After 2 weeks, the Niners find themselves 1-1, losing to the very dangerous Cardinals team and beating up on a hapless NY Jets team.
As I mentioned prior to the start of the season, watch out for the Cardinals as I think Kyler Murray is on the same track as Russell Wilson. I also stated that the NFC West is the toughest division in the league and that I’d be happy with splits with the Cardinals, Seahawks and Rams.
Well, that wish may not happen now that the Niners suffered devastating injuries in the Jets game that will impact the team for the remainder of this season.
- Nick Bosa tore is ACL and is lost for the season. He is the one player that cannot be replaced. He is perhaps the most dominating Edge rusher in the league.
- Soloman Thomas also tore is ACL three plays after Bosa went down and is also lost for the season. Soli was moved inside this year where he has always felt that he is most effective. He earned a starting job with a great off-season building up his body only to suffer this horrible season ending injury in week 2.
- Jimmy Garoppolo suffered a high ankle sprain early in the game but played on it for the entire first half. Looking back at the play that injured him, one Jet player grabbed his lower right leg and dragged him down, Per NFL league rules, this should have been a penalty. Then about 3 seconds after he went down, another Jets player plowed into him. This definitely was a roughing the QB penalty and I was in disbelief that no flags were thrown. I don’t know if this is true but I read that the referees couldn’t blow their whistle because they had their masks on. I don’t think the masks prevented their arms from reaching into their pockets to throw the flag. The good news is that his sprain isn’t as bad as originally feared so he is week-to-week.
- Tevin Coleman sprained his knee and may be lost for 4 weeks.
- Raheem Mostert also sprained his knee and may be out for 3-4 weeks.
- Dre Greenlaw injured his quadriceps and may be out 3-4 weeks.
In addition to the week 2 injuries, the Niners have these injuries:
- Dee Ford injured his back in week 1 and his return is undetermined. As we all know, back injuries can linger for a long time.
- George Kittle injured his knee in week 1 but may be able to play in week 3. The Niners, unfortunately have to play the NY Giants on the very same turf that injured their key players in week 2. Given that fact, I would hold out Kittle until week 4.
- Richard Sherman injured his calf and will be lost for at least 4 weeks.
- Jason Verrett injured his hamstring before the season started but seems to be back on track and ready to play. He may start at Corner Back replacing Ahkello Witherspoon, who continues to regress.
- Deebo Samuel broke his foot during the off-season and the hope is that he can come back in week 5.
Now that the above bad news is out of the way, let’s focus on some good news:
- Jimmy G had a great game while playing through his high ankle injury. He was 14-16 for 131 yards with 2 TD’sand a QBR of 149. He was 7-13 on third down plays and a perfect 3-3 in the Red Zone. Funny that all of the Jimmy G critics are so silent when he has a good game but absolutely blow him up when the Niners lose.
- Jet McKinnon showed why he could be an impact player this year. He had 14 carries for 77 yards with a tremendous 55 yard run on a 3rd and 31 play.
- Prior to Mostert-rati injuring his knee, he ran 80 yards for a TD on the very first play of the game and had another 65 yard TD run called back due to a holding penalty.
- Jordan Reed had a great game with 7 catches including 2 TD’s. As I said prior to the beginning of the season, when Kittle returns, this dynamic duel will cause many mis-matches for which Shanahan is the best in the business in creating.
- While Bosa and Thomas are lost for the season, DJ Jones, Javon Kinlaw and Kerry Hyder had great games on the D-Line.
- Kendrick Bourne is emerging as a “go to” guy and Brandon Aiyuk had a standout first game. He’ll only get better.
While the first line players are recovering, I have every confidence in the world in Nick Mullens at QB. He was 8-11 after replacing Jimmy G. He played well in 2018 when Jimmy G tore his ACL. Shanahan has said that Nick knows his offense better than anyone on the team.
I’m anxious to see Jason Verrett play CB. He has had an injury plagued career but when healthy, he is one of the better CB’s in the league. I’m also anxious to see McKinnon, Aiyuk, Kinlaw, and Reed continue to grow as the team will really need them throughout the season. I’m also anxious to see Mohammed Sanu (WR), Dion Jordan (Edge), Ziggy Ansah (Edge), and JaMycal Hasty (RB) play their first game as a Niner.
When the team gets Jimmy G, Mostert-rati, Deebo, Kittle, Coleman, Greenlaw, and Ford back in action, this is still a team to be reckoned with.