The San Francisco 49ers should be expecting a number of key players to return off injury lists after the team’s bye in Week 11. Niner Noise takes a look at who’s coming back soon.
Injuries and inconsistency have been primary themes for the San Francisco 49ers under first-year head coach Kyle Shanahan.
Despite the swath of injuries the team has dealt with this season, the Niners can expect a number of those players to return.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco hits its bye this week after picking up its first win of 2017 — a 31-21 victory over the New York Giants. After the extended break, the 49ers host the 6-3 Seattle Seahawks before a two-game road trip in Weeks 13 and 14.
So far, the Niners have used 16 injured-reserve slots this season. But one of those injured players, defensive tackle Tank Carradine (ankle) could return soon. Carradine, who has been a great fit in coordinator Robert Saleh’s 4-3 defensive scheme, suffered a high-ankle sprain in Week 3 against the Los Angeles Rams and was subsequently placed on IR.
He’s eligible to return against Seattle, which should add a little more muscle to San Francisco’s banged-up defensive line.
Let’s see who else is nearing a return.
Defensive End Solomon Thomas
San Francisco’s first pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, defensive end Solomon Thomas, missed the last two games due to a low-grade MCL sprain. According to Rotowire.com (h/t CBS Sports), he’s expected to be available in Week 12.
Thomas has 22 tackles and two sacks on the year.
Tight End George Kittle
The Niners lost tight end George Kittle to a leg injury in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals. And despite his return later in the game, Kittle ended up being ruled out last week.
In his place, the 49ers started veteran tight end Garrett Celek, who hauled in a 47-yard touchdown pass from quarterback C.J. Beathard.
Beathard has better chemistry with Kittle, stemming from their collegiate days at Iowa, and the rookie TE is still listed as questionable.
Wide Receiver Trent Taylor
San Francisco lost its slot receiver, Trent Taylor, to a broken rib in Week 9. But the fact the 49ers didn’t place him on IR suggests they feel comfortable in an eventual return.
Head coach Kyle Shanahan (h/t Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee) is eyeing a return in Week 12.
Taylor has 24 receptions for 204 yards and a touchdown his rookie season.
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Safety Adrian Colbert
One of the defensive stars from San Francisco’s Week 10 win was rookie defensive back Adrian Colbert, who got the start at free safety over Jaquiski Tartt (IR, arm). Colbert finished the game with four tackles and two passes broken up but also suffered a broken thumb that required minor surgery.
Shanahan indicated, via Eric Branch of SFGate.com, Colbert is likely to miss a game, which would put him on pace to return in Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.
Meanwhile, the Niners are preparing for their home bout against the Seahawks on Sunday, Nov. 26 at Levi’s Stadium.