SANTA CLARA (AP) — About the only thing piling up faster than the losses for the winless San Francisco 49ers is the injuries.
Coach Kyle Shanahan opened his Monday news conference by updating the health status of nine players. The most notable of those were starting safety Jimmie Ward heading to injured reserve with a broken arm and backup right tackle Garry Gilliam going to IR with a knee injury.
Starting left tackle Joe Staley will miss at least the next two games and could go on injured reserve with a broken orbital bone. First-round defensive lineman Solomon Thomas will miss at least two games with a knee injury, and leading receiver Pierre Garcon is questionable this week with a neck injury.
It just went on from there with backup running back Matt Breida questionable with a knee injury, defensive lineman D.J. Jones likely out this week with a knee injury, cornerback K’Waun Williams likely to miss a second straight game with a quadriceps injury and offensive lineman Brandon Fusco expected to be very limited this week by a biceps injury.
“It was more than I’ve had to deal with,” Shanahan said of the lengthy injury report. “There were a lot of guys to go through. And not all of it is clear-cut answers either. Got to talk and understand it as well as I possibly can. But, it’s more just trying to get an idea for how long things are going to be because you’ve got to make the decision. When guys are hurt, that’s the tough thing. You can’t, they can’t play when they’re hurt. But, if they’re not going to be out for a long period of time you can’t also sign other guys to replace them. They still count on your active roster. So, trying to find out how serious some of the injuries are.”
With guard Joshua Garnett, linebacker Malcolm Smith and defensive linemen Ark Armstead and Tank Carradine all on injured reserve, the Niners have been decimated by injuries in Shanahan’s first season.
The lengthy list of injuries will leave the Niners (0-8) scrambling to put together a functional roster for this week’s home game against Arizona (3-4). San Francisco had only five linemen and that included Zane Beadles playing out of position at tackle, rookie Erik Magnuson being forced into action and Fusco playing through the injury to make sure the team didn’t need to use a tight end as a lineman.
“We’re definitely going to have to make some moves especially at the tackle position,” Shanahan said. “We don’t have those numbers on our team. So, over the next 24 hours we’re going to have to work on this to fill out our roster, decide on who can go on IR, to know what roster spots are open. And the guys that aren’t on IR, decide who we’ll have to let go to bring guys up, possibly to get some guys out there.”
NOTES: The 49ers have signed DL Noble Nwachukwu to the team’s practice squad and released DL Jeremy Liggins.
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