The San Francisco 49ers entered MetLife Stadium in Week 2 a hungry team looking for their first win after a divisional loss to begin the season. They left with a blowout victory over the New York Jets but lost many key members of their team.
It begins with Nick Bosa, who was carted off early in the game. On the very next play, Soloman Thomas suffered a similar fate. It was confirmed on Monday that both players will miss the rest of the season with torn ACL’s. In the first quarter, Jimmy Garoppolo was sacked and went down awkwardly. It ended up being a high ankle sprain and he is considered week-to-week and has a chance to play in Week 3.
The backfield in San Francisco was depleted during this game as well. Raheem Mostert suffered an MCL sprain and will likely miss Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Tevin Coleman is dealing with a knee sprain and it does not look good as the Niners wait for MRI results. George Kittle and Richard Sherman missed this game against the Jets but there’s hope that they could practice this week and work their way back to the field.
San Francisco flew back out west following their victory. They will return to MetLife in Week 3 to take on the Giants and there will be some hesitant feelings regarding the turf and field conditions. The NFL investigated these issues and determined that the field was up to code prior to Week 2. On paper, the Niners will have another lopsided matchup when they take on the Giants but what will be their plan without many key players?
What could the 49ers look like moving forward?
Garoppolo has not been ruled out in Week 3. Team doctors will monitor him this week and if he is good to go, he will be under center. This would be a huge boost for the team, especially if Kittle can make his return.
The running back position will take a hit with Mostert missing time, but there are capable players on the depth chart who can take over. In 2018, Jerick McKinnon signed a four-year, $30 million deal with the Niners. Shortly after signing his contract, McKinnon tore his ACL. There were complications with his surgery that forced him to miss the 2019 season. In March, McKinnon agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million restructured deal with San Francisco. He finished with 77 yards and a touchdown against the Jets. McKinnon is also a threat catching the ball out of the backfield.
Offensively, the Niners could rebound quickly. On the defensive side, they will see some problems. It is never easy losing a Defensive Player of the Year candidate. This means Kerry Hyder Jr. will line up opposite Arik Armstead at the defensive line positions. The loss of Thomas will put more pressure on rookie Javon Kinlaw to step up. Defensive lineman D.J. Jones is battling an ankle injury as well. San Francisco continues to be cautious with Dee Ford.
Defensive coordinator Robert Saleh has his work cut out for him moving forward. The only saving grace for the 49ers is that their upcoming schedule is weak. They will face the Giants in Week 3 before returning home for the Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins. These will be their next three games before a huge division matchup with the Los Angeles Rams.
If Garoppolo can return to the field quickly, there is hope in San Francisco. If not, Nick Mullens will take over under center.