SANTA CLARA — Shortly after the 49ers’ most impressive win in years, a 41-17 annihilation of the Cincinnati Bengals, sober reality set in:
The 49ers’ season now depends on a rookie left tackle, Justin Skule.
All-Pro tackle Joe Staley broke his fibula during the third quarter — running back Raheem Mostert kicked Staley in the shin by accident. Staley will miss the next six to eight weeks. His backup, Shon Coleman, broke his leg on Aug. 10 and will miss the entire season.
Meaning Skule, a 22-year-old sixth-round draft pick, is the best left tackle the 49ers have. He will protect Jimmy Garoppolo’s blind side until November, unless the 49ers sign someone else — something they have not yet done.
“This is what you deal with in the NFL,” Kyle Shanahan said Wednesday in the 49ers’ auditorium. “We wouldn’t have kept Skule on our roster if we didn’t think he was an NFL player. You always want to give those guys more time, because the more time they have, the better they get. But that time ran out.”
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