game with penetration and defend short routes on 3/5 step drops. If he uses 8 in the box there should be some room for Kittle to get open or Goodwin to draw single coverage. Pretty big challenge for SF.

    1. Red-Im thinking your exactly right. Coleman as a receiver would negate this……….Kittle, certainly………..but our rcvrs need to start payin their rent-like this Sunday.

  9. I hope the Niners help the tackles with 2 TE sets.
    Actually, I hope the Niners use all 3 TEs, with Kittle lined up and going in motion like Juice did.
    If the Rams stack the box, I hope the Niners attack the edges.

  10. Bosa is a defensive end. On the 49ers, he would play the same position as Dee Ford, their new addition and highest-paid defensive player. Ford will be the 49ers’ “Leo” — the defensive end who lines up farthest away from the opposing tight end.

    If the 49ers draft Bosa, they can’t play both him and Ford at Leo. One would have to come off the bench as long as they’re teammates. And the 49ers aren’t paying Ford $17.5 million per season to come off the bench. And they probably don’t intend to draft his backup with the second pick in Round 1.

    Forget Bosa. Ford makes him redundant


    how do you still have a job?

    1. Comments like yours don’t deserve a rebuttal. But I’ll say this anyway: Grant has an extremely fine mind and understanding of football. Just watch his recent video review after the Browns game, which I think was superb. Sometimes he makes mistakes but he seems to learn from them and quickly. He still has a job because he’s very, very good and a lot of fun to read.

  11. Wasn’t the 83 yard run on the first play from scrimmage over the left side of the line? There was another nice run to the left later on where Skule did a nice job of getting out and kicking out his man.

    Skule’s held up well.

    Brunskill was impressive in the preseason, and something tells me he’s gonna be ok. Kinda similar to Moseley before last week.

    1. Yes it was to the left.

      When McG lost his shoe, Brunskill came in. Shanny ran the next two plays his way and gained 19 yards and 6 yards. (against the Steelers)

  12. Seb, not sure your current info is adequate.

    Brunskill is a 6’5″, 300 pounder…Shanny was correct about Skule. I trust him more than you, especially in light of your egregious error here.

    sebnynah says:
    October 11, 2019 at 9:16 am
    The Rams will stack the box, and dare the Niners to pass.
    .However, the Brownies tried that, and the Niners put up 275 yards. Brunskill is a little light for being a RT, …

    Daniel Brunskill
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to navigationJump to search
    Daniel Brunskill
    No. 60 – San Francisco 49ers
    Position: Offensive tackle
    Personal information
    Born: January 27, 1994 (age 25)
    San Diego, California
    Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
    Weight: 300 lb (136 kg)

    Daniel Brunskill
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to navigationJump to search
    Daniel Brunskill
    No. 60 – San Francisco 49ers
    Position: Offensive tackle
    Personal information
    Born: January 27, 1994 (age 25)
    San Diego, California
    Height: 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)
    Weight: 300 lb (136 kg)

  13. If the Defense is holding the other teams to around an average of 12 points this season, why would we think that even with the injuries we have this season on offense that the offence couldn’t score 21 points or last years average? Or are we thinking we will have an overabundance of turnovers ( Bad Jimmy G or good Jimmy G).
    MR. Hammer, Sebbie, where is my logic wrong?
    SF 21 Rams 17

    1. I am predicting a 28-23 score. I hope the Niners do not settle for field goals, and score TDs.
      Even with the Rams being so one dimensional, they are scoring points, and will be desperate to break their 2 game losing streak.
      Even with 5 turnovers, the Niners scored 24 points.

  14. Jennifer Lee Chan
    ‏Verified account

    Everyone has been talking about the #49ers defensive line, but safeties Jimmie Ward and Jaquiski Tartt quietly put together a solid game.

    They told me their chemistry on the field stems from a long history of playing together. Tartt and Ward have known each other since they played together at Davidson High School in Mobile, Ala.


    1. Yeah, I watched the full game last night (had only seen portions) and Jimmy Ward had an excellent game. Makes a difference when he is on the field.

  15. You always want teams to be at full strength for an epic clash but now we get to see who the better coach is.
    Finding ways to hide your injuries while maximizing the personnel you have, is a true measure of a good coach.
    Can’t wait till Sunday!

    For all my fellow Canucks on here, Happy Thanksgiving!

  16. Great, now Kittle is questionable with a groin injury. I have no doubt Kittle can play through pain after what he did last year with a busted rib, but if that gets worse… Kittle is a guy this team can’t replace.

    1. Surprised it’s taken this long for Kittle to show up on the injury report. You could see him walking gingerly a few times on Monday night.

      1. Which given it took this long before he was limited in practice might mean it was pretty minor but he has done more damage to it during the week. If he can’t move freely during the game I think the offense will be in real strife.

        1. A groin injury could lead to the kind of core injury suffered by Bosa at Ohio State. Hope he doesn’t aggravate it.

        2. Matt Maiocco

          Verified account

          1h1 hour ago
          Kyle Shanahan expects George Kittle will be available to play on Sunday.

          7 replies21 retweets159 likes
          Reply 7 Retweet 21 Like 159

  17. Rams: 17
    49ers: 27

    Goff: 2 turnovers
    Jimmy G: throws for over 225 yards and 2 TD’s
    Running game: 150 yards and 1 TD
    49ers Offense: 1 or less turnovers
    49ers: sack Goff 2 times, pressure him constantly.

  18. Rams: 17
    49ers: 27

    Goff: 2 turnovers
    Jimmy G: throws for over 225 yards and 2 TD’s
    Running game: 150 yards and 1 TD
    49ers Offense: 1 or less turnovers
    49ers: sack Goff 2 times, pressure him constantly.
    However; if Kittle is out then I think the Rams win. The score maybe 17-9, but the offense can’t be without over 1/3 of their offensive starters and expect to win.

  19. My sense of Sunday’s game….

    At 07:51 local, the greater LA region is struck by a magnitude 6.8 quake along the Whittier Fault. The Memorial Coliseum suffers moderate damage and the game is quickly canceled. All airports in the region are closed indefinitely. Niners are trapped due to widespread freeway damage and priority emergency response activities.

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