The San Francisco 49ers may have received their first bit of bad news at training camp, possibly losing both offensive guard Joshua Garnett and linebacker Malcom Smith to long-term injuries.
The San Francisco 49ers have been relatively lucky on the injury front this training camp.
But that changed Saturday, as the Niners received news two of their likely starting-caliber players might be on the shelf for a while.
Offensive guard Joshua Garnett was listed as “out” with a knee injury for San Francisco’s open practice at Levi’s Stadium.
San Francisco 49ers
NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco was among the first to report the news.
Maiocco went on to describe Garnett was not listed as day-to-day, which means the injury could be something more significant.
During his post-practice media conference, head coach Kyle Shanahan suggested the injury might require surgery.
“There’s some stuff in his knee we’re probably going to have to clean up,” Shanahan said, via Eric Branch of SFGate.com. “I don’t think it’s anything long-term, but it’s going to be a little bit of time.”
Garnett has primarily played at left guard with the first-team unit during training camp. His absence opens up the door for other players — Zane Beadles, Brandon Fusco and Daniel Kilgore — to see more time at the position.
Malcolm Smith’s Injury More Serious?
Also listed on the injury report was linebacker Malcolm Smith.
Smith, a free-agent signee this offseason, is competing for a starting job at WILL linebacker alongside rookie Reuben Foster.
Smith suffered a chest injury during practice and is expected to undergo an MRI, per Branch.
It’s possible this injury winds up being more serious, meaning the veteran linebacker could be out for an extended period of time.
But the injury also opens up the door for Foster to see an increased role.
Foster, a first-round draft pick this year, has been one of the 49ers’ standouts throughout training camp. Yet he has injury concerns of his own, recently coming off a surgically repaired shoulder this offseason.
Ideally, the Niners wouldn’t be rushed into starting Foster. But if Smith’s injury is serious, the team isn’t really left with any other choice.
For now, one can only hope these two injuries aren’t too serious and both players are back in action before too long.