The 49ers have to wait for next year to see more of running back Matt Breida and wide receiver Dante Pettis.
Breida sprained his left ankle last Sunday during the 49ers’ 14-9 loss to the Chicago Bears, while Pettis sprained the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Both will miss the 49ers’ upcoming season finale against the Los Angeles Rams, head coach Kyle Shanahan confirmed Monday on a conference call.
Breida injured his ankle on the first play of the second quarter against the Bears, when All-Pro edge rusher Khalil Mack landed on his leg. Breida left the game and did not return.
Pettis injured his knee later during the same second-quarter drive, when he caught a four-yard pass from Nick Mullens and quickly tried to spin away from Bears outside linebacker Leonard Floyd. But, Floyd grabbed Pettis from behind and bent him sideways. Pettis’ foot caught in the turf. He immediately grabbed his left knee and lay motionless in the fetal position. The injury looked worse than it was.
Neither Pettis’ injury nor Breida’s injury is considered serious.
Pettis and Breida are crucial for the future of the 49ers offense. Both became starters this season after veterans went down with injuries. Pettis replaced Pierre Garcon when Garcon injured his knee midseason, and Breida replaced Jerick McKinnon when McKinnon tore his ACL before the season began.
Pettis finished 2018 with 27 catches for 467 yards and five touchdowns. And Breida finished with 153 carries for 814 yards and three touchdowns.
“Matt had a very impressive season,” Shanahan said. “He started out great, stepped in right away and played like a No. 1 back. For a while, (he was) close to the league lead in rushing. Had a ton of explosive (runs). Had a good yards per carry.”
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